Our leadership team reflects the broader collaborative spirit of UHRC: only by bringing together people from all sectors of society can we create innovative solutions that address common pain in our communities.
We believe that substance misuse is a symptom of other difficulties people may be experiencing. Everyone is their own primary agent of change and we support their right to choose their own definition of recovery. We are proud of our treatment first model and we embrace all pathways to recovery - our only requirement for treatment is the desire for change.
The Utah Harm Reduction Coalition (UHRC) is a non-profit community-based organization providing harm reduction services, education, and advocacy throughout the state of Utah. Our mission is to provide evidence-based interventions to aid people in reducing health and social harms associated with substance use.
Our Staff and Board
Mindy Vincent MSW, LCSW, MPA
Founder and Executive Director
Mindy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in mental health and addiction treatment and is the founder and Executive Director of the Utah Harm Reduction Coalition. Mindy started the first legal syringe exchange in the state of Utah and has done extensive work in harm reduction, opioid overdose prevention, awareness and treatment and continues to work to educate the community, stakeholders and policymakers about harm reduction and expand services throughout the state.
Mindy owns a private practice, Life Changes Counseling, in Heber City, Utah and is an adjunct professor of social policy at the University of Utah. She received her bachelor’s degree from Utah Valley University and earned her Masters of Social Work and her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Utah.
Turner C. Bitton
A native Utahn, Turner fell in love with public service at a very young age. Turner’s life has been defined by a commitment to the people around him and he spends his time in service to his community. Driven by a deep sense of compassion and justice, Turner believes in the power of bringing people together to solve complex problems. He is recognized as a leader and serves on the board of directors of over a dozen nonprofit organizations as well as in appointed positions in local and state government.
Turner has a certificate in public policy design from the Harvard Kennedy School and attended Arizona State University for a BS in Political Science. An unapologetic conversationalist, it is likely you’ll strike up a conversation with him that will last too long and make you late for your next appointment.
Mark Bigler LCSW, PhD
Mark O. Bigler, LCSW, PhD is a Professor and chair of the Department of Social Work and Gerontology at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and French from the University of Utah, where he also completed his master’s degree in social work (MSW). He holds a PhD in human sexuality and health education from New York University. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and sex therapist and has worked with couples in private practice for several years. In addition, he has devoted a good share of his professional life to HIV/AIDS prevention and clinical services in Utah and in New York City in both substance abuse treatment and AIDS services settings. Dr. Bigler has taught health, sexuality, and social work courses as an adjunct at various colleges and universities in Utah. He has been a full-time faculty member in the Department of Social Work and Gerontology at Weber State University since 1999 and has served as the department chair since 2005. His professional and research interests include: human sexuality, sexual functioning and sex therapy, sex guilt and religion, sexual aggression, gender issues, HIV/AIDS, harm reduction, substance use/abuse, and national and international drug policy.
Jen Thompson, LCSW
Jen Thompson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been in the field of mental and behavioral health for over 11 years. Jen graduated from the University of Utah College of Social Work with both of her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work. Jen has worked in the field of Substance Use Disorders for the majority of her career, working closely with the justice involved population. Jen has experience in leadership, policy writing, program development, advocacy and Strategic Planning. Jen has also had the opportunity to teach a variety of different courses in the Substance Use Disorder Certificate Program and the Master of Social Work Program. Jen believes that it is critical for an individual to learn the power that lies within them when they just believe in themselves.
Jen specializes in:
· High-Risk Violent Offender/ Justice Involved Population
· Substance Use Disorders
· Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
· Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
· Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
· Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)
And is certified in: DBT, MRT and EMDR.
Alyssa Hewitson MSW
Alyssa Hewitson is a recent MSW graduate from the University of Southern California. She's been helping those in recovery since 2017. Her love of people is what fueled her passion in pursuing social work as her career. Alyssa's "off the clock" activities include traveling, being with her family, mindfulness practices, and spending a copious amount of time with her FURever friend Bindi, who she hopes to train as a therapy dog to assist in her future practice.
Justin was accepted into the US Navy advanced nuclear propulsion program for nuclear engineering and mechanical curriculum when he was 17 and graduated at the top of his class, becoming a staff instructor in the program. He currently owns two engineering tech companies, one of which is in the cannabis industry.
Stemming from both personal and professional experiences, Justin began advocating over 6 years ago for sound, evidence-based drug policies and education on both a state and federal level and was an integral part in the passage of Proposition 2, Utah’s ballot initiative for medical cannabis.
Justin continues to fight for patient access as well as social and economic justice within our recently begun cannabis program in Utah. He has served on the board of directors for the Drug Policy Project of Utah, TRUCE, and has now joined with the Utah Harm Reduction Coalition to aide in their drug policy reform work and education efforts.
Lindsey Edwards MSW
Lindsey Edwards works with the YMCA of Northern Utah as Regional Director of Salt Lake and Wasatch. She has 13 years of community and youth development experience. Lindsey served as a Youth Development volunteer through AmeriCorps in Austin, Texas and as a Community Health and Economic Development volunteer through the Peace Corps in Uganda, East Africa. Lindsey holds an MSW from Columbia University School of Social Work and a BS in Communication Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. Lindsey is originally from Watauga, Texas, and enjoys being in the mountains, riding her bike, and hiking with her dogs. Lindsey lives in Marmalade with her husband of 14 years and two dogs: a cattle dog named Fancy, and an Olde English bulldog named Sue Bob.
Evan’s passion and dedication for harm reduction began as a teenager when he co-founded the Salt Lake City chapter of DanceSafe, a national organization promoting health and safety within the electronic music community. With over a decade of experience in social justice advocacy, he is dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable world. A systems administrator and programmer by trade, Evan now uses his wide array of IT skills to assist non-profit, social service, and public policy organizations to further their mission and heighten their impact. Evan is now a person in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder and is currently employed as the Community Outreach & Empowerment Coordinator for the Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA).
Kyli is a journalist, mental health educator, and sex workers rights activist. Currently, she is a lifestyle and health reporter for Bustle Media. She has written for numerous publications, including HuffPost, Allure, Healthline, NYLON, The Salt Lake Tribune, and more. In addition to her writing, Kyli is an avid advocate for the disability and mental health community, and she serves as the Assistant Youth Coordinator for Allies With Families. Through her work, she co-founded the Youth of Utah Advocacy Coalition — an organization that empowers young adults who've been involved in system services to become advocates and change-makers in their communities. Kyli is also a founding member and representative for the Sex Workers Outreach Project's Salt Lake City Chapter. She serves on the Board Of Trustees for the Disability Law Center.
After struggling with the disease of addiction for close to a decade and losing a brother to an overdose, Tyler sought treatment and is now 7+ years sober and licensed as an advanced substance abuse counselor. In addition to working as the general manager at Steps Recovery Centers, he is pursuing his master's degree in social work at BYU and he works with the Utah County Sheriff's Office in the RISE program.
He spends his off time with his family and credits them for his successes today. He is passionate about harm reduction and the benefit is brought to those in our society today.