Who We Are

The C.A.R.E. Coalition is a grassroots, community group representing diverse community interests dedicated to reducing substance abuse and misuse in Transylvania County. Started in 2010 by a small group of healthcare professionals concerned about rising numbers of overdoses, the coalition has grown to include over 60 members, a staff of 2, and has acquired federal funding under the Drug Free Communities Program.

Executive Board

Elaine Russell
MPH, Director
Transylvania Public Health

Dr. Joe Cohen
Transylvania Regional Hospital

John Philip Harris, Jr.
Brevard Police Department

Susan Matthews
The Sharing House

Arleca Chapman
Transylvania County Schools

Lynn Tyler, RN
Transylvania Regional Hospital

Steve Pulliam
United Way

Jane Ferguson
Alliance Mental Health

Erin Drew
The Family Place

Tara Rybka
Transylvania Public Health

Susan Huter
SAFE, Inc.

Mike Miller
Transylvania Baptist Association
Vice Chair



Karen Gorman, MFS, -Project Director: Karen relocated to Transylvania County from Maine in 2013. In Maine, she worked with the Power of Prevention Coalition, a community coalition in the most northeastern county of the United States, on the Canadian border. She brought experience in grant writing to C.A.R.E. and assisted the coalition in obtaining funding from the federal Drug Free Communities program in 2014. She has a Master’s Degree in Forestry and Environmental Studies, and has made planning for healthy communities her work for the past 15 years. She is Mom to four children, and Gran to four grandchildren, with two more on the way!
Kristen Gentry, MA -Youth and Community Outreach Coordinator: A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Kristen moved to Transylvania County in the fall of 2015 after completing a National Science Foundation research project through Wake Forest University.