Courtney Keister Clark, Ed.D.
As an educator, it is in my nature to help people and to leave this world a better place. When I lost my brother Tyler to an accidental overdose in 2012, I wanted to support him in leaving his legacy on this world. The way that everyone is working together to turn their individual heartache into helping others inspires me at every turn. My hope for atTAcK addiction is that continues to prompt conversations about addiction and eliminates the shame and stigmas associated with addiction.
Founding Member, Special Projects
I hold a masters degree in education and am currently headmaster at Caravel Academy. I support the general overall work of our organization’s objectives and speak in local schools.
atTAcK addiction provides the platform to help others. Every time I can help a person seeking information, or in recovery, I feel like I am helping my son Tyler. I would like to see this organization develop the ability to sustain it’s work, and make headway in reducing the number of deaths caused by this disease. Specifically, my current project is the development of a recovery high school in Delaware.
Fran Russo-Avena, RN
Public Education and Awareness Partnerships
Working with atTAck addiction has given me the opportunity to work with an amazing group of people who are making a difference and affecting positive changes for those suffering from addiction. We are parents, siblings and friends of those suffering from the disease of addiction. Our shared passion, empathy, and compassion to eliminate the stigma of addiction and prevent the loss of one more life from this devastating disease inspires each of us to work harder and stronger together. My hope for atTAcK addiction is for our organization to continue be a strong voice for education, access to care and improve resources for all Delawareans living with and affected by the disease of addiction.
Public Policy Coordinator, Naloxone Trainer
In May 2012, I lost my son Greg to an accidental heroin overdose. In the aftermath of his death I made a vow to Greg that somehow I would save a life in his name. The investigating detective told me, “If we had a 911 Good Samaritan law of Narcan law, your son might very well be alive today.” These laws seemed to be the vehicle to fulfill my vow to Greg.
I work with this organization so that one day opiate/heroin deaths stop in their tracks and we end what I call the ‘the public health crisis of the 21st century’.
The goal, simply, is to save lives. First, save the life. Where there is life, there is HOPE!
atTAcK addiction was formed by my daughter and son-in-law shortly after the death of my grandson, following an accidental drug overdose. The parents and family members of those affected by this disease, dedicating their lives to this cause inspire me with their conviction and determination to do something about this terrible epidemic every day. I hope we continue to educate the community, raising awareness about this disease, work with our legislators to improve Delaware treatment facilities, and mobilize support for those in recovery.
We have been blessed by wonderful, generous people supporting our cause.
Experiencing the devastating impact of addiction first-hand, and now grateful for long-term recovery, I wanted to give back and help others. This energetic organization focused on affecting positive change, with a strong emphasis on “not talking about it, but doing it” drew me in engaged me. I am hopeful that by continuing the type of work we have been doing, we will continue to reduce the stigma of addiction, such that more people come on board and help support our agenda. I have seen that happen already; if the stigma can lessen and hopefully disappear one day soon, we can win this battle.
Bob is also on the Board of Directors at Brandywine Counseling & Community Services, a leading community provider of addiction and behavioral health services.
Advocacy, Founding Member
On December 23, 2012 we lost our youngest child, Tyler Armstrong Keister, to his first and only overdose. When we lost Ty, we felt very alone. Starting this charity made us realize that there were a lot of other families dealing with the nightmare of addiction; we were inspired to help others avoid our most devastating loss. Our family knew by telling his story and sharing our experience, we could reach others – they wouldn’t suffer alone and we might even help them avoid our devastating loss. It’s my hope that our work will continue to break down the stigma so that those people who need help won’t be afraid to seek that help. The ultimate hope is that through our work we continue to educate families so that we have less people becoming addicted in the first place.
Support Group Organizer
Having lived with the addiction problem of others for most of my life, I realized that I needed help and that’s when I found Nar-Anon. There I received the love, support and help that I needed. I want to be there for others with the same understanding and help that I received. Attack Addiction is the perfect place to ” give back.”
Removing the stigma that is currently associated with addiction is one of my primary goals. There is much more work needed to combat this horrible epidemic and I know that we will make a great difference in accomplishing change.
Rebecca King, MSN, RN, NCSN
Primary Prevention Advocate
We are in the midst of one of the worst public health epidemics. I have witnessed first hand the devastation on families and communities. I am the mother of a daughter in long term recovery. I don’t want others to endure the pain our family did. Through education, awareness and support I feel I can help provide hope and help to erase the stigma associated with addiction.
My motto is “HOPE lives; Recovery IS possible”. My hope is that those struggling with any addiction can find peace and serenity in recovery. I hope the awful stigma that is associated with addiction is something others will no longer have to endure.
Recovery Support & Housing
Recovery Home Liaison
As the parent of a recovering addict, I am dedicated to educating families about the dangers of addiction as well as offering support to families in need. Through ongoing community awareness programs and educational awareness programs I believe we can erase the stigma associated with the disease of addiction. I chose this organization for its ability to help those who feel they have no where else to go.
Doug is a retired Delaware State Trooper, and corporate security executive, who bring’s over 25 years of emergency service to the table. Doug lives in New Castle with his wife, Dee who is an active member of atTAcK addiction. They are the proud parents of David, Andrew and Meghan.
