Karen Pershing, MPH, CPS II


Karen Pershing serves as the Executive Director of Metro Drug Coalition. A 30 plus year veteran of public health, she has devoted her career to improving the health of families in Knoxville. Karen works with local and state policymakers to advocate for laws that help prevent substance misuse and its consequences.

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Webster Bailey, SAC, CPRS, RCP


Webster Bailey serves as the Director of Development for Metro Drug Coalition. After a 15-year career working in a residential addiction treatment center setting, Webster joined MDC full-time in April 2023. Webster’s career in the treatment field was primarily focused on business development, marketing, and admissions. As a person in long-term recovery, he has dedicated his career to helping others recover from the disease of addiction.

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Ashlee Crouse, CPRS


Ashlee is the point of contact for the faith community in establishing recovery programs for the east region. He provides training and educational presentations, as well as coordination of special events.

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Melissa Cunningham


Melissa is the Intake Coordinator at for Metro Drug Coalition. She assists individuals seeking recovery services and connects them to the appropriate recovery specialist. She bridges individuals seeking sober living assistance, detox, treatment, recovery coaching or recovery meetings to the best possible resource.

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Suzanne French


Suzanne has over 30 years of experience working as a Business Manager dealing with Finance, Payroll, and Human Resources.  She is currently the Director of Public Relations for the East TN Chapter of the American Payroll Association, former Board member of the Tennessee Statewide Board (APA), and former Board member for the Carter Community Pool.

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Courtney Fuson


Courtney is responsible for coordinating, developing, and executing communications for the organization. She assists with organization strategic planning and development to assure continuity of mission/vision/implementation activities.

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Miria Galyon


Miria directly supports MDC’s Executive Director. She performs clerical duties and organizes special event projects, schedules events and manages communications. Miria has over 20 years of experience in assistant management. Miria is a Knoxville native and has a passion for serving others.

Jennifer Knisley

Regional Lifeline Director

Jennifer facilitates recovery efforts across the sixteen county area of Region 2. She educates those in recovery and the community with a specific goal in mind, reducing the stigma of substance misuse by establishing lifelines and support services for individuals in need.

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Bethany Lemons


Bethany serves on the Primary Prevention team at MDC. She oversees a substance misuse grant that focuses primarily on stimulant misuse prevention. She is passionate about people, data, and ideas, and aims to use the combination of these passions to create a healthy and equitable society.

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Misty McPhetridge, MSW, CPS


Misty serves on the Primary Prevention team at MDC and supports the Community Coalition. She strives to create and maintain lasting partnerships across all sectors in the community in order to better address conditions that lead to substance misuse.

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Jenifer Rodriguez-Acuna


Jenifer Rodriguez-Acuna serves on the primary prevention team at MDC. She oversees the Mental Health First Aid training program. This course teaches how to identify risk factors and warning signs of mental health challenges and substance use disorder in the community. 

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Sydney Ross


Sydney is on the primary prevention team at MDC. She works with youth in Knox County who may be at risk for developing substance use disorders, have a personal connection to addiction, or are passionate about prevention and mental health.

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Jessica Stanley, CPRS, CYAPSS


Jessica currently serves Knox County as the Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist (ROPS). She provides educational “Opioids, Stimulants and Overdose Prevention” trainings and distributes Narcan, Kloxxado and Fentanyl Test Strips within Region 2M of East Tennessee.

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Katina Woods, CPRS


Katina serves as a CCAR Certified Recovery Coach. She promotes recovery and removes barriers and obstacles to a recovery pathway, offering strength based support, connects recoverees with recovery support services, promotes optimism and wellness planning.

She has a passion in the recovery community and is a native of East Tennessee.

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Board of Directors

Executive Committee


President, Maha Krishnamurthy
Vice President, Barbara Shipley
Secretary, Elizabeth L. Sherrod
Treasurer, Dan F. Sherrod, Jr.
Immediate Past President, Jim LaPinska

Executive Committee At-Large


General Charme Allen
Randy Nichols
Samuel French, CPA

Advisory Board


Erik Ainge
John Gill
Tim Wright
Donald Wake

Board At-Large


Tanisha Baker
Jenny Bushkell
State Representative Michele Carringer
Kevin Parton
Hon. Tim Irwin Represented by Barry Rast
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs
Mayor Indya Kincannon Represented by Charles Swanson
Dennis Landfather, MBA
Chuck Morris
Eric Lutton
George Massengill
Police Chief Paul Noel
Janet Testerman
County Commissioner Richie Beeler
Ernie Roberts
Aneisa Rolen
Superintendent Jon Rysewyk
Sheriff Tom Spangler Represented by Randy Nichols
Keith Stewart
Charles W. Swanson
Bob Thomas
Zach Wishart