Community Resilience: Recovering Together

July 30, 2018

Caroline Miller, MSW
Director, Wisconsin Voices for Recovery
Associate Researcher, UW-Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Rally for Recovery, State Capitol, Madison WI, September 2017

Wisconsin Voices for Recovery is actively building community resilience through its events and programming across the state. Two initiatives in particular, the ED2Recovery program and the Rally for Recovery in celebration of 2018 National Recovery Month, demonstrate the important ways that people in recovery, their friends and families, have come together to support recovering together in Wisconsin.


ED2Recovery is a program that pairs Recovery Coaches and Peer Support Specialists with individuals who have survived an opioid overdose or who have been admitted to the Emergency Department for other opioid-related issues. ED2Recovery is currently working with 22 hospitals in 17 counties to employ more than 104 certified Recovery Coaches.

The Level Up!: Coaches are the Game Changer Conference is going to be a place for the ED2Recovery Coaching network to boost their skills and enhance the support services they provide. This is a crucial element in harnessing the power and potential of recovery capital available in WI to save lives and build thriving communities.
This is a unique program nationally, as it creates a statewide network of medical providers and ED settings, peer support providers, and recovery community organizations, or RCOs.
  • As of May 2018, Recovery Coaches who are a part of the ED2Recovery network have made 526 contacts with those seeking recovery following an opioid overdose or other opioid-related admission in the Wisconsin Eds. 
  • People seeking support have spent 25,934 minutes with Recovery Coaches from the ED2Recovery program!*
*Wisconsin Voices for Recovery will  be conducting a rigorous evaluation of the program and effectiveness of peer support provided in community-based settings such as the ED. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months. 

Professional Growth of Peer Workforce 

The ED2Recovery program builds community resilience and also supports the professional growth of Wisconsin's peer workforce. This October, Helios Addiction Recovery Services is coordinating the first annual LEVEL UP Conference in Appleton, WI.  This conference will equip the Recovery Coaches and Certified Peer Support Specialists who are part of ED2Recovery with the skills they need to build a strong community of resilient peer support providers.

Rally for Recovery

Every year in September, hundreds of people gather at the State Capitol to celebrate National Recovery Month at the Wisconsin Voices for Recovery Rally for Recovery. This year, we're hosting our fifth annual event that celebrates the joys of recovery from addiction, honors those we have lost to addiction and their family members, and educates the public about the realities of addiction as a medical condition.
The 2018 Rally for Recovery is focused on encouraging social connectedness through partnerships and building a culture of resilience in order to build a stronger foundation against the opiate epidemic and the current public health crisis.  Jessica Geschke, Statewide Program Coordinator

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 22, 11:00-2:00pm, State Capitol, Madison. Our featured speaker is spoken word artist Joseph Green.

This year's event theme is Community Resilience: Recovering Together, because we know that it is only when we join together and support each other as a community that change can happen. Change on the personal level, through hope and transformation, and change on the community level, making our families healthier, safer, and stronger.

Wisconsin Voices for Recovery is a peer-run recovery project supported by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. For more information about ED2Recovery, Rally for Recovery, or how you can get involved, visit our website at:

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