Loan and Scholarship Programs
We are close friends with the Keister family and Tyler was like a 2nd son to me. My oldest son and Tyler were best friends. This is a terrific organization of “home grown” people who come from all different backgrounds and are motivated for different reasons but we are all driving toward a common goal. And the fact that we are making a difference and saving lives is incredibly inspiring. My hope is that we continue to grow and change the future for those suffering from the disease of addiction; that we expand with others who can continue the work we have begun.
Recovery Activities Organizer
I lost my 24 year old brother, Tyler Keister on December 23, 2012. None of us thought that addiction would enter our lives, but it did. When I saw how many people showed up for this cause, it was truly inspiring. I think our group has had a positive impact on people going through this within their own families. I hope that we continue to create a less judgmental public and foster a supportive community so that when addiction grabs someone they will seek help. I am proud to be part of an organization that honors those we’ve lost and supports those who still fight.
The three capitalized letters in atTAcK represent my brothers initials-Tyler Armstrong Keister. Although the name of our non-profit honors my brother, this organization has the power to affect everyone who has suffered from this disease.
Recovery Support Services
As a person in long-term recovery I have personally battled with addiction and mental illness and I know the struggles it entails. I know the pain addiction causes to the addict and everyone who cares about them. I don’t want others to go thru that pain if they don’t have to and for the people who are going thru that pain, I want to help them through it. I was a friend of Tyler Keister and I saw him struggle thru his addiction, until he ended up losing the battle. I have been with Attack Addiction since its inception and I have had the honor and pleasure of seeing the positive difference we have made in the lives of those who struggle with addiction. My hope is that through our work, more people become educated on the truth of addiction and the possibility of a positive outcome.
Marketing and Communication Strategy
My wife and I are parents to 4 children. Our 2 boys are in long term recovery from opiate addiction. Our oldest sons best friend, Tyler. Our members create hope and action for others in need. Addiction is a family disease and we have young people in recovery, siblings, spouses, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who come to us in need. We have walked their path and lived their nightmare — we are a community who can support, direct and advise. My hope is we could work our way out of existence but that is not likely in my lifetime so my hope is that we continue to build a community that inspires and motivates others to erase the stigma of addiction and motivate those in need through their recovery.
William J. Lynch Jr, BS-Pharm, RPh
William J. Lynch Jr, BS-Pharm, RPh, is a Member of the atTAcK addiction Advisory Board. Mr. Lynch received his pharmacy degree from Rutgers University and is a practicing clinical staff pharmacist with Jefferson Health Cherry Hill Hospital and is adjunct faculty with the Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine (RSOM) Department of Emergency Medicine. His pharmacy background includes more than 30 years of clinical practice at Jefferson Health/RSOM. He is a member of many coalitions and committees. He is often requested to be a speaker at national conferences.
By being involved in non-profit organizations like atTAcK addiction allows one to help others in a collective way with other great people who share a similar cause and passion. To be able to share your talents and treasures to help those less fortunate is the ultimate reason.
The sincerity and passion of the people involved with atTAcK addiction draws you into wanting to join them. They want to help people every day, in any way possible. As a healthcare professional working in a hospital we try to save lives every day and unfortunately witness the trauma of those experiencing an overdose and the devastating impact on their families and friends. atTAck addiction through their collective efforts is a positive force in our world that is saving lives everyday with their initiatives and hard work that is laser focused on helping individuals and families struggling with addiction. Saving peoples’ lives-how could you not want to be a part of that effort?
Katy Berkow, Ph.D.
My primary work centers around grant-based funding of projects and services. I also work with our organization practices and processes towards Standards for Excellence certification. As a friend of the Keister family, I want to do my part in supporting addiction recovery and prevention in Tyler’s honor. The kindness and support members provide to friends old and new, impact on the community, and small steps every day toward a common goal inspire me! I hope an even healthier, happier Delaware is in our future!
I hope to continue to add value to building awareness that will eradicate the stigma associated with the disease of addiction. As a former Cabinet Secretary of Health and Social Services I saw first hand the destruction and loss of life, this disease has on the individuals and their loved ones. I also witnessed the need to develop outreach and advance programs and services that facilitate ongoing long term recovery and move aware from punitive practices. atTAcK addiction welcomed me in to learn more of the disease through the eyes of those impacted by disease. They instilled in me a sense of hope and direction in how best to build a trauma informed system of care. While advancing the recovery system of care, I learned that my college age daughter was facing her own addiction to alcohol and asked for intervention. I quickly learned that my friends at atTAcK addiction entered my life for my personal well being as well as my professional role. The support this group provides to the community as a whole through education and wellness is creating immense positive change. The support they provide to each other who face this disease is a life line. I experience that support and words do not adequately capture the gratitude.
Information Technology Support
I am a parent of two children in active recovery. Volunteering my time for this organization allowed me to “do something”. It allowed me to “give back” to the community that has supported my family through this maze of a life dealing with addiction and hopefully recovery. We share a common goal and come together as one. It is such an inspiration to work alongside these people to get things done and truly work on moving forward to bring about change in how society looks at addiction and assist with providing options to others who look to us for help. My hope is that we continue to affect change in how addiction is viewed and erase the stigma. I would hope to see more options for families… recovery facilities, transitional homes and sober schools.