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Issue 3 | Winter 2024

It's a great day at the WRA!

Greetings! In this issue, we are thrilled to share highlights from Recovery Advocacy Day 2024, welcoming new leadership, partner news, a t-shirt design contest, upcoming events and more. Remember, we are here for you, so if you have a story or an event you would like to publish in future editions, please submit your content to


Amplifying Voices of Recovery in Olympia:

Recovery Advocacy Day 2024

On January 25, the Washington Recovery Alliance was joined in Olympia by more than 174 recovery advocates from across the state to ask lawmakers for their vote to support pro-recovery legislation at Recovery Advocacy Day 2024. Together, we were able to meet with 111 lawmakers and staff. We offered an overdose prevention and response booth and a recovery open mic for the first time during this event. Our team distributed approximately 100 lifesaving Naloxone kits and other recovery supports to attendees free of charge. During the open mic session, we heard powerful recovery stories from fellow community members to ground us further in our work. We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to help bring so many community members together to advocate for urgently needed changes to our state’s behavioral health care system.

We want to express our heartfelt appreciation to the planning team for their endless dedication and hard work in organizing meetings, promotions, volunteer training, and other related tasks that made this event unforgettable. We extend our gratitude to everyone who supported, helped, and contributed to this important event, especially our incredible sponsors, Board of Directors, carpool drivers, and fellow partners. Your contributions have played a vital role in the success of this event, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Welcoming New and Returning Leadership

During the WRA Annual Meeting held in November of last year, the Board of Directors elected candidates to leadership roles. Additionally, a new Regional Advisor joined the team in December. If you're interested in learning more, read on for a brief introduction to these fantastic leaders.

Vice President, Joel Chavez

Joel is a Substance Use Disorder Professional who has worked in the Behavioral Health field for over 30 years. He has been the Regional Manager of Integrated Managed Care for Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW) in the Greater Columbia Region since January 2019. Prior to joining CHPW, Joel administered a county-based Integrated care system for substance use disorder treatment programs for the Benton County Human Services and the Greater Columbia Behavioral Health Organization. He graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, has three grown children and lives in Kennewick. This election Joel was voted Vice President from his previous role as general member - Congratulations, Joel!


Board Member, Brian Burwell

Brian has been a substance use disorder counselor for 15 years. He is currently an SUD Clinical Supervisor at the Suquamish Tribe Wellness Center. Brian is a licensed independent clinical social worker. Over his career, he has worked on a wide variety of projects, including therapeutic courts, aligning services with medications for opioid use disorder, culturally adapted dialectical behavioral therapy, community crisis response, and harm reduction. Brian also had the opportunity to be part of a handful of coalitions and committees and tries to be available for work in the community whenever possible. He is also a husband, dad, trail runner, nerd, and Sounders FC fan. Welcome to th team, Brian!


Board Member, Stephanie Tompkins

Stephanie is an enrolled elder of the Squaxin Island Tribe and identifies as a person in long-term recovery who is passionate about helping others achieve their goals. She has over eighteen years of experience in addiction treatment and fifteen years in peer services. Her work experience includes Director for Northwest Indian Treatment Center and Thunderbird Residential Center. She has been involved in projects to offer recovery support and peer services to clients and tribes and is a CCAR curriculum facilitator. She has worked with most of the tribes in Washington State in some capacity through referrals, recovery coaching and as a co-founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance, where she served as a board member and a full-term as board president - Welcome back, Stephanie!


In November, the WRA recognized two outgoing board members, former Vice President Alan Muia and Summer Anderson, for their longstanding commitment to the mission of WRA and the greater recovery community.

Many thanks, Alan and Summer - we are so grateful for your many gifts.


Introducing Southwest Washington’s

Regional Advisor, Vince Collins

Vincent Collins serves as the Executive Director of Recovery Café Clark County, a role he has held with dedication and passion. His leadership at the Café reflects a deep commitment to supporting individuals on their journey to recovery from addiction and mental health challenges. Under his guidance, the Café has become a beacon of hope and healing for the community in Vancouver, Washington.

Vince's background in social work, notably his Master of Social Work (MSW) and Recovery Coach Professional (RCP) qualifications, provides a strong foundation for his work. His expertise is evident in the compassionate, holistic approach he takes to recovery support, emphasizing the importance of community, connection, and accessible services for all.

Before stepping into his current role, Vince's career was marked by a focus on outreach and building supportive environments for those in need. His vision for Recovery Café Clark County includes expanding its services, fostering a welcoming space for healing, and strengthening the support network for individuals facing the challenges of recovery.

Vince's leadership is not just administrative; he is deeply involved in the lives of those the Café serves. His approachable demeanor and genuine care for members and staff's well-being embody the core values of Recovery Café Clark County. Under Vince Collins' stewardship, the Café continues to grow as a vital resource for recovery, community engagement, and advocacy for mental health and addiction recovery services.

