Community Rounds
September 8, 2021

Peer Recovery as an Evidence-Based Practice: From Science to Impact


John Kelly, PhD,
Mark Depman, MD,
Liza Ryan, Peer Recovery Coach

Our speakers are John Kelly, PhD, Mark Depman, MD, and Liza Ryan, a Peer Recovery Coach from North Central Vermont Recovery Center. The presentation focuses on how peer recovery models of care can help rural recovery communities from three perspectives. Dr. Kelly explains his research from the Recovery Research Institute on peer recovery centers and evidence behind how they support and encourage long-term recovery. Dr. Depman has experience utilizing peer recovery coaches in the Emergency Department (ED) at Central Vermont Medical Center, a community hospital serving a rural population. He addresses strategies, benefits, and challenges incorporating peer recovery models of care into that setting for OUD and AUD. Liza Ryan is a certified peer recovery coach in Lamoille County, a rural county in VT. A person in recovery for over 7 years and a peer recovery coach for 4 years, she explains how her work is affected by serving a rural community.

Learning objectives:

  1. Discuss evidence surrounding peer recovery models
  2. Describe how peer recovery has evolved over the past 20 years
  3. Challenges and opportunities for implementing peer recovery models in a rural ED
  4. Describe the benefit peer recovery coaches provide people with SUD, including peer recovery centers, EDs, and MAT clinics
  5. Explain the significance of rurality on peer recovery


John Kelly

John Kelly, PhD,

John Kelly, PhD, is the Elizabeth R. Spallin Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School - the first endowed professor in addiction medicine at Harvard. He is also the Founder and Director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Associate Director of the Center for Addiction Medicine (CAM) at Mass General, and the Program Director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS).   Dr. Kelly is a former President of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Society of Addiction Psychology and is a Fellow of the APA and a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology. He has served as a consultant to U.S. federal agencies and non-federal institutions, as well as foreign governments and the United Nations. Dr. Kelly has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, chapters, and books in the field of addiction medicine, and was an author on the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.  His clinical and research work has focused on addiction treatment and the recovery process, mechanisms of behavior change, and reducing stigma and discrimination among individuals suffering from addiction. 

Mark Depman MD

Mark Depman, MD,

Mark Depman, MD, has practiced Emergency Medicine since 1989. He moved from New Haven, Connecticut to Vermont in 2007 and has worked in the Emergency Department at Central Vermont Medical Center since then. He was Department Chair and Medical Director through 2015 and has managed concurrent federal and state grants in the area of substance use disorder in rural populations since 2013. He is currently Project Director for CVMC’s 3-year HRSA Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Implementation grant.

Liza Ryan, Peer Recovery Coach

Liza Ryan, Peer Recovery Coach

Liza Ryan graduated from Champlain College in 2020 with a Bachelors in Social Work and a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice and is earning her Masters Degree in Social Work from SUNY at Buffalo. Liza has been in recovery since December 2013 and has worked as a peer recovery coach since 2017. Liza has served as a part-time recovery coach with the Turning Point Center of Chittenden County and the North Central Vermont Recovery Center and as an Emergency Department Peer Recovery Coach at the University of Vermont Medical Center and Copley Hospital in Morrisville. Liza works full time as a registered psychotherapist at the Institute for Trauma Recovery and Resiliency in Colchester, VT.