FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        October 6, 2011
Contact: Nikki Reen (267.295.3859 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Integrating Physical and Behavioral Health Needs For Women in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – When 48-year old Cherise entered Interim House in January 2010, she had been battling the demons of crack cocaine for over 20 years. But today, thanks in large part to the work of Interim House, she is 21 months drug-free and counting. Founded in 1971, Interim House is the oldest residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment program for women in Philadelphia and one of the first on the East Coast.

Cherise achieved recovery with the help of Interim House and its partnership with Gearing Up, a local nonprofit organization that uses bike riding as means to empower women during periods of difficult transition. Gearing Up, founded by Kristin Gavin, a graduate of Temple University’s Masters Program in Exercise and Sport Psychology, launched in 2009 when Gavin ran group bike rides at Interim House. On Thursday, October 13, Interim House will honor Gavin with its first ever Community Partner Award, to be presented by First Lady of the City of Philadelphia, Lisa Nutter, who has also biked with clients at Interim House. The event celebrates Interim House’s clients and partners and recognizes 40 years of empowering women in recovery from substance abuse. Part of Interim House’s work includes offering women a full spectrum of wellness services –biking being one of them.

“We’re thrilled to recognize the work Gearing Up does with women in our program,” says Kathy Wellbank, program director of Interim House. “Integrating the physical health needs of each woman helps improve her overall well-being and contributes to her successful recovery.” When Cherise entered Interim House, she’d never exercised regularly. But through Gearing Up and Interim House, she climbed atop a bike and never stopped peddling. Now, at 400 miles and counting, she’s mentoring her peers at Interim House. “Biking allowed me to challenge myself and build my confidence. It opened up a whole new world and allowed me to let go. It made me realize how I missed so much of life.”


About Interim House

Since its founding in Philadelphia in 1971, Interim House, the oldest residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment program for women in Pennsylvania, has helped thousands of women recover from drug and alcohol addiction and lead fulfilling lives with purpose and meaning. Learn more at

About Public Health Management Corporation

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce.  PHMC has served the region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit