The DHS Recovery Unit
Located within the DHS-DAABHS, Office of the State Drug Director (OSDD), the RU is comprised of state employees hired by DHS - DAABHS tasked by both the Drug Director and the Department of Human Services with the following responsibilities:
Jimmy McGill, (Director of Peer Services)
McGill is the Director of Peer Services for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, and the founding member and Chair for the Arkansas Peer Advisory Committee (APAC).
McGill is a certified Peer Recovery Peer Supervisor (PRPS). His lived experience has allowed him to lead the development of the Peer Recovery throughout Arkansas. He has assisted in the training of over 330 Peer Recovery Specialists. His dedicated efforts have allowed Arkansas to place peer recovery inside the Department of Human Services, the Division of Youth Services, the Department of Health, emergency rooms, drug courts, jails, reentry centers, prisons, law enforcement partnerships, Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) and community service centers.
Michael Little, (APR)
Little is an Advanced Peer Recovery (APR) Specialist for the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
He is also a person in long-term sustained recovery. He has served on the team of Growing in Grace Recovery Ministry since 2014. Mr. Little also has professional experience in the arenas of mental health peer support, reentry, and working with the homeless. Currently, he works as a Peer Recovery Specialist for the Arkansas Department of Human Services in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Misty Evans, (PRPS)
Evans is the Peer Recovery Peer Supervisor (PRPS) for the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS).
She is a trainer of trainers and the Co-Chair for the Arkansas Peer Advisory Committee (APAC). Evans is a woman in long term recovery who has transformed her pain into passion, and is now using her past trauma as a platform for helping mothers in the child welfare system. Her journey in the peer profession began in 2018 as a Peer Recovery Specialist, she now supervises peers across Arkansas.
Russell Boyd, (PR)
Boyd is a Peer Recovery Specialist for the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
He is a person in long term recovery from Substance use Disorder and Mental Health challenges. He has battled the nasty grips of Recidivism and now is free off of parole. He is also a student getting a degree in psychology. He has been working as a Peer Support Specialist since 2019. He has also helped build drug programs inside Pulaski County Jail and also worked as a forensic peer inside the court system in Pulaski County. He has a passion for motivating and uplifting people that are still battling and trying to find a better way to live with Substance use disorders and Mental Health challenges. His heart is with our YOUTH and one day hopes to work with them while he is still young and can relate to them.
The Arkansas Peer Advisory Committee (APAC)
This committee, appointed by the Drug Director, is comprised of DHS - RU and up to 15 community stakeholders as members, who are certified Peer workers with extensive knowledge and experience regarding roles of peer specialists and the work they do.
APAC’s primary responsibility is to advise the DHS Recovery Unit on best peer recovery practices and offer guidance to strengthen the peer recovery workforce across the state.
Keith Wright, (PR)
Wright is a person in long term recovery from a substance use disorder, He is currently working at True Self Recovery in Rogers Arkansas as a Counselor In Training.
Keith became a Certificated Peer Recovery Support specialist in Oklahoma and was grandfathered into the Arkansas Peer Specialist Program. As a Peer Recovery Specialist Keith is using lived experience to work with individuals and families in recovery also the community.
Sean Willits, (PR)
Willits is a certified Peer Recovery Specialist working at the Hot Springs Police Department.
He is a person in long term recovery from opioid addiction and survived 14 overdoses and went to 7 different treatment centers during his using. Sean decided to go to work in the field of recovery when he realized he could use his personal experience with addiction to help other people going through the same struggles he once went through.
Casey Copeland, (PRPS)
Copeland is a person in long term recovery certified as a Peer Recovery Peer Supervisor and works for Exodus. Life.
He is a trainer of trainers for the Arkansas Model of Peer Recovery, as well as, Re-Entry Peer Training. He was the first Peer Recovery Specialist in a jail setting and helped to build the infrastructure of the Peer Program in the Lonoke County Jail.
Joseph Cruz, (PR)
Cruz is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist working with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department.
He is a member of Arkansas Peer Advisory Committee. He is a person with sustainable long term recovery that has lived experience with SUD. He is an active advocate for recovery and helping finding multiple pathways to help others in early recovery, empowering and showing recovery is possible
Shalinda Woolbright, (APR)
Woolbright is a Advance Peer Specialist.
One of the hardest things I have had to face has been myself. I learned how to be a mother, daughter, sister, friend, employee, productive member of society and how to give back. Today I am a certified Advance Peer Support Specialist working with AFMC in Public Affairs, I am also a Member of Arkansas APAC committee. Most importantly I am still a person in ongoing recovery.
Josh Ramsey, (PR)
Ramsey is the Peer Recovery Support Specialist working with the Izard County Sheriff’s Department and the 16th Judicial Drug Task Force.
Ramsey resides in Batesville with his wife, Ashley, and their 5 year old son, Ashton. He currently serves Izard, Independence, Cleburne, Stone, and Fulton Counties. Ramsey struggled for 30 years with a substance use disorder. After being arrested dozens of times, Ramsey finally went to a faith-based treatment facility in October 2018. Ramsey just celebrated 3 years substance-free. Ramsey works alongside two investigators. He uses his lived experience to help people who have overdosed and their families/friends to get treatment and create an effective recovery plan. Ramsey is currently active in the community and in the church. He is a leader in two Celebrate Recovery Programs, conducts Narcan trainings, does jail ministry, and conducts community outreach for drug prevention.
