Coalition Executive Board
Gwen Ossenkop joined Montgomery County Cares in January of 2021, a grant held by Fulton-Montgomery Community College. Gwen has over 14 years of experience working in Higher Education as a faculty member at FM. In her pervious job title as Student Activities Coordinator, she was able to create meaningful connections throughout the community with various agencies. This has helped her to become successful in her current role as Coordinator. Gwen is excited about helping Montgomery County continue to to be healthy and happy. Prevention work has become a passion for Gwen as she continues to network and engage her community in discussions that will ultimately lead to social change. Gwen has her BA in Mass Media from SUNY Plattsburgh and her MSED from the University of New England.
Ginger Cato is the Director of the Rob Constantine Recovery Community and Outreach Center, a program of HFM Prevention Council and a family member in recovery. Before working at the Recovery Center, Ms. Cato was the Assistant Program Director at Montgomery County Domestic Violence, a program of Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties where she now serves as President of the Board of Directors. She is passionate about advocating for those who haven’t yet found their own voice. She also works diligently to break the stigma of addiction and believes recovery is possible for everyone. Ms. Cato is a Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA), a certified instructor for several CCAR trainings including Recovery Coach Academy and Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaches, and a NYS DCJS Approved NonCertified Special Topics Instructor for Domestic Violence. In 2014 was named a Women of Distinction by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. She is also an Adjunct Instructor at Fulton Montgomery Community College. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Human Services from SUNY Empire State College.
Sharlee Berenger is a CASAC- T at New Choices Recovery Center’s COTI Project in Montgomery County where she works as a clinician with those who struggle with substance use disorders. Sharlee is part of mobile outreach team and provides assessments, individual, family and group therapy, Care/case management and facilitates Telehealth clinical services and Medication Assisted treatment (MAT) appointments.
Sharlee has worked in the addiction field since 2013 and has collaborated with multiple agencies that provide da multitude of services as a coordination of care for those she serves. Sharlee began her career as a residential counselor in a dual diagnosis residence, this fostered her love of helping others and inspired her to go back to school for Substance abuse counseling. Sharlee worked for 3 years as a clinician in a methadone clinic and understands the different types of medication assisted therapies and the benefits to those she serves. Sharlee has an associate degree in Health Care administration as well as a certification in Substance abuse counseling and has obtained her CASAC-T.
Sharlee had also attended an LPN program at Mildred Elley as well as served in the Mayfield Fire Department for 8 years as an interior firefighter and first responder. Sharlee has a passion and strong desire to help others.