MMC Faces Behind
Recovery Service Navigator "Cleans Up"
Fallon's Photography Studio
The saying “It’s not work when you’re doing something
you love” is undoubtedly familiar to all of us.
When the Hartnett family decided to leave New York City in the 1980s and
move to rural Pennsylvania to raise their family, our community gained a gem.
John Hartnett attended Meadville schools and graduated from Allegheny College
with a political science degree. He floated through school doing the bare
minimum, yet managed to get by. Many in his social circle were drug users.
“Going along with the crowd, my life was spinning out of control,”
John said recently. “I saw several of my close friends pass away
from opioid use and I knew I wasn’t going to continue going down
that road; I wanted more out of life. When I missed out on an opportunity
at work because I was too hungover, I decided that was the last straw.”
He worked to make his life more manageable, beginning his journey of addiction recovery.
A self-taught web developer, John enjoys creating websites and doing graphic
design work. He also likes snowboarding, yoga and disc golf, but his greatest
joy is volunteering. “In recovery it is vital to sustain healthy
routines. Volunteering and being of service to others allows me to maintain
an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and is really enjoyable,”
he said. “Drug addiction is very isolating. And, life is hard. One
of my biggest goals is creating a more compassionate and inclusive community
where everyone can lead fulfilling, happy and healthy lives. I would love
to see a teen center built near the high school. With the right volunteers,
students could see the benefits of maintaining a positive attitude and
build resiliency to stay off drugs as a coping mechanism.”
After seeing firsthand the grave destruction addiction causes in families,
John went to Not One More NWPA, a support and advocacy group. Talking
with others who understood addiction helped him get through the loss of
so many of his friends. Today, John is the president of the organization,
and he helps addicts and their families by connecting them with local
support groups, treatment options and life-saving naloxone. He also helped
start Thankful Thursdays. “With the help of several awesome individuals
from the community, we do pop-up community service events,” he explained.
“We have so much room for growth. We welcome anyone that is interested
in joining us.” He noted that he models his community service efforts
after another Meadville resident, Lee Scandinaro. “I am in awe of
what a selfless, thoughtful human being he is,” John said. “I
have learned so much from him.”
Recently, John became a Recovery Service Navigator with Meadville Medical
Center. The position was created through the Meadville Medical Center
Foundation’s Let’s Talk campaign, which focuses on the current
opioid crisis. John acts as a comprehensive resource for anyone seeking
information about treatment or support options related to addiction. “My
day job is an extension of my life,” he said.
Like bees to honey, John attracts people from all walks of life. They
see the good in him and what a kind soul he has. His love for our community
and its people is heartwarming. A lot of exciting things are happening
in the Meadville community, and we are proud to have one of our own responsible
for a good share of it. Not only has he cleaned up his own life, he is
making Meadville a much better place for all of us.
We are proud to introduce John Hartnett, Recovery Service Navigator, our
May 2018 Faces Behind