Cate Matisi headshot

WOUB Member Spotlight: Cate Matisi

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Matisi has been a member of WOUB since 1992

ATHENS, OH – Growing up in northeast Ohio, Cate Matisi says she had an ideal childhood.

“I grew up in Lowellville, near Youngstown, and I was blessed with this terribly normal childhood. We lived across from a city park. I had no issues with domestic violence, alcohol, or drug abuse. I realized that it was not fair that I was so lucky and not fair that others were so unlucky. I felt like it was my responsibility to do something about that.”

With a desire to help others, Cate knew at a very young age that she wanted to be a doctor. She studied pre-med at the University of Dayton, did her psychiatric residency in New York City and decided to come back to Ohio when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Matisi began living and working in the Athens-area after realizing that southeastern Ohio was much better fitted to her lifestyle that northern Ohio. She fell in love with Athens after a trip exploring living options and has lived there since 1992. Over the years, Matisi has worked at several different mental health facilities in the region. Currently she’s working at Bassett House, an adolescent drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Athens.

“There is a stigma against mental illness and addiction,” said Matisi. “People need to understand these are brain diseases, not choices. Drugs mess with your brain and the way your brain works. It impacts the decisions you make, your judgements, your morals. You then justify bad decisions.”

Matisi is so passionate about recovery that in partnership with the 317 Board and as part of a group called Women in Recovery, she helped open a women’s recovery house. The home located in Athens is called Serenity Grove. It offers residential transitional living in a safe, secure, and sober environment to women in recovery from substance abuse/use with the eventual goal of transitioning them back into independent living with the skills necessary to live free of drugs and alcohol.

“Working to help people recover is really gratifying. I’m so proud of the work we are doing,” said Matisi. “The only way to get rid of the stigma around mental illness and addiction is for people to get to know those who are in recovery and break down those barriers.”

Matisi is also working on creating a recovery community organization connected to the Makers Network at Hocking College. The Makers Network has facilities and opportunities available for people to learn woodworking, welding and visual arts and wants to help people to find their creative passions through an introduction to tools; approachable, affordable classes; and workshop membership opportunities to pursue their interests.

“This recovery community organization would allow anyone who is a part of it to be a part of the Makers Network for free,” said Matisi. “This entire region just provides such incredible support in the effort to help people through recovery. It is amazing and wonderful.”

Matisi has been a member of WOUB Public Media since 1992. She says it’s the only radio station she ever listens to, and she has it on all the time. Matisi enjoys the news programming from NPR and the local music programs on the evenings and weekends.

“I’m just fascinated with the variety of programs and information you get on WOUB,” said Matisi. “The topics are just so interesting. There is so much information. I learn so much that I use in my work and in my life.”