Jeremy has been in the field of addiction treatment for 10 years. Prior to founding Recovery Connections of Maine he worked in several cities in Maine. Jeremy has a strong passion for serving those suffering from addiction issues. He has a strong belief that adverse childhood experiences play a role in the development of substance use disorder. Jeremy's philosophy is embedded in unconditional positive regard and that no client that walks through the doors can do anything that would cause them to be viewed in a negative light. Jeremys core beliefs are that people do not fail treatment that treatment fails people. Jeremy places a strong emphasis on community collaboration.
Jeremy has a background in advocacy. He is a former chapter lead of Young People in Recovery and has joined them in Washington D.C advocating for common sense legislation for substance users and people in recovery. Jeremy has spearheaded community events that include block parties in his community. He has volunteered his time in the Maine Correctional Center for the past 12 years and is currently doing so. Jeremy facilitated an Adult Education class on substance use disorder and language training. Jeremy places a lot of emphasis on community integration organizing men in treatment o donate their time to local soup kitchens. Jeremy has spoken to countless high school, college classes, and events in the community.
Jeremy is also a youth sports coach football, baseball and basketball in his local community and has also sponsor teams to attend tournaments.
Michael has been in the recovery field since October of 2015, and has been working with individuals in treatment as a licensed counselor in Maine since November of 2016. He served as a board member, and treasurer of a grassroots advocacy organization in Belfast Maine called W.e.C.A.R.E. (Waldo encourages community assisted recovery efforts) from August 2014, until relocating to Lewiston full time in January of 2016.
Michael was born in Norfolk, Virginia, but was raised in Maine, with a brief amount of time being spent in North Carolina, attending school in the south in the eighties.(YOWZERS) He spent his adolescent years between Wiscasset and Brunswick, Maine, switching between their school systems. He was raised predominantly by his great grandmother.
Michael believes in treatment and recovery, as he himself battled with his own addictions from the age of 12. "I think that I was addicted the first time I ever used. As soon as I got that first substance in me I wanted more, more more....That was actually my substance of choice, more. Whatever I used I always wanted more." Michael believes his addictions all started from his trauma from early childhood, and believes most folks with substance use disorders come from trauma as well. "I really wasn't using to get high, I was using to get relief." Now that he identifies as a person in long-term recovery, he wants to work with folks to help them accomplish their goals and live a life of recovery. "Coming to work is not a chore for me, it's a privilege. I am grateful that I get to ride this roller-coaster with folks, and accompany them for a small part on their journey to a recovery, whatever that looks like for them. I love to see their progress, their hope, their determination. Often, I get the see the sparkle come back to their eyes."
Benjamin Fortier is the Front Desk/Medical Records Coordinator for RCOM since December 2021.
Benjamin comes with years of experience working in many Administrative Roles in the Mental Health field and looks forward to becoming a help for the helpers of RCOM.
Benjamin graduated college from CMCC in 2013 with an Associates in Applied Science with a major in Computer Technology.
Benjamin hopes to go back to school to work on becoming a CADC in the near future.
The recovery process has played a big part in Benjamin's childhood. Alcoholism and addiction has hit his family hard, but hasn't defined his legacy as a person.
"Everyone deserves a chance to define their own legacy as a person no matter where they came from"
Benjamin was born in Lewiston, Maine but grew up in Augusta through his early adolescent years graduating from Cony High School. Benjamin moved back to Lewiston in 2010 where he reconnected with his now wife of 10 years.
Benjamin is a proud father of 3 amazing children. (2 teenage girls and an adult son)
In his free time, Benjamin is an avid Disc Golfer and plays on/coaches multiple Coed Softball teams. Benjamin is a diehard Boston Bruins fan and also roots for the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, and New York Yankees. Ben Fortier
Christine comes from a background in activism. After studying International Relations at Boston University, she became involved with the peace, economic justice and environmental justice movements. Christine advocated for a variety of causes during this time through organizing efforts with international dignitaries, business leaders, community organizations and educators. Before transitioning to mental health work five years ago, Christine also worked in higher education administration in Boston.
Christine believes that there is a tremendous capacity to recover in each person, regardless of diagnosis or starting point, and has seen amazing client success stories over the last few years. Christine has also experienced significant mental health challenges in her lifetime; at times, these challenges put her hopes and aspirations in jeopardy and required her to actively engage in a recovery process. Today, she is glad to have the opportunity to connect with and support folks who are in their own process of recovery.
In her free time, Christine loves to go to the gym, run, play with her cat and dog, dream about warm weather and think about what it means to be healthy. She is currently completing a Health & Wellness Coaching certificate program offered at University of Wisconsin.
