Online ECHO Clinic | August 4, 2020

Presentation Title: Supporting Peers and Staff in Harm Reduction Programs

This presentation is the second of two discussions on peer-centered harm reduction practices. Harm reduction peers integrate their personal lived experiences into the harm reduction and early recovery support services they provide to their community. Good supervision supports harm reduction peers to meet administrative related responsibilities, set and meet continuing professional education and skills goals, reflect upon their experiences, and engage in self-care. The purpose of this presentation is to share and discuss harm reduction peer supervision from the perspective of a supervisor and recovery peer support specialists.


Presenter Bios

Blue Valentine CHW, Harm Reduction Peer Specialist, currently works as part of a cross-program team of communicable disease, health navigation, and harm reduction staff at Benton County Health Department, as part of the End HIV Oregon Project. Her work includes street and camp outreach, rapid testing, syringe services, client advocacy, naloxone distribution, and HIV and STI education. She coordinates a regional harm reduction group for the Linn, Benton, Lincoln, and Siletz region that has a focus on overdose prevention and naloxone access. Blue began working in Harm Reduction in Los Angeles in 1992. She has extensive experience providing HIV/HCV/STI prevention and testing and syringe services to diverse communities, including people who use drugs, people experiencing homelessness, sex workers, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people living with HIV.

Francisca “Sissy” Rilatos, CHW, Certified Recovery Mentor, currently works as a Harm Reduction Outreach Specialist for the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians located in Siletz, Oregon.  The Confederated Tribes of Siletz is the only tribe in Oregon that currently has a harm reduction program. Sissy is a Siletz tribal member and has lived in Siletz her entire life. She has an extensive background with addiction. She has 20 years of lived experience which gives her the unique ability to reach clients. Services she currently provides include syringe access, naloxone distribution, HIV/Hep C rapid testing, and peer support. Sissy is in recovery and is very passionate about providing services to people living with substance use disorders. Sissy believes harm reduction is multi-faceted, that all clients make progress and abstinence is not the only way to measure success.

Danica Love Brown, MSW, PhD, is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, born and raised in Northern New Mexico. She currently is the Behavioral Health Manager at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and has worked as a mental health and substance abuse counselor, social worker and youth advocate for over 20 years. She has a history of working in the areas of prevention, drug and alcohol/mental health treatment, community and restorative justice, and sexual health with Native American and adjudicated youth, families and women. She specializes in working with culturally and socioeconomically diverse populations and Tribal communities, utilizing a trauma informed care framework.

Jessica Rienstra, BSN, RN, is the Hepatitis C Project Coordinator at Lummi Tribal Health Center.

Presentation Slides


Resources Shared

Breaking Isolation: Self Care and Community Care Tools for Our People

BRSS: Resources for the Supervision of Peer Workers

BRSS: Supervisor of Peer Workers Self-Assessment

BRSS: Supervision of Peer Workers

Peer Recovery Support: Integrating Peer Support Workers Into Interdisciplinary Care Teams

SAMSHA: Guidelines for Peer Supervision