Meet Our Team:
Dr. Rita Anita Linger, PhD, CPC, CMBP, Executive Director
Dr. Rita Anita Linger, is a Human Scientist and the Executive Director of Recovery Communities of North Carolina (RCNC). She is a mind-body therapist, educator, trainer within addiction recovery communities across the country and has worked as an academic researcher, senior multi-million dollar grant reviewer, consultant and advocate within government/legislative and community systems both nationally and internationally advocating on behalf and working with those suffering from substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring disorders, their families, allies and other support systems. She is licensed and certified in a variety of mental health and wellness modalities.
Dr. Linger is an award-winning community health and wellness professional, having worked within healthcare and community systems both in the U.S. and internationally for over three decades to improve the quality of care for both healthcare consumers and those who work with them. For most of Dr. Linger’s career she has led organizations both in the non-profit and for-profit worlds and her expertise in assessing community and organizational needs and moving forward to create solutions for seemingly intractable conditions is noteworthy. Her name and picture sits on a quilt next to Dorothy Cotton (Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Aide and Confidante), in the DeWitt Historical Museum in NYS for her leadership in Social Justice and Community Advocacy work.
In addition to creating and leading innovative efforts around public and community health, Dr. Linger worked as Director of Patient-Centric and Analytic Services at Governeur Hospital in Manhattan, NY (one of the leading safety-net hospitals in NYC at the time) for almost a decade in the 1980s. She has and continues to create patient-centric programming/services and selfcare supportive therapies for those with chronic illness, SUDs, mental health disorders, their family members and allies.
Dr. Linger is an Integrative Health Practitioner with a background, training and practice in contemporary neuroscience, psycho-physiology, mind-body medicine, psychology, public health, community development, substance use and co-occurring disorders, holistic therapy and business. Her work focuses on the impact of individuals, families and communities who experience trauma, poverty, substance use disorders, chronic disease and mental illness.
She understands well the impact of addiction as she is a mother who has lost two children to a substance use disorder (one to an opioid overdose), as well as two nephews and her younger sister. She commits her life to service and increasing understanding and support for the recovery movement including but not limited to substance use disorder and brain function, stigma reduction and the importance of language, genetic predisposition to substance use disorder as well as the power of epi-genetics.
Dr. Linger is an internationally renowned community advocate, organizer, trainer, facilitator, holistic therapist and university professor having taught at Columbia University, Cornell University, Atlantic University, William Peace University, Meredith College and others. She is an appointed member of Shaw University’s Internal Review Board, a published author of academic and peer reviewed journal articles. She is also a Supervisor and Faculty member with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, since 2008 and a Mindfulness Instructor for UNC Integrative Medicine and Rehabilitation Dept. She has worked to promote addiction recovery, resiliency and reduce experiences of trauma both in the U.S. and internationally for over 30 years.
Dr. Linger is also a corporate systems efficiency expert and coach working with Fortune 500 corporations and non-profits to increase their efficiency, build effective teams and leaders, resolve conflict, enhance performance, create a culture of wellness and implement diversity initiatives. She is a family member of a person in long term recovery and a recovery ally. She works with emerging and recovery organizations teaching and coaching them around issues of sustainability and capacity building using an Appreciative Inquiry and Participatory Action process.
She graduated from the School of Psychology and Interdisciplinary Inquiry at Saybrook University, with stacked PhDs in Integrative Health and Medicine/Mind-Body Medicine, Human Science and Organizational Systems.
Patricia Gix, Administrative Assistant/Peer Support Specialist
My name is Patricia Gix. I am currently the Administrative Assistant for Recovery Communities of North Carolina (RCNC) and also serve as a Peer Support Specialist. I am originally from Louisiana have 2 children, Brittany, age 29 and Kristen, age 30. I have one precious granddaughter, Kennedy, age 7 who is the apple of my eye.
Having worked in retail for 20 years including positions of management; I learned how important it is to be a positive example and how at the end of the day everyone wants to be appreciated and respected. I bring that knowledge to my position at RCNC. Everyone I have the opportunity to provide services to is important and of value and I am filled with gratitude to be able to support them.
