News for and about CAHS Employees
May 2016

In this issue ...
Heroin Can't Keep Dustin Adams Down
 14th CIT Training Celebrated
Three Schools Debut CAHS-Funded PSAs
CAHS "Walking the Walk" to Help Charities
ERC Serves Up a Tasty Time
Employees Earn Advanced Credentials
In recognition of Public Service Recognition Week, I’d like to extend thanks and appreciation for your ongoing work at this agency. There are many individuals and families that are aware of how important your work is. I think it is up to all of us to keep in mind how each of us can positively change a family’s hope and success for generations.  
From one public service employee to all of you, I thank you for your dedication.  
Jan Kasofsky, PhD
Client Success At CAHS
Dustin Adams
"It didn't take long before I was hooked, homeless, and broke."

Dustin Adams was three-days hungry, living in his truck, out of gas, clutching a tiny New Testament, and praying for God’s help when he saw the light.
“It looked as bright as an angel, and the light filled my truck, right there in the Walmart parking lot in Walker, Louisiana,” Dustin recalls vividly.
But, the light that burned brightly in his bloodshot eyes wasn’t an angel; it was a policeman’s flashlight, as Dustin was rousted out and arrested for burglary charges. He had stolen from others to pay for heroin.
Dustin hadn’t intended to become a criminal. He certainly hadn’t intended to become a heroin addict. His experiences with drugs had been limited to occasional drinking and the “ecstasy party scene,” as he called it. But, in 2009, after his wife was killed in an automobile accident by a drunk driver, Dustin experienced a sadness he had never felt, and a friend offered him prescription oxycodone to “ease the pain.”
The “oxy” got him hooked, and soon his $100/day drug habit was consuming his $120/day work habit as a flooring installer. One day, when his pusher ran out of oxy, he offered Dustin heroin instead.
“I was afraid of heroin.  I didn’t want to use it, but I had to have a fix of something, and I tried it out of desperation. It didn’t take long before I was hooked, homeless, and broke,” Dustin said.
Between 2010 and 2015, Dustin’s life was a downward ride on the "horse."  He missed the birth of his twin daughters with his girlfriend because he was high on heroin and couldn’t be found.  He borrowed money from friends and family and didn’t pay it back. He stole family heirlooms from his Mom and valuables from cars and homes to sell for heroin money.
By the time the bright light filled Dustin’s pickup truck last year, he had decided to surrender himself to the law, to God, and to drug treatment. After his arrest and spending months in jail in 2015, Dustin was referred to the Capital Area Recovery Program (CARP), where he took his recovery seriously and completed the 28-day inpatient program in April.
CARP Facility Manager John “Mel” Zufall (
shown right) says Dustin was a model participant, digging into his emotions, sharing his experiences, and breaking the pull of addiction. Dustin credits Licensed Addiction Counselor Georgia Grimes (shown below) and the CARP staff for his ongoing recovery. 
Today, even though he remains under court supervision, Dustin celebrates his return to work as an operator of heavy machinery – a job that was waiting for him as soon as he completed the CARP program. He’s also participating in outpatient treatment and is getting more involved with his church, testifying about his experiences in hopes he can help others. 
“I was tired of hurting other people and myself.  I knew I had to change, and I wanted to change,” Dustin said. “Now, I say yes to good things and no to bad things.” 

SPECIAL TV REPORT:  Heroin On the Rise

Click on the image above and choose the second story to watch

According to a new report from the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office, heroin addiction is turning more deadly in this region. The report, issued in April, found 41 people died in 2015 from heroin overdoses, up from 28 deaths in 2014. On April 4, WVLA-TV aired a package of stories, one of which featured CARP Facilities Manager John "Mel" Zufall, CARP client Dustin Adams, and CAHS Medical Director Dr. Aniedi Udofa.


