The Task Force

What is the Task Force?

The Governor’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force is a coalition of professionals and community members statewide with the goal of preventing overdoses and saving lives. In July 2017, the Governor signed an Executive Order that enhances the existing strategies of the Task Force’s Action Plan in the areas of prevention, treatment, rescue and recovery.

NEW See the Governor’s Task Force Strategic Plan 2019-2021 Update.

When does the Task Force meet?

The Task Force meets monthly from 11:00am-12:30pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month on Zoom:


Join Zoom Meeting Link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 977 8384 1890
Dial in: 646-558-8656

Upcoming agendas and minutes are posted on the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s website the Friday before each Governor’s Task Force meeting.



Ana Novais, MS; Acting Secretary, Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Richard Charest, MBA; Director, Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH)


Task Force Expert Advisers

  • Jef Bratberg, PharmD; The University of Rhode Island, Department of Pharmacy Practice
  • Jonathan Goyer, Director, Rhode Island Recovery Friendly Workplaces
  • Traci Green, PhD; Boston University School of Medicine and Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
  • Brandon Marshall, PhD; Brown University School of Public Health
  • Josiah Rich, MD, MPH; The Miriam Hospital
  • Elinore McCance-Katz, MD; BHDDH Chief Medical Officer


Task Force Members

  • Acting Director Kevin Aucoin, Rhode Island Department of Children and Families
  • Jennifer Bryan, Community member
  • Alexander Chirkov, MD; State Center for the Office of Medical Examiners, RIDOH
  • Raymond Coia, New England Laborers Health and Safety Fund
  • Matthew Collins, MD; Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
  • Director Patricia A. Coyne-Fague, Rhode Island Department of Corrections
  • Thomas Davis, CVS Pharmacy
  • Catherine DeGood, DO; Care New England
  • Heidi Driscoll, Rhode Island Regional Prevention Coalitions
  • Christy Durant, Rhode Island Dental Association
  • Mary Dwyer, MS, M.Ed., APRN-CNS; Rhode Island Nurses Association
  • Representative Jay Edwards, Rhode Island General Assembly
  • Honorable Michael J. Feeney, Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Court
  • Sarah Fessler, MD; Rhode Island Medical Society
  • Patrick Tigue, PhD; Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner
  • Jane Hayward, Rhode Island Health Center Association
  • Linda Hurley, CEO; CODAC, Inc.
  • Susan Jacobsen, Director of Health Equity Initiatives, Thundermist Health Equity Zones Initiative
  • Matthew Weldon, Department of Labor and Training
  • Thomas F. Joyce, LCDP,CPRS; East Bay Recovery Center
  • Melanie Lippman, MD; Emergency Medicine, Lifespan, Inc.
  • Laurie MacDougall, Education Director, Rhode Island Community for Addiction Recovery Efforts (RICARES)
  • Colonel James Manni, Rhode Island State Police
  • James McDonald, MD, MPH; Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline, RIDOH
  • Michelle McKenzie, Preventing Overdose and Naloxone Intervention (PONI)
  • Senator Joshua Miller, Rhode Island General Assembly
  • Peter Neronha, Attorney General
  • Patricia Ogera, MD; State Center for the Office of Medical Examiners, RIDOH
  • Taino Palermo, Commission on Health Equity and Advocacy
  • Peter Ragosta, RPh; Rhode Island Board of Pharmacy, RIDOH
  • Jason Rhodes, Department of Health, Emergency Management Services, RIDOH
  • Mike Rizzi, Harm Reduction Representative
  • Honorable Kristin E. Rodgers, Associate Justice, Rhode Island Superior Court
  • Monica Smith, Rhode Island Communities for Addiction Recovery Efforts (RICARES)
  • Susan Storti, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CARN-AP; The Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of Rhode Island
  • Chief Brian Sullivan, Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association
  • Teresa Paiva Weed, Hospital Association of Rhode Island
  • Aaron L. Weisman, Esq.; United States Attorney
  • Secretary Womazetta Jones, Executive Office of Health and Human Services
  • Kasim Yarn, Office of Veterans Affairs