Having been blessed with recovery, I have a strong desire to give back what has so freely being given to me throughout my recovery journey. Working with RCNC, has fueled that desire in me to share with others the hope ad tremendous possibilities of recovery. What I love most about my work is seeing people growing in their recovery.
Troy Manns, Statewide Manager of Advocacy and Education
Troy has over 16 years’ experience in working to galvanize people and systems toward supporting long term recovery initiatives. He has extensive experience in working as a Certified Peer Support Specialist, Substance Use Disorder Specialist, Recovery Advocate, a CSAC-I, Trainer, Facilitator, Program Developer, Public Speaker and Change Strategist. Troy is highly respected in the addiction and recovery fields and spends his life working to remove barriers to recovery for people with Substance Use Disorders. He supports their family members and works to educate those in high places to understand the impact of both addiction and recovery on individuals, families, communities, society and the workplace.
His brainchild, “Foundations for Hope (f4H)” facilitated at the Orange County Detention Center and partnering with “Josh’s Hope Foundation” speaks to Troy’s ability to convince state and local decision makers including the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Judges, Recovery Court personnel and other State officials that those with substance use disorders can and do recover.
Prior to coming to RCNC, Troy served as Co-Director of Paths to Recovery Community Center (a program of Freedom House Recovery Center in Chapel Hill, NC). His previous experience also included working in the areas of Outreach and Advocacy for Oxford House and as Coordinator of Healthcare at Freedom House. He also served as the Director of Recidivism Reduction Services that helped people re-entering from prison learn new life skills to keep them from returning to prison.
Terri Conyers, Consultant
Terri Conyers serves as RCNC’s Statewide Manager of Community Relations. As a woman in long-term recovery Terri strives to show everyone in both her professional and personal life that recovery is possible and life in recovery is better than we could ever imagine. Terri has worked in the recovery field for over 10 years and has a passion for helping others find and maintain a better quality of life. She is a Certified Peer Support Specialist and Certified Recovery Coach.
Empowering individuals to become their genuine self and continue a journey of productivity is what motivates her to continue the work in this field and build partnerships to assist those suffering with Substance Use Disorder and their families.
Terri has over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector and has worked in a variety of capacities within organizations, both in direct service and in administration. Her strong relationship building skills are an asset to the recovery field.
Prior to working with RCNC Terri worked for Healing Transitions in Raleigh; a community organization that serves homeless and underserved individuals with alcoholism and other substance use disorders.
Elliot Palmer, Jr.
Elliot Palmer, Jr. is an RCNC Team Member, a North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist, a Certified North Carolina Peer Support Trainer, a Certified WRAP Facilitator, a Certified Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, a Recovery Coach, an American Heart Association Certified CPR/First Aid/BLS Instructor, a member of Durham Reentry Council, Wake Reentry Council, Commissioner on the City of Raleigh Substance Use Advisory Commission, and community volunteer to go back into NC Prisons , participant in the North Carolina Leadership Fellows Academy ,motivational speaker , and owner of A.N.S.W.E.R.( A New Start While Empowering Recovery) and Executive Director of Share Hope Inc( Peer operated non-profit. )He has trained hundreds in Peer Support and WRAP(Wellness Recovery Action Plan) development. His passion is supporting those who are stepping out on their recovery journey and those who are working to maintain their recovery every day.
Sherice Byrd, Certified Peer Support Specialist/Care Coordinator
Please welcome RCNC’s newest team member, Sherice Byrd, who will serve as our full time Certified Peer Support Specialist/Care Coordinator and Recovery Coach. Sherice has over 14 years of experience as a CPSS and an advocate for those struggling with substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health conditions. She has over 21 years in long term recovery has been trained as a recovery coach via CCAR. She also serves as a trainer in a variety of capacities within our industry and will be using her training and facilitation skills at RCNC. Sherice is also a Social Worker and comes to us from Connecticut. She has already familiarized herself with our systems of care here in North Carolina and will officially begin her tenure with RCNC on March 2nd. We are excited that she is with us and know you will be as well. Welcome Sherice!