Tojuana Greenlaw, (APR)
Greenlaw is a person of long term recovery. She began her recovery journey in July of 2010.
She works as a Peer Recovery Coordinator for UAMS ( University for Medical Science). Her passion is to help individuals that suffers from substance abuse and mental health issues, by leading and being an example of what recovery is all about.
Wade Carter, (PRPS)
Carter journey started on 12/30/14. My start was not by choice but by a force external of himself. Police, DTF, Jail, Probation officers, courts, and loss of trust with his family. It was in 2017 that I started on my path as a PEER support. Today I work for a MAT provider and is the Operations Coordinator for a treatment provider in the state of Arkansas. For me, being a PEER Specialist in treatment and in the community is a big part of my recovery. Being able to help others to find their way to a life in recovery is fulfilling. As a PEER I can be the example to others that recovery is possible. I’m also a Trainer for PEER’s and a Supervisor for Peers, helping shape the future of recovery in the state of Arkansas.
Ashley Lahue, (APR)
LaHue is the Executive Director of Positive Energy Affecting Recovering Lives (P.E.A.R.L).
She is a Benton County Drug Court Alumni. Ashley is an Advance Peer Support Specialist (APR), is a member of the Arkansas Peer Advisory Committee (APAC), the Arkansas Peer Ethics Review Committee (APERC) and she has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.
She is a person with sustainable, long-term recovery from substance use disorder and has a strong desire to help others achieve the same goal.
Ron Worbington, (PR)
Worbington Has been in long term recovery since July 4th 2015, which is his Independence Day!
He is a graduate of John 3:16 ministries and has dedicated his life to helping others recover from SUD. Ron and his wife Jenn are the founders and directors of ARM180 (Arkansas Recovery Ministries) in Dewitt At. He is a ordained Baptist minister and certified Peer support specialist. Ron and his wife both work with district court, circuit court and ARCO detention center where they facilitate groups and help peers find their path to recovery. He is excited to be apart of the APAC team.
Shawn McCown, (APR)
McCown Is an Advanced Peer Recovery Support Specialist and is employed by Bradford Health Services.
He is a person in long term recovery from substance use disorder. Shawn is a board member for A.P.A.R.T. and is active in his church and community. Shawn is married with five daughters, a grandson, and a granddaughter. He is proud of his past and uses it for his purpose to serve others in his chosen field
Kyle Brewer, (PRPS)
Brewer, BS, PRPS, is the Peer Specialist Program Manager for NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals.
He works for NAADAC remotely from Little Rock, AR, managing the Arkansas Peer Specialist Program. He oversees the development and implementation of an innovative three-tier credentialing process (Core, Advanced, Supervision) for the Arkansas Peer Support Model. Brewer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Addiction Studies from the University of Central Arkansas in 2013. He went on to use his lived experience with drug and alcohol addiction to become a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist, where he led the implementation of this position in an emergency department at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. In 2020, he became one of the first ten Certified Peer Support Supervisors in Arkansas. Most recently, he was awarded the 2021 Arkansas Peer Leadership Award which acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership that has significant and positive impact on advancing the peer movement and practices of the peer support profession.
Desi Sims, (PR)
Sims is a MA, BS, PR, most recent accomplishment is being promoted within his company as DASEP Director.
He has also been recently certified by the State of Arkansas as a Peer Recovery Support Specialist. Currently employed with MidSouth Health Systems/ARISA health, where he works with the DASEP Program (drug and alcohol safety education program). Desi has been with this company and doing this type of work for almost nine years; however, he has worked in the drug and alcohol field in some capacity for the past twenty years. He is an Ordained Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; preaching and pastoring for almost 20 years. Desi serves as president of the board of directors for a local Community health clinic. He is excited to have been recently invited to hold a voting position on the Arkansas Peer Advisory Committee (APAC)! Desi currently holds a Master of Arts degree in biblical studies, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and also an AAS in Behavioral health. He is a person of long term recovery (22 years).
I believe in Miracles!
Samantha Ellis-Johnson, (PR)
Ellis is a PR is an Arkansas Core Peer Recovery Specialist at Bradley County Medical Center.
Her position allows her to support and guide individuals who are undergoing Substance Use Disorder. Ellis spent 14 years in addiction but now has over five years clean. Having this lived experience, it allows her to be a role model and an advocate, providing treatment and recovery resources.
Lester Cupp, (PRPS)
Cupp has Received a Bachelor of Science in addiction studies from the University of Central Arkansas.
Cupp is currently the Peer Support Coordinator at Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI). He has worked as a Health Program Specialist II for the Arkansas Department of Health. He works to assist in promoting peer support and recovery services across the state of Arkansas. He is a member of the Arkansas Peer Advisory Committee (APAC) and the Arkansas Substance Certification Board (ASACB).