Zero Stigma. Zero Deaths.

About RIZE

RIZE Massachusetts is an independent nonprofit foundation working to end the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts and reduce its devastating impact on people, communities, and our economy.

By tapping the commitment and resources of the private sector, we make informed investments in innovative and comprehensive evidence-based treatments that can be scaled, expedited, and made accessible to people suffering from opioid use disorder across the Commonwealth.

Our Goals

REVOLUTIONIZE the approach to opioid use disorder through highly informed investments in comprehensive, compassionate, and sustainable approaches to prevention, treatment, and recovery

MAXIMIZE our efforts by initiating research and data analysis that will help increase access to comprehensive treatment for opioid use disorder and contribute to the development of public polices focused on the opioid epidemic

CATALIZE the resources and commitment of our donors to engage in solutions that will reduce the negative economic impact of the opioid epidemic on workers, businesses, and communities

ANALIZE and measure the outcomes and effectiveness of our work by embedding learning and evaluation into all strategies to improve results and build evidence for sustainable, scalable approach

DESTIGMATIZE opioid use disorder and increase awareness of it as a chronic disease

ORGANIZE, convene, support, and partner with other key players to facilitate a coordinated approach to the opioid crisis

Board of Directors

RIZE Massachusetts is led by some of the most highly respected leaders in health care, addiction care, business, and labor.

David M. Barash, MD, GE Foundation is the Executive Director of the Global Health Portfolio and Chief Medical Officer for the GE Foundation. The Foundation’s Developing Health initiatives are approached with the belief that collaborative interventions, along with strong partnerships and leaders, are often the answer to some of healthcare’s most complex problems. The Foundation’s work in Boston is focused on the addiction and opioid crisis and on access to behavioral health in community health settings. David is also co-chair of the Private Sector Roundtable, a collaboration of several multinational companies to support the work of the Global Health Security Agenda.

David is a practicing emergency medicine physician with more than 30 years’ experience.

Jack Connors, Jr. is a founding partner and former CEO of Hill Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Inc., a full-service marketing communications company. Under his leadership, Hill Hollidayevolved from a one-room shop to one of the top 20 advertising firms in the United States. Mr. Connors also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Partners HealthCare System for 16 years, becoming Chairman Emeritus in July 2012. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Partners In Health, the Board of Fellows at Harvard Medical School and serves as a Trustee of Boston College. Active in leading philanthropic efforts and civic campaigns in Boston, Mr. Connors has championed initiatives such as Camp Harbor View, The Campaign for Catholic Schools, and The Edward M. Kennedy Institute.

Andrew Dreyfus is President and Chief Executive Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Serving nearly 3 million members, BCBSMA is one of the largest independent, not-for-profit Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in the country. As CEO, Andrew leads the company’s effort to make quality health care affordable and deliver an exceptional member experience. Under his leadership, BCBSMA earned the highest ratings that a health plan can achieve for overall member satisfaction and quality in both Blue Cross’s commercial and Medicare business.

Andrew chairs the board of the National Institute for Health Care Management(NIHCM), and serves on the board of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. He is on the advisory board of Ariadne Labs and is a found

Tim Foley, 1199SEIU

Michael K. Lauf, MBA, has served since December of 2010 as President and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare, a regional health system with more than 450 physicians and 5,530 employees which is comprised of two acute care hospitals, the largest home health services agency on the Cape (VNA), a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, an assisted living facility and numerous health programs. Recognized twice by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the nation’s “rising stars” in health care administration, Mr. Lauf served as the Cape Cod Healthcare system’s COO from 2008–2010.

He was promoted to President of Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital in 2010, before being appointed to his current position as President and CEO of the system.

Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan is President and CEO of The Dimock Center, the second-largest health center in Boston. It is considered a national model of comprehensive health and human services with an emphasis on the integration of clinical and behavioral health practices, reaching more than 17,000 people annually through comprehensive health and human services. In 2015, The Dimock Center was ranked #12 on the list of the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts, published by The Commonwealth Institute.

Dr. Jordan is a graduate of Brown University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business, with an MBA in Health Services. She has published articles in The New England Journal of Medicine and other publications. In addition, she has been appointed to several committees and boards in the Commonwealth that have focused on transformative health issues.

Joanne Peterson is the Founder and Executive Director of Learn to Cope(LTC), a non-profit peer-led support network which began in 2004. Her journey started as a young girl with siblings experiencing issues with mental illness and addiction. Years later when Joanne discovered that her own son’s experimentation with prescription drugs led to an opioid addiction, she was motivated and empowered to use her voice to bring about change. Today her son is in long term recovery. She designed LTC to offer families the support,  education, resources and hope that her family would have benefitted from. Ms. Peterson sits on the Massachusetts Health and Human Services Emergency Department Boarding working group and is on the special committee to study licensed addiction treatment centers.

Dr. Torchiana is the President and CEO of Partners HealthCare, an integrated not-for-profit academic health system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in 1994. Partners also includes McLean Hospital, the Spaulding Rehabilitation Networkof post-acute institutional and home care services, six community hospitals, Neighborhood Health Plan (a non-profit health insurance company), and a community physician network. MGH and BWH are the largest hospital recipients of National Institutes of Health funding in the nation and in aggregate Partners total research budget is $1.4 billion. A Churchill scholar and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Torchiana became Chief of Cardiac Surgery at MGH in 1998 and Chairman and CEO of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization in 2003.

