Weitzman ECHO Peer Recovery Specialists (September 7, 2022)

September 7, 2022

Program Information

Weitzman ECHO Peer Recovery Specialists is available for enrollment to Peer Recovery Specialists or similar roles who work through a health system from Delaware and regional states. You should have received an access code in your email communication about registering for this program. If you are interested in enrolling and have not yet received an access code, please contact us here.

The Weitzman Institute partners with local and regional stakeholders to offer state or regional Project ECHO programs. If you are interested in receiving information on these partnerships, please reach out to us here to learn more. 

Weitzman Peer Recovery ECHO is a collaboration between the following organizations:

peer recovery ECHO collaborators

Acknowledgement of Support

This program is offered by the State of Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services in collaboration with the Weitzman Institute for Peer Recovery Specialists in SAMHSA Region III as well as National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors throughout the northeast region.

Target Audience

This activity is appropriate for peer recovery specialists.

Registration Information

There is no fee associated with this program.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, the participant should be able to do the following:

  • Define "team based care."
  • Describe the benefits of "team based care."
  • Review the peer role in a team.
  • Discuss co-opting and how to stay true to the peer role.
  • Share challenging client case studies and discuss possible options for addressing those challenges.
Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 Participation Hour(s)
    If you are not able to utilize any of the above credit types, you are able to download an unaccredited Participation Certificate for your records.
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 
Event starts: 
09/07/2022 - 12:00pm EDT
Event ends: 
09/07/2022 - 1:00pm EDT


This ECHO meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month from 12-1pm ET. Below are the dates of all remaining sessions:

  • April 6, 2022
  • April 20, 2022
  • May 4, 2022
  • May 18, 2022
  • June 1, 2022
  • June 15, 2022
  • July 6, 2022
  • July 20, 2022
  • August 3, 2022
  • August 17, 2022
  • September 7, 2022
  • September 21, 2022


Susan Dembowczyk headshotSusan Dembowczyk, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, is a contractor who works with DSAMH on the Integration and Social Detriments Bureau. Susan believes she can provide hope and promote self-advocacy in the people she serves by sharing her story of recovery. Susan’s mission is to improve resources in the community and promote independence and stabilization of the people served. Susan is a person in recovery and suffered from substance abuse and various forms of trauma. With Susan’s lived experience, training and involvement in the community, her hopes are to “pass this on” and promote independence. Susan has worked at the Delaware Psychiatric Hospital, Connections ACT3 Team and the Christiana Hospital with Project Engage in the capacity of a Peer Support Specialist. Susan participated in various trainings and seminars and continues to update her credentials. 

Karen DiNardo headshotKaren DiNardo, BA, works for Mental Health Association in DE (MHA) and is the Director of Peer Training and Outreach Services. Karen works with Peer Specialists as well as those interested in becoming a Peer throughout Delaware. (MHA) is the approved training provider in Peer Support for the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). Karen also consults with a variety of (DSAMH) providers/agencies who seek to add Peers to their workforce. Karen recognizes the power that the Peer role plays, in both a team based and individual environment, with those who are in recovery from substance use, mental health, or co-occurring issues. Karen sees how pivotal it is for all Peer Specialists to share their personal recovery story with the individuals they support as well as “broker” communication issues, teach self-advocacy and inspire hope. Karen has worked in Peer-related services since 2010 when the state of Delaware reached a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice in relation to services received by individuals with substance use, mental health, and co-occurring issues. Prior to her work in Peer services, Karen spent over 18 years working for J.P. Morgan Chase.