More About CARP 
John “Mel” Zufall, Facility Manager
2455 Wooddale Blvd., Baton Rouge

CARP is a 28-day, inpatient treatment facility for adult males, 18 years and older. Clients are admitted only by referral by clinicians, drug courts, hospitals, mental health and substance abuse facilities.

Key services include:
Assessment and evaluation
Individual and group counseling
Co-occurring treatment services
Introduction to the 12-Step Program
AA, Al-Anon, NA and CA recovery groups
Stress and anger management
Integration into community-based services, including literacy services
Tobacco cessation program
Parenting classes
Family therapy
Gambling assessment and treatment
What's Happening At CAHS
CAHS Holds 14th CIT Training for Law Enforcement
Thirty eight law enforcement officers, from four area agencies, completed the 14th CAHS Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT), held April 11-15. Since 2008, more than 400 members of law enforcement have completed the CAHS program.
Special thanks to Program Manager John Nosacka, LCSW, MSHCM, who coordinates and conducts the CIT trainings for CAHS. CAHS staff who also presented at the April training were Jan Kasofsky, PhD; Stephen Aguillard, LCSW; Scott Meche, PhD; Bryan Gros, PhD; Karen Pino, LCSW; Scott Thomas, LCSW; and Matricia Green, CCGC.

“This 40-hour training gives our first responders crucial skills to de-escalate behavioral health crises and to get citizens the help they need safely and quickly,” said CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD. 

Law enforcement agencies participating in the April training were the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, Baton Rouge Police Department, Gonzales Police Department, and LSU Police Department. 
 Above: Baton Rouge City Police Department               Below: Gonzales Police Department

CAHS developed the training in 2008 as part of a 10-part comprehensive plan to respond to the increased behavioral health crises for persons with mental illness, addictive disorders, and developmental disabilities. 

The officers learn about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of mental illnesses, as well as suicide prevention, Alzheimer's, and dementia. 

Above: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office
Not pictured: LSU Police Department
Behavioral Health Collaborative Recap

Three Schools Tackle Serious Teen Issues in
CAHS-Funded Public Service Announcements

PSAs Debuted April 22 At Behavioral Health Collaborative Meeting
High school students from three area schools recently debuted video public service announcements that they produced about suicide and alcohol use prevention as part of a CAHS campaign to reach high school students and the general public.

"We encourage the schools to share these important messages with students, parents, faculty, and the community," said CAHS Prevention Division Director Vivian Gettys, who led the effort to secure grants to fund the PSA initiative.

The PSAs were funded through CAHS mini grants that were awarded several weeks ago to Scotlandville Magnet High School, McKinley High School, and East Ascension High School. The mini grants were the first of their kind from CAHS to foster student-designed media that could be circulated through social media channels.

CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD, awarded certificates to the students and faculty advisors after the PSAs were shown at the April 22 meeting of the Behavioral Health Collaborative, held at CAHS. The videos include dramatic presentations of factual information and encourage students in need of help to call CAHS or to visit the CAHS website,

CAHS provides grant funds to many schools and school systems for alcohol and drug use prevention programming in the region, including East and West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, East and West Baton Rouge, Ascension and Iberville.

Watch Scotlandville Magnet High School's PSA on Suicide Prevention

Watch McKinley High School's PSA on Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention

Watch East Ascension High School's PSA on Suicide Prevention

Scotlandville Magnet High School
Shown (l-r): Team Spirit Sponsors Iris King-Marks and Kimberly Jackson; CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD.; ICARE Director Gwynn Shamlin; Diamond Jonise, student; ICARE Prevention Specialist Rosalind Wright; Demeka Underwood, Jonise's mother; and ICARE Prevention Specialist Susan Thornton.

McKinley High School
Shown (l-r): ICARE Program Director Gwynn Shamlin; CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD;  and ICARE Prevention Specialists Susan Thornton and Rosalind Wright.

East Ascension High School
Shown (l-r): Conor Cannon, Teacher Lori Yglesias, Mahogany Green, Luke Gorman, CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD, Faith Carmouche, Alyssa Lavigne,
Maylen Mire, and Jacky Mitchell.


