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

Dr. Joe Cohen, MD
Emergency Department Physician

Dr. Mike Miller
Transylvania Baptist Association
Vice Chair

Susan Matthews
The Sharing House

Elaine Russell, MPH
Transylvania Public Health

Jane Ferguson
Alliance Mental Health

Arleca Chapman
Transylvania County Schools

Lynn Tyler, RN
Transylvania Regional Hospital

Erin Drew
The Family Place

Susan Huter, MSW
Transylvania County Child Advocacy Center

John Philip Harris, Jr.
Brevard Police Department

Steve Pulliam
United Way

Tara Rybka, MPH
Transylvania Public Health


Karen Gorman, MFS, Project Director, 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, Coalition Coordinator, hails from across the mountains near Knoxville, Tennessee. Kristen graduated from Wake Forest University and earned her Master’s in Applied Medical Anthropology from Oregon State University, specializing in social determinants of health. She moved to Transylvania County in 2015 after managing a National Science Foundation research project. This community based research examined how Hindu caste identity and recent natural disasters affect adolescent mental health in Nepal. She enjoys getting lost in novels and in the forest, boating on whitewater, and rock-climbing.

Colleen Clark, MPH, Community Outreach Coordinator, grew up in Durham, North Carolina. She graduated from Smith College, double majoring in English and Sociology. After, she worked at a community clinic in Greensboro NC that served under-insured, uninsured, and refugee populations. It was here that she discovered her love for connecting people with resources and improving access to health care. She went on to Lenoir-Rhyne University in Asheville where she obtained her Master’s in Public Health, focusing on Community Health. While in graduate school, she worked at the North Carolina Institute of Climate and Satellites looking at the impact of climate change on adolescent mental health. She was a selected participant of Break the Cycle, a program sponsored by Emory and EPA-funded Pediatric Health Specialty Units, that examines childhood environmental health disparities. She also helped write and implement the American Cancer Society Tobacco Free Campus Grant on LRU’s main campus. She deeply enjoys exploring the natural beauty of Transylvania County with her dog Jack.