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.

Board of Directors

RIZE Massachusetts Foundation 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.

Ken Casey formed the Dropkick Murphys in 1996. In the past 24 years they have sold over 10 million records worldwide and are constantly touring the world playing to their loyal passionate fan base. Casey is in long-term recovery and has a unique perspective on substance use disorder through the band’s engagement with young people as well as his working with others as part of his own recovery. Also, through the band’s charity foundation, Casey has supported local organizations that offer a comprehensive approach to alcohol and drug addiction. While the Dropkick Murphys are widely thought of as a rowdy punk rock band, the group’s latest album deals with the Massachusetts opioid crisis that has directly touched the lives of many of the band members friends and families.

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 CEO of 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. Prior to being named CEO in September 2010, Mr. Dreyfus served as BCBSMA’s executive vice president of health care services. Mr. Dreyfus previously served as the first president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, that works to expand access to health care for Massachusetts residents. Mr. Dreyfus is chairman of the board of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and also serves on the boards of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM), Jobs for Massachusetts, the Boston University School of Public Health Dean’s Advisory Board, and the Ariadne Labs Advisory Board.

Tim Foley is executive vice president at 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. Working in a union-wide capacity while based in Massachusetts, Foley is a veteran political leader and operative. Prior to being elected executive vice president, he was vice president at-large of 1199SEIU and also served as the union’s political director for Massachusetts.  He is vice president of the MA AFL-CIO and serves on the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, an independent state agency that develops policy to reduce health care cost growth and improve the quality of patient care.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Delaware and a masters’ degree in public affairs from the University of Massachusetts- Boston.

Reshma Kewalramani, MD, is Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Kewalramani oversees clinical development, global regulatory affairs, medical affairs, drug safety and other related functions, and is responsible for developing, advising and driving execution of Vertex’s clinical development programs. She will become the company’s president and chief executive officer in April 2020.  Prior to Vertex, she spent more than 12 years at Amgen, holding a variety of senior leadership roles across research and development.

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.

Steve Pollock is the president and CEO of DentaQuest, the nation’s leading purpose-driven oral health organization. Believing every American deserves a fair shot at oral health, Pollock is a true advocate for transformation and social impact. Under his leadership, DentaQuest developed an approach known as Preventistry, an all-in strategy to make oral health care more affordable, accessible, innovative, and integrated into the broader health care system. Pollock has guided the company through a period of significant and sustained growth in pursuit of its mission to improve the oral health of all – DentaQuest now serves 27 million people across 30 states and it has invested more than $200 million to support funding for research, grants and programs to transform oral health.

During his tenure at DentaQuest, Pollock has held a number of senior leadership positions; prior to his appointment as President and CEO in 2015, he served as Chief Operating Officer and, previously, as Executive Vice President, Vice President of Market Development, and General Counsel. Pollock holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a JD from University of Wisconsin Law School. For more on his perspective, this video shares his personal view regarding the relationship between oral health and the opioid epidemic.

Joy Rosen serves as the vice president for behavioral health at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). In this capacity, she oversees program development, business planning, administrative and clinical operations, research management, and finance for four Departments/Institutes at MGH — the Department of Psychiatry, the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, the Home Base Program, and provides executive oversight for the Center for Community Health Improvement. She also serves as a liaison for the MGH and Partners HealthCare on various government relations matters. Previously, Joy served as the director of government relations for Partners Heath Care, overseeing advocacy efforts with the state and federal governments on healthcare reform legislation and the Massachusetts Stem Cell Bill. She served for 12 years as the Department of Public Health’s assistant commissioner for management, 7 years overseeing residential programs at the Department of Mental Health, and worked as a senior policy analyst on health care issues for the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. Joy has a BA from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a MS from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Michael Tang, MD, MBA, is the Chief Behavioral Health Officer of the Dimock Center, and a pediatrician, child psychiatrist, and adult psychiatrist.  Dimock is a historic multiservice agency in Boston that is a model of behavioral health integration, including through its continuum of recovery services.  Michael completed his residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center, and residency and fellowship in adult and child psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital.  He also served two years as the Boston Site Director of Health Leads, a nonprofit addressing social determinants of health, and is currently the Co-Chair of the Child Mental Health Taskforce at the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Michael is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Medical School, and the Brandeis Heller School for Social Policy and Management.  

Kate Walsh is president and CEO of 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 president and CEO 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 University.

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 commissions.

Gail C. Favreau is director of development at RIZE Massachusetts, responsible for identifying and managing a portfolio of donors with a focus on all fundraising endeavors, growing engagement, and creating new partnerships.  Most recently, Gail was the director of fundraising events at the Museum of Science.  Prior to that, she was the executive director of the American Liver Foundation, New England.  There, she developed multiple boards, increased donor engagement, directed program opportunities and strategies for funding.  She was the director of fundraising events at the Pine Street Inn and the Greater Boston Food Bank leading fundraising initiatives for both corporate and individuals. Gail sits on the boards of the RSM Foundation & Johnson State College of Athletics, she volunteers her time at various organizations, and is an accomplished runner and triathlete. Gail received a B.A. in Hotel Hospitality Management from Johnson State College.

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.

Sarah E. Wakeman, MD is the chief medical officer at RIZE Massachusetts and 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.

Abigail Hevert is a program and development officer, assisting with programming, fundraising, and operational activities. Abigail conducts prospective donor and grant research and assists with the grantmaking and review processes.

Abigail is a licensed independent clinical social worker in the state of Massachusetts and has clinical experience working with individuals who suffer from substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder. Prior to RIZE, Abigail worked as a private outpatient therapist at the Aspire Center and also was a social worker at the Department of Veteran Affairs. In addition, Abigail has worked as a grant writer at Road to Responsibility. Abigail received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Providence College and holds a master’s degree in social work from Boston College.

Sharim Shoman is the executive assistant and office manager, responsible for developing and improving internal systems to ensure the foundation has the tools and practices to best execute its mission.  Most recently, Sharim was an employment consultant at Educational Data Systems where she utilized her organizational and coaching skills to assist individuals from under-served communities in developing tailored action steps towards self-betterment, both professionally and personally.  Outside of her work at RIZE, Sharim volunteers her time mentoring girls and women, and lending her administrative expertise to teach aspiring entrepreneurs small business tools.  Sharim received a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus on Counseling and Business Management, from Southern New Hampshire University.