More News from The Collaborative 
CAHS Prevention Division Director Vivian Gettys, RN, MPH, presented information about the Drug Free Communities initiatives, developed to strengthen collaboration of communities and to reduce substance use among youth. 

Joining Vivian and presenting information about activities in their respective areas were Toddie Milstead, Coordinator of the West Baton Rouge Healthy Community Coalition; and Deborah Thomas, PhD, Coordinator of the East and West Feliciana Drug and Alcohol Awareness Council. See the WBR presentation here and the East/West Feliciana presentation here.

Other Collaborative speakers and their topics included:
  • Developmental Disabilities Division Director Scott Meche, PhD, gave an update about the CAHS Applied Behavior Analysis Program; 
  • Clinical Director Stephen Aguillard, LCSW-BACS, Sheidra Boutte, LCSW, and Tonja Myles, Peer Support Supervisor, noted the progress of the CAHS Justice Involved Intensive Outpatient Program (JI-IOP) at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison;
  • Scott Westbrook of Humana, and Chris McNeil of AmeriHealth, both spoke about their companies' support of providing mental health services as a vital part of primary health care;
  • Andy Allen, Outreach Officer at the East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President's Office, gave an update about an initiative being developed by the city-parish that would help primary care providers better connect with behavioral health services.
Coming Up At CAHS
Lunch 'N Learn on Stress Management: May 17 

The next Lunch 'N Learn will cover the topic "Personal Self-Care and Stress Management" and will be held at the Government Street location (only) on Tuesday, May 17, at noon.

CAHS Clinical Director Stephen Aguillard, LCSW-BACS, will facilitate a discussion about early intervention and sources of support to promote recovery and well-being. 

Bring your lunch and join us for an engaging discussion targeted to a general audience, including clients, the public, and non-clinical staff. No registration is required, but please coordinate with your supervisor.
Register Now:  Earn CEUs
Click here for info and to register
Staff Development and Community Training Series

May 18: "Bullying: An Overview and Treatment"
Presenter: Bryan Gros, PhD

This workshop will explore various types of bullying and the characteristics of those who bully and their victims. Cyberbulling will be included, along with treatment options.
Celebrate Our Nurses!
National Nurses Week is May 6-12

We want to take this opportunity to thank all of the nurses at CAHS for everything they do to provide excellent care to the people we serve. 
"One Bad Decision" Campaign Underway

Prom and graduation season is upon us again, and statistics show that the months of April, May and June are the most dangerous for teens. Each year, one-third of the alcohol-related traffic fatalities that involve teens occur during those months.  

"Prom and graduation are special times in teens' lives, and the more we can do to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs, the safer they will be," said CAHS Prevention Division Director Vivian Gettys.

In partnership with regional schools and community coalitions, CAHS is supporting the “One Bad Decision” media campaign that is underway and is utilizing billboards, news articles, posters, and mailer postcards to encourage high school students and their parents to celebrate responsibly.  

The campaign's specific tips include 1) not hosting parties with alcohol, 2) driving safely without distractions, 3) avoiding alcohol and other drugs, 4) staying in contact, and
5) setting an agreed-upon time to be home to encourage accountability.
Recent Activities At CAHS
"CAHS Pack" Exceeds Goal
Employees Raise $2,075 for American Heart Association

Congratulations to the “CAHS Pack” for raising $2,075 for the American Heart Association, exceeding the group's original fundraising goal of $1,500. 

The CAHS Pack raised the funds for and participated in the Capital Area Heart Walk, held April 9 at LSU. The fundraising effort also placed the group as the #1 Heart Walk fundraising team among those listed under the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals on the Heart Walk website.