Gerard Galuchi headshotGerard Gallucci, MD, MHS, is currently the Director of Residency Education for the Delaware Psychiatry Residency Program.    From 2006- 2012 , he was the Medical Director of the Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and from 2012-2017 he was the Medical Director of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services .  He is a graduate of Columbia College (NY), the George Washington School of Medicine (DC), and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Baltimore).  He completed his psychiatry residency at Johns Hopkins and a NIH-sponsored fellowship in psychiatric epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  His clinical and research interests are in public psychiatry, psychiatric epidemiology and the mental health aspects of developmental disabilities.  He holds faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins (Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health), The Sidney Kimmel Medical College (Thomas Jefferson University),  Drexel University College of Medicine,  and the University of Delaware. Dr. Gallucci is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Mary Wise headshotMary Wise, MA, MFA, BSN, RN, is a DSAMH Special Projects Nurse who works with Dr. Sherry Nykiel, Acting Medical Director and Chief of Addiction Psychiatry, to develop and implement projects designed to directly address the opioid crisis in Delaware. Mary knows that substance use disorders thrive in an environment of shame and secrecy and believes it is her mission to educate, provide resources, and help afflicted individuals rise up so they can feel whole again. She knows that treating individuals with a substance use disorder is complex and takes a multi-faceted approach that builds a strong foundation of support and resources. Mary works on multiple projects evolving under the SOR grant and is in the process of developing additional routes to bridge OUD patients with the support they need to help rebuild their lives within the community. Mary is a Registered Nurse, certified in BLS and ACLS, with a background in acute care. She is a former college professor and is working toward becoming a Certified Addictions Nurse.  Mary holds an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Rosemont College, a BSN RN in Nursing from West Chester University, and an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Kyneta Lee headshotKyneta Lee, BS, is the Director of Design and Technology at the Mental Health Association in Delaware where she provides training and support to Peer Support workers who wish to obtain or maintain their Peer Recovery Specialist Certification. She has worked in the profession of Peer Support since 2013. During her time in this field, she witnessed the power of Peer Support to make a monumental difference in the lives of those living with mental health and substance use disorders. Kyneta strongly believes in the innate resilience of people and firmly believes everyone can recover and live in wellness.  Because of this, she diligently works toward providing programs and opportunities to help people find their path to wellness and recovery.  A tool that has been instrumental in her work is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).  Kyneta is a Copeland Center trained Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator and works with agencies throughout the country to facilitate WRAP workshops and train WRAP Facilitators. In addition, she is the co-founder of Planting to Thrive, which provides therapeutic gardening and wellness programs in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Beth J. Sikma, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, works for DSAMH’s Community Integration Peers (CIP) team. She primarily works with clients at the Delaware Psychiatric Center (DPC), in New Castle, DE. She provides support while helping clients learn about self-advocacy, relationship building, goal setting, and self-esteem building to aid in the process of transitioning into the community. Beth believes that peer services are an integral part of the collaborative efforts and ongoing support and engagement from all health care practitioners, managers, and other stakeholders. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware, is a certified Peer Recovery Specialist through the Delaware Certification Board, is currently working on her MSW at Widener University and her CADC through the Delaware Certification Board, and is a member of the Board of Directors for Sojourners’ Place Homeless Shelter. 

Laura Butherus, LSW, is a Social Service Administrator with the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Laura is a Licensed Social Worker who takes pride in assisting individuals by connecting them to the services they will need to live successfully in the community, using the least restrictive, person-centered approach. Laura has been with the State of Delaware since 2013 working in a variety of Divisions: The Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, The Department of Prevention and Behavioral Health for Youth and Families, The Delaware Psychiatric Center and in her current role with The Eligibility and Enrollment Unit under DSAMH.

Weitzman Institute Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of the Weitzman Institute to ensure that Continuing Education (CE) activities are independent and free of commercial bias. To ensure educational content is objective, balanced, and guarantee content presented is in the best interest of its learners' and the public, the Weitzman Institute requires that everyone in a position to control educational content disclose all financial relationships with ineligible companies within the prior 24 months. An ineligible company is one whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. Examples can be found at accme.org.

Faculty participating in a Weitzman Institute-sponsored activity must disclose to the planning committee and audience all financial or other relationship(s) with ineligible companies.

Faculty Disclosures

No faculty disclosed a relevant financial relationship for this program.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Participation Hour(s)
    If you are not able to utilize any of the above credit types, you are able to download an unaccredited Participation Certificate for your records.
Please login or register to take this activity.

Required Hardware/Software

  • This online activity requires use of a device connected to the Internet, such as a computer tablet or mobile device. 
  • The ECHO will take place over Zoom, which must be accessed directly from within the activity.