Ginger Schmalenberg, Executive Director, serves as a board member of Ohio PRO and has helped to develop the charter documents and strategic plan for this state-wide collaborative effort.

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Executive Summary

Ohio PRO believes that people – our friends, families, and neighbors should live with hope, health, a sense of belonging and purpose. We know how powerful the empathetic peer and recovery support involvement leads to better quality of life outcomes for people in recovery. Self-direction, personal relationships, housing, social integration, and employment are vital parts of the recovery process and helping someone to live their best life.

Peer recovery programs are staffed by peers with lived experiences that provide real life examples of living in recovery to others. Peer staffed mental health and substance use and other addiction disorder programs help those seeking recovery to recognize and understand their illnesses, develop daily living skills, and find clinical or community resources to help strengthen their recovery. A person’s acceptance of services and supports that lead to long term recovery can be accelerated when peer staff is part of the recovery team. This leads to better quality of life outcomes and a more effective use of public and personal funds.

By working together with Ohio PRO, Ohio’s peer recovery organizations and programs can amplify their voice and ally for combined action on behalf of their cause on issues before government, philanthropic, and community and client forums.


Ohio PRO serves as a unifying force for Ohio peer recovery organizations and programs to speak with a unified voice in all aspects of the mental health and substance use disorder systems.


Ohio PRO will be a leader across the state for peer recovery organizations and programs for combined action on behalf of their cause on issues before government, philanthropic, and community and client forums. Ohio PRO will be a value-added organization for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and ensure a peer voice at the table to support OhioMHAS’s initiatives around the state for peers and peer recovery organizations, and will help deliver department goals and objectives.


  • Collaboration and Building RelationshipsOhio PRO was formed by a working collaborative of Ohio’s peer recovery organizations representing the six regions of the state serviced by a state hospital and due to the OhioMHAS initiative of the State-Wide Advocacy Network (SWAN); with the purpose of promoting peer resiliency and growing the field of Peer Recovery Support. Ohio Pro and its member organizations are highly active with providing advocacy for peer services across their communities, addressing state, county and community leaders to secure support and funding for peer-recovery organizations and programs.
  • EducationOhio PRO and its member organizations are experienced in providing information on peer support best practices and offer technical assistance to peers and other peer centers, including but not limited to 1. W.H.A.M. training; 2. Effective methods for engaging and motivating individuals in recovery; and 3. Collecting, synthesizing, and analyzing data to share impact and to promote continuous improvement. Ohio PRO is also active in promoting anti-stigma education and peer-support trainings. Regional wellness and advocacy symposiums have taken place across the state for the last 5 years hosted by members of Ohio PRO; connecting peers and peer recovery groups through shared practices, training and technical assistance.
  • Communication and Outreach – Conducting monthly meetings and annual conferences and trainings to reach leaders of peer recovery centers and peer recovery supporters unites peers in the ability to receive and give peer services, thus creating strength in programming and leading to better outcomes for those who have lived experience and are in recovery. Having a developed website and other social and print media presence enhances messaging across the state.


E-Licensing Hubs


OhioPRO partners with peer organizations to create Peer eLicensing/Certification Technical Assistance Hubs.

Five peer organizations have partnered with OhioPRO and OhioMHAS to create technical assistance call centers for peers. These centers will be staffed by certified peer recovery supporters who will be available to answer any questions regarding the new eLicensing platform. They have received training so that they may provide information and answer any questions related to peer recovery supporter certification or recertification.

​If you have any questions regarding eLicensing, certification, or recertification, please contact any of the individuals below.


Sandusky Artisans; Emily Werner at (419)901-6558 or

​Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley; Ashley Smithson or Cindy Heitman at (937)528-6399 or;

​The Recovery Center of Hamilton County; Andrea McCrate at (513)579-5416 or;

​The Gathering Place; Richard Otto or Ginger Schmalenberg at (740)592-2690 or;

​The PEER Center; Gary Kratheler at (614)453-4841 or;

​​If you have any questions about contacting these individuals/organizations, please contact Michael J. Krause, Executive Director of OhioPRO, at

Each of the individuals above will be available to respond to questions from

Monday through Friday from 10 am – 2pm.