The 15 CAHS Pack members were Lynetta Butler, team coordinator, Stacie MacMurdo, Gloria Thompson,  Calantha Kemp, Aniedi Udofa, Betty Mims, Nona Griffin, Suzanne Woodard, LaKeshia Reed, Chakedra Johnson, Sonya Kelly, Shannon Southall, Sharon Schmidtfranz, Michael Brown, and LaTonya Wilcox.

CAHS/DD "Blue Birds" Get Active for Autism

Staff from CAHS’s Developmental Disabilities Division, better known as the CAHS/DD "Blue Birds," laced up their tennis shoes, invited friends and family, and hit the road on April 30 for the 7th annual "Active for Autism" 5K Run/Walk and Fun Fest.

The event was held at the State Police headquarters on Independence Blvd. in Baton Rouge, and this was the Blue Birds’ third year participating. Proceeds from the event benefit Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge’s Resource Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (RCASD). The RCASD provides services that include:

 - An extensive lending library on autism spectrum disorders
- Advocacy for autism services
- Toll-free phone line for support and information
- Ongoing support from other families
- Workshops and trainings on autism-related topics
Above (l-r): CAHS/DD "Blue Birds" Cheryl Brown, Shenitha Smith, Jewel Magee, Wynette Bell, Michael Strain, Dr. Jim LeVelle, Team Captain Jason Cervini, Cynthia Clark, Tyler Talafuse, and Tammy Salter. Not pictured is Valencia Allen.
CAHS Participates in "Baby Grand" Event

Thanks to Angela Mosby, Outreach Specialist with the Nurse Family Partnership, for staffing a booth and distributing educational materials about CAHS' programs at the "Baby Grand" event, sponsored by Woman's Hospital on April 30. The event featured classes, tours, demonstrations and door prizes. 
ERC Serves Up Tasty Fish for Employees

The Employee Relations Committee (ERC) would like to thank everyone for making "Fish Fry Friday" a success. ERC members helped prepare and serve more than 100 plates of delicious fish and sides at the lunch, held April 29 at the Government St. location.

The proceeds will be used by the ERC to host future events for CAHS employees. ERC members are Michael Brown, Richard Brown Jr., LaBrencia Harris, Calantha Kemp, Betty Mims, Cangela Robertson, Shenitha Smith, Shannon Southall, LaTonya Wilcox, and Lynetta Butler. 
Who's Who at CAHS
Who joined CAHS recently?
Click here to see!
Meet Baby "KJ"
Congratulations to Monique Carter (School Based) and husband, Karrick, Sr., on the birth of their son, Karrick "KJ" Carter, Jr., on April 3.  Monique is doing well, and KJ's sister, Kamryn, is very excited to have a brother!
Great Work, Bridget and Mac!

Bridget Lewis                               Mac Haik

After several years of school work on nights and weekends -- in addition to their full-time jobs at CAHS -- Bridget Lewis and Mac Haik have earned advanced credentials.

Bridget recently passed the Addictive Disorder Regulatory Authority (ADRA) State Board Exam and is now a Licensed Prevention Professional. 

Mac recently completed the workplace supervision required to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He previously earned his Masters of Social Work at LSU.
We Want to Hear From You!
CAHS Connections is your newsletter, about and for the employees and activities of Capital Area Human Services. We welcome your ideas and photos. Items of interest include program news, events, achievements, presentations, births, 25+-year anniversaries, contests, etc.

Please email your ideas and photos to or click on one of these names to send an email with your story ideas:
Karen Bray, Rafael Maza, Lynetta Butler,
Michael BrownRichard Brown, Jr.Betty Mims, and Shenitha Smith.

In case you missed it ... 
Click here to see last month's edition of CAHS Connections
Our Mission
To facilitate person-centered recovery by empowering people
of all ages with behavioral health needs and developmental disability challenges to strengthen relationships, establish independence, and enhance their ability to improve their
physical health and emotional well being.
Our Vision
Our network provides local access to best practices that respond to the unique needs of individuals living in the District's communities.

Copyright © 2016 CAHS/Capital Area Human Services, All rights reserved.

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