The number of opioid overdose deaths in Wisconsin has increased 725% from 111 deaths in 2000 to 918 deaths in 2019.
In the U.S. and in Wisconsin, more people die from drug overdose than from car accidents.
In 2017, Wisconsin experienced an 83% increase in death rates from cocaine-involved overdoses.
Wisconsin leads the nation in binge drinking.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a 117% increase in overdoses in Wisconsin.
Permanent supportive housing can positively impact these alarming statistics and can significantly reduce emergency care and incarceration costs in the long-term.
We believe that Restoring Roots will be a healing space for our residents and improve their physical and mental health. They will learn the necessary skills to build “recovery capital” in order to maintain abstinence from drug and alcohol-use and graduate from Restoring Roots with qualifications and confidence for successful employment and healthy relationships.
Four Ways to Help
Our Board of Directors
Sr. Julie Schwab, OP
Julie has a MA in Theology and a MA in Sustainability. Her professional experiences include: grade school teacher, chaplain for individuals with AIDS, solidarity accompaniment in Guatemala, co-director of a center for people who were experiencing homelessness, and most recently service on the leadership team for the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation. Julie is presently a member of the Executive Board for the Recovery Coalition of Dane County (RCDC) and is also serving on the Advisory Board for Edgewood College’s Innovation & Sustainability Leadership (SISL) Program.
Mary C. Flynn, MD
Mary is a retired internal medicine physician. She attended Oregon Health & Science University and completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Oregon. She brings a commitment to developing an additional treatment option for those battling substance use disorders.
Susan Herbst retired after 38 years in county public service as the parking manager at the Dane County Airport. Previous to that, she worked for 25 years in four different Wisconsin counties in service, administration, and supervisory positions. She is treasurer for the Madison Never Alone Nar-Anon support group.
For more than a decade, Chris has been a valued member of the University of Wisconsin Credit Union (UWCU) family. Throughout his tenure, Chris has held positions within the Branch Operations and Treasury departments, affording him the opportunity to help UWCU’s membership improve their financial well-being at the individual and organizational levels. Chris is currently UWCU’s investment analyst and holds a bachelor’s degree in personal finance from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration from Edgewood College. He credits his dedication to making a difference in the lives of others to his upbringing and his desire to be a positive role model for his community and for his two sons.
Marco Torrez, MSSW, LCSW, SUDS
Marco is a licensed psychotherapist, substance use disorder specialist in the state of Wisconsin. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Marco has extensive training and experience in assessing, diagnosing and treating co-occurring disorders. His focus is primarily in the context of community mental health, specifically working with under-represented/under-served demographics with a trauma-informed care approach. He has more than a decade of experience working in the behavioral health field as a clinician, clinical supervisor, mentor, consultant, program director and faculty. In addition to his clinical experience, Marco holds a faculty position in the Human Services program at Madison College. In his faculty role, Marco has co-developed and implemented a faculty mentorship program that works to understand and address many of the barriers students/professionals-in-training face when returning to school with their lived experience of mental health and substance use issues. In both his clinical and faculty roles, Marco strives to nurture a sense of belonging, connection and accountability, which he believes contributes to success.
Jacqueline Landess, MD, JD
Dr. Landess is a psychiatrist at Mendota Mental Health Institute with training in adult, child and forensic psychiatry. She earned her medical and law degrees at Vanderbilt University and Indiana University, respectively; and completed her post-graduate training at Northwestern University and University of Colorado. She has used her dual training in medicine and the law to study and serve individuals with psychiatric illness who are justice-involved. She has worked in both jails and prisons, and served as a consultant to a felony mental health court. She also has worked on various advocacy and public policy initiatives that aim to improve access to healthcare services for minority and underserved populations. Dr. Landess specializes in the treatment of serious mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, co-occurring substance use disorders, mood and psychotic illnesses. Her treatment approach combines psychotherapy, psychopharmacology and other modalities with a focus on identifying and bolstering an individual’s resilience, strengths, purpose, meaning and values in order to promote mastery of the person’s unique life stressors, improve self-esteem and build lasting, satisfying relationships with others.
Charles A. Tubbs Sr.
Charles A. Tubbs Sr., is the director of Dane County Emergency Management. He leads a department of professionals who are responsible for Dane County’s effective disaster response and recovery efforts in support of local governments and the Dane County Emergency Management programs. He retired from law enforcement after serving nearly 40 years. He served in four other distinguished positions including: interim chief of police for Beloit Police Department, deputy chief of police for Beloit Police Department, administrator of the State of Wisconsin Division of Juvenile Corrections and chief of police for Wisconsin State Capitol Police. He was appointed to the State of Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. He serves as an honorary commander of the 115th Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron in the Wisconsin Air National Guard. He serves nationally as an adjunct instructor, observer and controller for the United States Department of Homeland Security and FEMA Integrated Emergency Management Courses. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Mount Senario College. He continued training at the Law Enforcement Executive Development Institute of the FBI National Academy with a concentration in diversity and hate crime education through the United States Department of Justice. He is an expert in areas of homeland security, law enforcement, emergency management and human relations. His capacity to relate to all people and situations is as robust as his ability to manage diverse administrative tasks. His ability to be a bridge in conflictual race issues is unwavering. He believes that when we lift up those who are less fortunate, we lift up the entire community.
Katherine Kamp retired in March 2020 from her position as the executive director of the Wisconsin Partnership Housing Development, Inc. (WPHD). The mission of WPHD focused on increasing access to affordable housing. WPHD worked with other nonprofits and for profit developers to create a wide range of housing from multi-family rental units to single family homes for sale. Prior to serving at WPHD, Ms. Kamp was the executive director of the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities where she developed over 150-units of affordable housing, including new development of a 10-unit affordable rental project, and a 32-unit permanent supportive housing project in an abandoned downtown manufacturing facility. She served as a vice president at Lewin/ICF, a large Washington, D.C. policy consulting firm. Ms. Kamp has a BA from Kalamazoo College and a MPP from University of Michigan. She also completed the Achieving Excellence in Community Development program at the Harvard Kennedy School, a two-year program to develop leaders in the area of community revitalization and affordable housing. Ms. Kamp continues to serve as the president of the Board of Cinnaire Lending, a national CDFI and is on the City/County Homeless Issues Committee for Madison/Dane County.
Ritu Bhatnagar, MD, MPH
Advisory Board Member
Dr. Bhatnagar is a psychiatrist specializing in treating addictions and currently serves as medical director for NewStart at UnityPoint Health – Meriter. She has a special interest in integrative medicine, including mindfulness training, hypnosis and yoga. Dr. Bhatnagar believes in looking at the whole picture in which the person with the addiction is living. Dr. Bhatnagar enjoys a team-based approach, where the patient, physician and therapists all work together for a positive outcome. She graduated from University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and did her residency in psychiatry and fellowship at University of Wisconsin – Madison.
The following individuals and organizations support the work of Restoring Roots in creating an affordable, long-term residential, job training, and education option for individuals with substance use disorder.