Kate Walsh is president and CEO of the Boston Medical Center (BMC) health system, with annual operating revenue of $2.8 billion. BMC is a private, not-for-profit, 496 bed, academic medical center with a community-based focus. The primary teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center has approximately 4,900 employees and 1,200 physicians. The BMC health system also includes the BMC HealthNet Plan, a Medicaid Managed Care Organization with more than 300,000 members and Boston HealthNet, a network affiliation of 13 community health centers throughout Boston. Prior to Boston Medical Center, Ms. Walsh was EVP/COO of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and COO for Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, in addition to leadership roles with Mass General Hospital.


Julie Burns is the founding executive director of RIZE Massachusetts and leads the foundation’s work
researching, investing in, and expanding evidence-based treatment solutions as well as building
coalitions across the nonprofit, public, and private sectors to end the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts.
Previously, Julie was a senior director at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation
overseeing communication strategy, strategic planning, and administration.

Prior to her work with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Julie worked for former Boston Mayor
Thomas M. Menino in a number of roles including deputy chief of staff; director of the Office of Arts,
Tourism, and Special Events; president of the Fund for Boston Neighborhoods; and executive director of
Boston 2004, Inc., created to host the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University, has a
graduate certificate in public relations from Emerson College, and has completed senior executive
programs at Babson University, Bentley University, and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard

Julie recently served as member of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Office of Recovery Services
Substance Use Prevention Advisory Board and serves her community on several nonprofit boards and

Mark Walsh is the director of External Affairs & Philanthropy and oversees the foundation’s efforts to
raise resources that are invested in proven treatment, harm reduction, and recovery solutions aimed at
opioid use disorder. Mark develops and maintains close relationships with corporate and individual
donors who are looking to make a significant impact with their investment and contribute to the
foundation’s work to end the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts.

Prior to RIZE, Mark served as the deputy chief of Protocol of the United States overseeing visits of
international dignitaries for President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretaries of State Kerry and
Clinton. Previously, Mark was the vice president of Development for AIDS Action of Massachusetts, the
national director of LGBT Outreach for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, and co-founder of
Rafanelli Events, a premier event planning and design agency. Mark received his JD from Boston
University and practiced law for several years before working in the public sector.

Anne Marie Boursiquot King is the senior program officer at the foundation and oversees the portfolio
of grants and programs and manages overall grant operations related to opioid use disorder treatment,
harm reduction, and recovery. Anne Marie provides direction to the program strategy committee and
board of directors on strategy, evaluation, and governance.

Previously, Anne Marie was the managing director of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation at which she
helped launch the organization, led several statewide initiatives, funded collaborations, and granted
nearly $20 million to more than 350 organizations during her 11-year tenure. She holds a master’s
degree in Business Administration from the Bentley College Graduate School of Business.

Tabitha Bennett is the senior manager for administration and communications and works directly with
the executive director as the lead on operations, human resources, and fiscal management for the
organization. Tabitha manages special projects, interfaces with vendors and consultants, and prepares
updates for the board. In her communications capacity, Tabitha develops and executes strategic plans
to promote RIZE’s work to the media and other audiences as well as producing regular communications
to partners, funders, and stakeholders.

Prior to RIZE, Tabitha was the senior press lead for the White House under President Barack Obama. In
that role, Tabitha was as a senior member of the advance team responsible for planning press
coverage and logistics around presidential visits. She also served in an advance role in the 2012
Barack Obama presidential campaign. Previously, Tabitha served as a neighborhood coordinator
for former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Tabitha received her Bachelor of Arts in political
science from Northeastern University.

Sarah E. Wakeman, MD is the medical director for the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)
Substance Use Disorder Initiative, program director of the MGH Addiction Medicine fellowship,
and an assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is also the medical
director of the MGH Addiction Consult Team, co-chair of the MGH Opioid Task Force, and
clinical lead of the Partners HealthCare Substance Use Disorder Initiative.

Dr. Wakeman received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her medical degree
from Brown University Medical School. She completed residency training in internal medicine
and served as chief medical resident at MGH. She is she is a diplomate and fellow of the
American Board of Addiction Medicine and board certified in Addiction Medicine by the
American Board of Preventive Medicine. Dr. Wakeman is chair of the policy committee for the
Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine and served on Massachusetts' Governor Baker’s
Opioid Addiction Working Group. Nationally, she is chair of the American Society of Addiction
Medicine (ASAM) Drug Court Task Force and serves on the ASAM ethics committee.

Clinically, Dr. Wakeman provides specialty addiction and general medical care in the inpatient
and outpatient settings at MGH and the MGH Charlestown Health Center. Her research
interests include evaluating models for integrated substance use disorder treatment in medical
settings, recovery coaching, physician attitudes and practice related to substance use disorder,
and screening for substance use in primary care.

Eric Weil, MD, Chief Strategy Officer