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African American Opioid Coalition

improving wellness of black families


our goals

Our main focus is to improve the overall wellbeing of black families in Dane County. 

To accomplish this goal, we focus on educating and raising awareness about the impact of opioid addiction in the African American Community. Our coalition is a vehicle to inform state and local policy makers about the issues and possible solutions for the opioid crisis in the black community. 

African American Opioid Coalition


Charlestine “Charlie” Daniel


Affectionately called Ms. Charlie in the village. She is the Director and Founder of the African American Opioid Coalition and the program coordinator for falls prevention at Safe Communities Madison-Dane County.

She has been an advocate and ally to underrepresented groups for over 35 years. She retired from the Wisconsin Technical College System as the education director for Minority Students Participation and Displaced Homemakers. She has been the recipient of many awards in the village, including. YWCA Women of Distinction, NAACP, Community Shares Sally Sunde award, City of Madison James C. Wright award, and the Dane County Martin Luther King, Jr. award to name a few.

She is the past president of Access Community Health Centers, a member of the African American Health Network, Wisconsin Women of Color Network and the Madison Metropolitan Links, Inc. She studied at Jackson State College, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the University of London.

Candace M. McDowell


Candace retired with Emerita status after serving 22 years as the Assistant Dean/Director of the Multicultural Student Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She has been volunteering and serving the community in various capacities since her retirement including her service as member and secretary for the African American Opioid Coalition.

She recently began working part time as a Project Coordinator for the African American Health Network and Vaccine Educator for UW Health.

Carola Gaines


Carola is the Community Liaison Manager/Sr. Advocate, for Quartz Health Solutions.
She has worked for Quartz and UW Health for 27 years, serving Medicaid families in advocating and creating programs that support their health and assist in removing barriers to receive quality health care. Her goals are to coordinate and provide a heightened level of support to Quartz BC+ providers and BC+ membership, by implementing innovative programs to improve access to care and striving to decrease health inequities.

Carola serves on several community Boards and committees. She is Co-Chair of AAHN, Co-Chair African American Health Network, Board Chair of the Rainbow Project, Board member the Foundation for Black Women Wellness, Secretary, One City School, Chair of Safe Sleep African-American Faith base initiative and member of Dane County Health Council and several other committees. She has received numerous awards and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.


our programs

A spilled bottle of pills on a black background


A safe, secure way to dispose of unwanted medications which could unintentionally be consumed by children and others, or be scavenged from the trash and sold illegally.

woman in foreground looking upset trying to talk


Our aspiration is by sharing our strength and courage with other people who are struggling, we are able to emphatically support those seeking recovery in making changes in their lives. 


related news

person looking over their medication

Check Your Medication: Medication Review Resources

Medications Linked to Falls-Resource from CDC (PDF) Postural Hypotension-Resource from CDC (PDF) Wisconsin Pharmacy Quality Collaborative The Wisconsin Pharmacy Quality Collaborative (WPQC) is an initiative of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW)

Read More


Treatment Key

Safe communities has complied a list of abbreviation definitions for finding the right treatment for you.

MAT: Medication for Addiction Treatment.
OP: Outpatient Treatment – person lives at home or in the community, attends. individual and group therapy, these can include or not include MAT.
IOP: Intensive Outpatient Treatment – person lives at home or in the community, attends individual and extended groups, 9-12 hours a week.
Residential: person lives at the facility for a period of at least 14 days, some last as many as 45 days.
PHP: Partial Hospitalization Program is a structured mental health treatment program that runs for several hours each day, three to five days per week.
DBT: Dialectical behavior therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that integrates mindfulness techniques.