Brandy Hiltz is the Co-Founder and Director of Administration at Recovery Connections of Maine. Brandy has over 12 years of administrative experience in office management and human resources. She assists in the development and implementation of practice policies and procedures; manages and oversees the administration of HR policy and procedure as well as the billing for the practice. Brandy also has a case management background which is also useful for clients. Although most of her time is spent behind the scenes, she makes time to get to know the clients as much as possible.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, boating, organizing get togethers, watching sports, and spending time at the family camp.
Katlyn has been in the recovery field since 2015 and has been certified to treat people struggling with addiction since 2018. Katlyn has experience working in the Lewiston community as a Case manager, Patient Navigator and Peer support to those struggling with substance use. I am currently studying for my LADC.
Born in South Boston Mass
Moved to Maine in 2005
Attended UMA and earned my degree the unconventional way
I believe that we are human beings before anything, our substance use does not define who we are but is a direct result of trauma we faced at some point in our lives. I am passionate about helping others, this community helped me when I did not know how to love myself.
I believe in this work, I battled my own demons and have been in recovery since 2010. It works! And coming here everyday does not feel like work , it feels like purpose. I fought so long to find my purpose and through my own recovery and our recovery community i have found my purpose.
I look forward to growing professionally here, but more importantly i look forward to watching our clients grow into who they are meant to be.
River has worked in recovery since 2017, starting as a live-in house manager with a recovery housing non-profit. River continues to manage recovery houses to this day. His own recovery journey led him to pursuing obtaining his MHRT/C and CADC to be able to work with individuals in the field of addiction. River is passionate about recovery and helping others.
Brittany earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social and Behavioral Science from the University of Southern Maine in 2016 and a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in violence prevention and advocacy from Lasell College in 2018. Brittany is a certified alcohol and drug counselor and recently attained her MHRT/P.
Brittany grew up in the Lewiston-Auburn area and thrives to help this community in any way that she can. Brittany loves learning, spending quality time with her two boys, family, as well as friends. Brittany's daily goal is to be "better than I was yesterday." "I want to be the best version of me and that means I must make self-care a priority."
Brittany believes that substance use stems from trauma. "Everyone has their own definition of trauma. One person's trauma may not look like the next person's." Brittany has a strong belief that with the proper treatment and support, recovery is possible and achievable. With Brittany identifying as a person in recovery she uses her personal experience to back up her belief. Brittany feels that she needs to give back to those who are in a position she was once in. "I enjoy coming to work knowing that I can be of service to individuals in our program as well as the staff at RCOM. I am inspired by individuals in our program; their drive, motivation to change, progress, and ability to show up daily to treatment."
Marissa joined Recovery Connections of Maine in March of 2021. Marissa has worked in the healthcare field for the last 10 years, most recently working in behavioral services at St. Mary's before joining Recovery Connections of Maine. Marissa started as the Medical Office Coordinator here at Recovery Connections of Maine and recently accepted the position as the quality assurance specialist for the agency. Marissa's primary job as the Quality Assurance Specialist is to support and ensure the compliance of all aspects throughout the agency. Marissa's job is also to ensure that all Recovery Connections of Maine staff adhere to documentation standards and are consistent with excellent client care.
In her free time, Marissa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and making lasting memories with her son.
Chantel has been a member of the RCOM team since 2019. She began her journey with RCOM as an intern and has since become a substance use counselor. Chantel is an involved member of the recovery community. She is the chairwoman and a founding board member of The R.E.S.T Center, Lewiston's first recovery community center. Chantel believes in advocacy and has been active in many advisory committees and community organizing teams to be a voice of hope and create recovery ready communities. Chantel is a strong advocate for person-first language and ending the stigma surrounding substance use disorders. She believes in empowering folks to be the best versions of themselves and supports all pathways to recovery. Chantel puts great emphasis on trauma-informed care and providing ALL folks with unconditional positive regard.
Chantel's love for the recovery community grew from her experience of being a person with substance use disorder. Chantel identifies with being a person in long-term recovery, but also as a mother of two young children, a student, a daughter, etc. She believes folks are multifaceted and hold many roles. She stays busy and is motivated to lead by example as her children are the center of her world. Her free time is spent with her children, enjoying family, and at the gym (sometimes).
Becka has worked in the recovery field since 2010 beginning her journey in residential substance use treatment for mothers and their children. Prior to working there, Becka earned her bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. Becka went on to pursue a master's degree through Goddard College in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a focus on expressive therapy. Becka is currently a CADC and a LCPC-C. Becka sees clients in outpatient but is primarily a clinician at the Travas House residential program for men. Becka believes that a disconnection with self that often stems from trauma can create a lack of connection to others. This absence may impact the emergence of an unhealthy attachment and relationship to develop with substances. As human beings we are wired to connect for better or for worse. It is through developing healthy bonds and relationships that a person's substance use and mental health symptoms can begin the process of healing.