BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Health Care and Rehabilitation Services, southeastern Vermont’s community mental-health agency, has hired Rosie Nevins-Alderfer as the new project director for the Windham Consortium on Substance Use. Nevins-Alderfer previously held the position of director of restorative justice programs at Youth Services, where she worked from 2015 to 2018. Moving forward, she will provide direction, coordination, and facilitation for COSU’s efforts.
“What excites me most about the work of COSU is the opportunity to elevate the voices of individuals in our community most impacted by opiate overdoses and deaths, and to combine the collective expertise of individuals with lived experience, with providers, data, and evidence-based practices,” Nevins-Alderfer stated. “I am inspired by the work of the COSU, and my hope for the next three years is a fundamental change in the way our community responds to the opiate epidemic: a transformation to curiosity from fear, to compassion from judgment, to connection from detachment, to value from shame, and ultimately to life from death.”
Nevins-Alderfer has an extensive background working at the intersection of social work, social justice, and the legal system. She graduated from Earlham College with a bachelor’s degree in human development and social relations and earned her J.D. from Northeastern University Law School with a focus in legal services, public policy, restorative justice, and nonprofit leadership. She has worked for the Boston Juvenile Court, Greater Boston Legal Services, and the AIDS Action Committee in Massachusetts as a clerk.
Additionally, she has experience working for the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health and for the Deval Patrick Administration, where she was awarded the Rappaport Fellowship in Law and Public Policy in 2014. She is a licensed attorney in the state of Massachusetts and a small-business owner in Brattleboro.
COSU is a countywide collaboration of local organizations that work across the continuum of substance use prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery to address the impacts of opioid and other substance use. HCRS is the fiscal agent for this program. Membership currently includes Health Care and Rehabilitation Services, Southern Vermont Area Health Education Center, Windham County Prevention Partnership, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Turning Point Recovery Center of Springfield, Habit OPCO, Youth Services, Grace Cottage Hospital, AIDS Project of Southern Vermont, Brattleboro Retreat, Turning Point of Windham County, Vermont Department of Health, and Vermont State Police.
The COSU is in the process of enacting a diverse and more equitable membership structure that will include a majority membership of individuals most impacted by the opiate epidemic.