Dr. Rita Anita Linger, is a Human Scientist and the Executive Director of Recovery Communities of North Carolina (RCNC). She has worked as a mind-body therapist, educator and trainer within addiction recovery and building healthy communities across the country and has worked as an academic researcher, senior multi-million dollar grant reviewer, consultant and advocate within government/legislative and community systems both nationally and internationally advocating on behalf and working with those suffering from substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring disorders, their families, allies and other support systems.
She is an award-winning community health and wellness professional, having worked within healthcare and community systems both in the U.S. and internationally for over three decades to improve the quality of care for both healthcare consumers and those who work with them. For most of Dr. Linger’s career she has led organizations both in the non-profit and for-profit worlds. Her expertise in assessing community and organizational needs and moving forward to create solutions for seemingly intractable conditions is noteworthy. Her name and picture sits on a quilt next to Dorothy Cotton (Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Aide and Confidante), in the DeWitt Historical Museum in NYS for her leadership in Social Justice and Community Advocacy work.
In addition to creating and leading innovative efforts around public and community health, Dr. Linger worked as Director of Patient-Centric and Analytic Services at Governeur Hospital in Manhattan, NY (one of the leading safety-net hospitals in NYC at the time) for almost a decade in the 1980s. She has and continues to create patient- centric programming/services and self-care supportive therapies for those with chronic illness, SUDs, mental health disorders, their family members and allies.
Dr. Linger is an Integrative Health Practitioner with a background, training and practice in Contemporary Neuroscience, Psycho-Physiology, Mind-Body Medicine, Psychology, Public Health, Community Development, Substance Use and Co-occurring Disorders, Holistic Therapy and Business. Her work focuses on the impact of individuals, families and communities who experience trauma, poverty, substance use disorders, chronic disease and mental illness.
She commits her life to service and increasing understanding and support for the recovery movement including but not limited to substance use disorder and brain function, stigma reduction and the importance of language, genetic predisposition to substance use disorder as well as the power of epigenetics.
Dr. Linger is an internationally renowned community advocate, organizer, trainer, facilitator, holistic therapist and university professor having taught as Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, Cornell University, Atlantic University, William Peace University, Meredith College and others. She is an appointed member of Shaw University’s Internal Review Board, a published author of academic and peer reviewed journal articles. She serves as Senior Faculty and Supervisor with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, since 2010. She is a Professor and Community Program Developer for UNC Integrative Medicine and Rehabilitation Dept. She has worked to promote addiction recovery, amelioration of chronic disease, resiliency and reduce experiences of trauma both in the U.S. and internationally for over 30 years.
Dr. Linger is also a corporate systems efficiency expert and coach working with Fortune 500 corporations and non-profits to increase their efficiency, build effective teams and leaders, resolve conflict, enhance performance, create a culture of wellness and implement diversity initiatives. She is a family member of a person in long term recovery and a recovery ally. She works with emerging and recovery organizations teaching and coaching them around issues of sustainability and capacity building using an Appreciative Inquiry and Participatory Action process.