If you are passionate about recovery and interested in joining our volunteer leadership team, let's connect.


FREE Overdose Prevention and Response Training

The WRA is offering FREE Overdose Prevention and Response Training to groups working to end overdose in their communities. Individuals who are interested in receiving the training are encouraged to attend an existing event. For more information email:


WAQRR Receives 9.6 Million Dollars to Help Expand Recovery Housing in Washington State

After significant negotiation with our state’s Health Care Authority, the Washington Alliance for Quality Residences (WAQRR) has been allocated 9.6 million dollars to award to existing and aspiring recovery residence providers to expand recovery housing in our state. Response already has been extraordinary which means we’ll see a great deal or expansion in the year to come. All homes eligible for this funding will be WAQRR accredited ensuring that they treat residents well and provide healthy recovery environments for their residents. To learn more about WAQRR, you can visit them on the web at


WRA Marks a Decade of Statewide Recovery: Celebrating 10 Years of Connection in 2024

With great joy and excitement, we announce this year is the Washington Recovery Alliance's 10th anniversary, celebrating statewide recovery since 2014! This milestone would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of thousands of community members who have made our mission a reality.

We are thrilled to celebrate this achievement with you all, and we have some exciting opportunities in store for the WRA community later this year. We can't wait to share more details with you soon, so stay tuned!

Once again, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have contributed to the success of the Washington Recovery Alliance's mission. We look forward to many more years of working together to make recovery a reality for all.


Snohomish County Recovery Coalition Makes the News Twice in the First Quarter of 2024

With two articles in two months and a host of community-based activities planned, the Snohomish County Recovery Coalition's members are hitting the ground running with their newly established coalition. You can read more about their media coverage at the following links:

Congratulations SCRC for making waves for recovery!

For more information on the SCRC or to get involved you can connect with the coalition through their Facebook page.




This Thursday Join ATTC at Invitation to Change (ITC)

An event in support of families with a loved one facing substance use challenges.

ITC is a holistic framework based on science and kindness, designed for families and the professionals who support them.

  • The framework includes training, materials and support to equip family members and/or professionals to sponsor a 12-week family peer support group

  • Concepts and strategies included in ITC are also found in three evidence-based approaches—Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training (CRAFT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).


Calling all Artists:

Recovery Design Contest

We have opened our online store and now you can purchase items to rock your #recoverystyle at all times. In addition to offering some WRA and Coalition branded merchandise, we are excited to offer special edition pieces highlighting work from our diverse and talented recovery community. Now through April 30, we are asking artists to submit a t-shirt/promo design to include in our online shop. The selected artist will receive a $250 digital gift card. Happy designing!

You can submit your entry to 


Calling All Peers: The Washington Peer Network

is hosting a quarterly meeting

Join us during our Quarterly Washington Peer Network Meeting led by Program Director, Thomas Jackson.

We're excited to invite you to this year's first of four quarterly meetings, "Bee-lieve in You." At this meeting, you will learn about the Washington Peer Network program, be able to connect and network with peers in the King County region, learn from speaker Marriam Oliver, and play bingo!


WRA Community Leader Survey Coming Soon!

Are you a coalition leader or someone interested in developing community-driven recovery supports in your area?

We're collaborating with field leaders such as CADCA, Opioid Response Network (ORN), and C4 Innovations to provide excellent content for people looking to build or improve local communities of recovery.

In March, we will release a community organizer survey to ensure that your voice is heard. Additionally, don't forget to join us on March 25th at 3 pm for our next monthly community organizer call.

To be added to the monthly call Zoom invitation please send your inquiry to

We look forward to hearing from you!


Call for Recovery Stories and Behavioral Health Experts!

We are looking for people like you — let's talk about recovery.

Join the Director of the King County Recovery Coalition, Heather Venegas, as she hosts a podcast sharing conversations of personal experiences, resources, and supports available for those seeking to overcome substance use and mental health challenges.

For questions or to participate in the podcast, please contact Heather Venegas

Look for new content every other Monday on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music, Youtube and wherever you listen to podcasts.


Benton-Franklin Coalition

Leap to Recovery Breakfast

Support the Columbia Valley Center for Recovery. There will be speakers, updates on the Center and more.  Thursday, February 29, at 7:30 am at the HAPO Center, Pasco, WA.

Contact for more information


SAMHSA 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

New additions to the partner tool kit recently released

Remember to share widely; 988 is a free resource designed to save lives. Access your partner toolkit materials here:

No matter why you need support, the #988Lifeline is there for you. 988 provides free, confidential #MentalHealth support anytime — day or night. Call or text: 988. Chat:


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