Lisa Raville, Executive Director
Lisa Raville grew up outside of Chicago, IL and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Communications and a minor in Women’s Studies. Lisa is the Executive Director of the Harm Reduction Action Center, a public health agency that works with people who inject drugs. Lisa has been with HRAC since 2009. Lisa’s activist voice was cultivated with her experiences as an overnight homeless shelter coordinator, development work at a domestic violence agency, a former campaign manager for a CA County Supervisor, and an AmeriCorps VISTA at an AIDS agency.
Lisa is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. Lisa is the co-chair of the Naloxone workgroup for the Colorado Consortium on Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. Lisa is on the Board of the New Leaders Council Denver and is the VP of Membership for a local Toastmasters chapter. In 2014, Lisa won the Colorado Public Health Association Award for Excellence in Policy.
Ruth Kanatser, Syringe Access Director/Senior Health Educator
Ruth has been integral staff member with our agency since 2003. As a certified tester for HCV, Ruth is our Senior Health Educator for our four health education curriculums, conducting group and individual-level interventions at our Center. Also, Ruth is our Syringe Access Director and manages that program arm. Ruth has built great referral connections with other agencies and has developed a strong bond with the unique population we serve. Ruth has been working to both enrich the lives of injection drug users while also being part of the efforts for disease prevention through education both onsite and offsite through community outreach. Ruth has partnered with the Empowerment Program, Inc. to offer emergency methadone services to injection drug users that are ready to quit using opiates. In December 2011, Ruth received the Josephine Roche Award from the city of Denver for providing excellent direct service to a marginalized community.
Teresa Hogan, Community Outreach Director/Volunteer Director
Teresa became the HRAC’s part-time CSC in March of 2015. Her introduction to harm reduction principles was kick started by Lisa Raville when she and two participants presented in her Anthropology of Drugs class at the University of Colorado Denver. After recognizing a great need within her own community for harm reduction services, she decided to get involved and started volunteering. Since then she has been a volunteer, intern, and independent contractor for the organization. Her responsibilities in her position as the Client Services Coordinator include Drop-in shelter support, SAP backup and support, weekend outreach coordination, intake coordinator, inventory management, and grant writing.
Vernon Lewis, Overdose Prevention Coordinator
Vernon is the current 1 on 1 trainer working under our physician’s standing orders for expansion to Naloxone in the Denver community among people who inject. Vernon provides these trainings M, W, and F mornings. He has saved over 50 lives with access to Naloxone. His incredible knowledge, along with his great connection with participants, makes him an excellent peer leader at our agency.
Kat Humphries, Programs Director
In January of 2017, Kat Humphries joined the agency as the new Director of Programs and Data Evaluation. Kat spent several years in Denver doing harm reduction volunteer work and is a former HRAC volunteer and fundraiser. After spending nearly 4 years working in regulatory compliance, Kat was ready for a transition into direct service work. She hopes to bring her knowledge of policy, relationships with funders, and experience writing SOPs and other standard documents to the table to help the HRAC as the agency grows. As Programs Director it is Kat’s responsibility to manage interns, write reports and analyze data for grants, conduct HIV and HCV testing for participants, assist the Senior Health educator in administering individual and group-level interventions, and assist other HRAC staff in facilitating our syringe access program. As Director of Data Evaluations, it is her responsibility to track and analyze all syringe access data, evaluate program outcomes, and write monthly, quarterly, and year-end reports to submit to funders.
Sophie Feffer, Volunteer Director
Sophie was born and raised in Colorado Springs. She graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2017 with a degree in Sociological Criminology and French. Sophie was introduced to the HRAC when Lisa presented in one of her courses. During the next three years, she became involved as a drop-in volunteer, an outreach volunteer and an intern. Upon graduating, she became a research assistant for three national studies focused on the intersections of incarceration and gang membership. She is especially drawn to the HRAC’s highly accessible public health options for people who inject drugs, as well as the drive to create new harm reductionist policy on a community level. As volunteer director, she is responsible for coordinating all volunteer positions which fully staff the syringe access program during drop-in. In addition, she conducts mobile outreach three times a week alongside other service providers and volunteers.
Stevie Pinkerton, Client Services Coordinator
Stevie has been volunteering with the HRAC since March of 2017 and was hired on as part-time staff in August 2018. He is in charge of our fentanyl testing program and collects all of the data resulting from this program. As recently as November 2017 participants and officials in Denver noticed fentanyl and fentanyl analogues in our drug supply. To ensure our participants can continue to make informed decisions about their drug use, we started a fentanyl drug checking program that would alert participants to the presence of fentanyl in their drugs. Stevie trains participants on how to use the testing strips, has conversations about safer use, and processes refill questionnaires. In addition to these services, he manages the support volunteers each morning, and conducts PWID Advisory Board meetings each month.
Tyler Andreasen, Client Services Coordinator
Tyler is a Colorado native and started volunteering with our program in January 2018. We brought him on as part-time staff in July. Since then, he has been managing our north wing which involves facilitating hygiene donations, deliveries, and supporting our participants to utilize our bathrooms – especially the sinks which are often in high demand. He is always willing to help with other duties and glad that he has joined the team.