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Communities of Healing Winter Gathering is December 4,

Drema Hill of West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine is Guest Speaker

From 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Fruits of Labor in Beckley

Beckley, W.Va. (November 28, 2023) – The partners in the evolving recovery to work program
– Communities of Healing – are holding their Winter Gathering Monday, December 4, 2023, at
Fruits of Labor, 313 Neville Street, Beckley, W.Va.

The Gathering, to share with the public the program’s recent progress and next steps, will
feature Drema Hill, Vice President of Community Engagement and Chief Operations Officer at
the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM). Hill is a Boone County native who
has dedicated her career to community-based public health solutions, and she was recently
honored by the American Public Health Association at its national meeting for her many
contributions.

Hill has more than three decades of experience in public health leadership. She joined WVSOM
in 2016 and became a vice president of the osteopathic medical school in 2019. Hill also serves
as a consultant on issues relating to opioid settlement funds for the Office of West Virginia
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Her past honors include the Excellence in Rural Health Award from the West Virginia Rural
Health Association; the Small Communities, Big Solutions Advocate Award from the Alliance for
Economic Development of Southern West Virginia, the West Virginia Community Development
Hub and Coalfield Development; and West Virginia Executive magazine’s Health Care Hall of
Fame award. She received the Neil Diehl Award for Innovation and Excellence in HIV
Prevention, Care and Treatment from Vanderbilt Comprehensive Care Center in Nashville,
Tenn.
The public is invited to participate in person or virtually – register here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/winter-2023-gathering-virtual-and-in-person-tickets-

The Communities of Healing program has provided an additional 551 entrepreneurs/business
owners with recovery-to-work information and training and created more than 30 new jobs.
Current cohort graduates include:
Ashley and Bill Chouinard – Wild Blue Adventure Company, Fayetteville
Adam Starks – MNDYRR Technologies, Inc., Philippi
Candice Meade – Posh Manna Cake Art/N600 – Shady Spring
Ansel Ponder – Blue Appalachia, Bluefield
Wauketa Okoli – Get Lifted, LLC, Fayetteville
Tammy Jordan, president of Fruits of Labor, said “Three years ago, Communities of Healing was
just a dream that had been stirring in my heart since 2017. To see the magnitude of impact in
the recovery community over the last 36 months is overwhelming and inspiring. We are
grateful to be able to provide an opportunity for individuals to engage in the hard work of
transforming their life, moving forward in career paths through education, training, and
employment, reconnecting with children, while simultaneously encouraging other businesses
and social enterprises to join the journey. The partners in Communities of Healing are devoted
and passionate about recovery efforts, and the network of businesses that continues to grow is

full of encouragement for the future. Together, we will continue to see healing in our
communities one person at a time.”
Judy Moore, executive director of the West Virginia Hive and deputy director of the New River
Gorge Regional Development Authority, said the WV Hive looks forward to continuing the work
with Fruits of Labor and the other Communities of Healing partners for years to come. “Being a
partner in the Communities of Healing program has been an amazing experience for all of us at
the WV Hive,” said Moore. “We couldn’t be prouder of the work and the business owners we
have had the opportunity to serve who are opening their doors and their hearts to individuals
in recovery to allow them a second chance.”
9:30 a.m.: Registration and Breakfast
10:00 a.m.: Welcome and Introduction of Partners
10:15 a.m.: Guest Speaker, Drema Hill
10:45 a.m.: Break and Networking
11:00 a.m.: Seed Sower Stigma Reduction Presentation
11:15 a.m.: Fruits of Labor Student Testimonials and Celebration
11:25 a.m.: Sage & Lila, Cohort Participant, Story of Success
11:30 a.m.: Recognition of Cohort Participants, Cohort Video and Presentation of Certificates
12:00 p.m.: Lunch and Networking
1:10 p.m.: Human Resource Workplace Recovery Toolkit and Template Employee Handbook
Rollout Presentation, Ballard Consulting
1:50p.m.: Break
2:00 p.m.: Business Finance Basics Workshop, Truist
3:00 p.m.: Closing Remarks

The Communities of Healing program was funded in 2020 by the Appalachian Regional
Commission. The innovative program is designed on the success of Fruits of Labor, a culinary
program that has worked for 11 years with those in recovery and 22 years in business. The
successful Communities of Healing program includes a partnership group consisting of Fruits of
Labor, Region 4 Planning and Development Council, Seed Sower, Inc., Wright Venture Services,
Region 1 Workforce Development Board, and West Virginia Hive. More information about the
Communities of Healing program can be found at http://www.communitiesofhealing.com