News for and about CAHS Employees
September 2018

In this issue ...

Register: CAHS Taste Fest / Fall Training Series
CAHS Celebrates Recovery Month in September
National Dialogues on Behavioral Health, Oct. 28-31
Workgroup Seeks to Improve Client Engagement
Are YOU Ready? Take the CARF Quiz
Amy Betts Completes Term as CAHS Board Chair
Corlis Gremillion Named DD Director
CAHS Now Offering Vivitrol for Opioid Treatment
Client Success: De'Marion Graduates From ASCEND
ASCEND Director Speaks at EBR Library
CAHS Officials Discuss Need for Crisis Center
Margaret Dumas Staff at Health Fair
Back to School With CAHS Programs
Coming Up At CAHS

Sign Up Today:  "A Taste of Capital Area"

5th Annual CAHS Taste Fest
September 12, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Government St. campus, Room 200

Join us for this fun and tasty event, presented by the CAHS Employee Relations Committee (ERC). Info here.

Contact any ERC member to compete as a chef, or you can simply attend and enjoy the great food by buying a meal for only $6. All proceeds will help the ERC host future CAHS employee gatherings.

Prepare your favorite dish in one or both of the following categories 1) main course/appetizer, and 2) dessert. Last year, more than 80 CAHS employees enjoyed tasting and judging more than 30 delicious dishes that their co-workers prepared. We hope to see you!

Fall 2018 Training Series Set

October 24  Earn 3 Clinical CEUs  Register here
Place / Time: Government St., Bldg. 2, Room 200, 1 - 4:15 p.m.
Topic: "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Insomnia"
Presenter: Laura Guillory, LCSW-BACS
Overview: CBT is a technique for treating insomnia without medications. Insomnia is a common problem involving trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting quality sleep. CBT-I aims to improve sleep habits and behaviors that affect a person's ability to sleep.

November 14  Earn 3 Ethics CEUs  Register here
Place / Time: Government St., Bldg. 2, Room 200, 1 - 4:15 p.m.
Topic: "Social Work Values: The Drivers of Ethics"
Presenter: Joseph Keegan, LCSW-BACS
Overview: This training will encourage an in-depth discussion of social work core values from the NASW Code of Ethics and will use examples of these core values from a variety of situations. Participants will examine how these values are often on a continuum, and how different values may be in conflict with each other in social work practice.

CAHS to Celebrate Recovery Month in September

Join CAHS during September as we celebrate Recovery Month and as we continue our unique work in the region to help individuals and families overcome the many burdens of various addictions. Recovery Month celebrates new life, better health, and more opportunities for our clients through the recovery process.

CAHS Wellness Day  Info here
Sept. 19, 9:30 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Center for Adult Behavioral Health
This free event for CAHS clients is designed to encourage healthy lifestyles and to help them prevent or manage diseases.

"Art & Addiction" by Ben Peabody 
Sept. 16, 3 p.m.  Info here
EBR Library - Goodwood Blvd.

Acclaimed artist Ben Peabody exhibits his series, Art & Addiction, throughout September at the EBR Library Main Branch, and he will host this special presentation and book signing on Sept. 16. CAHS joins the event as a resource partner, offering information about recovery services.

59th Annual
National Dialogues on Behavioral Health
Reinventing the Behavioral Health Workforce: Implementing Innovative Solutions"
October 28-31
Renaissance Arts Hotel
700 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans
Info and registration here

By 2025, workforce shortages are projected for psychiatrists, behavioral health social workers, psychologists, school counselors, and marriage and family therapists. This conference will address the expected shortages and other issues while emphasizing implementation of best practices. Presentations and discussions will become building blocks for the design of models of the future behavioral health workforce.
Client Engagement At CAHS

CAHS Workgroup Seeks to Improve Client Engagement

A CAHS workgroup, established in January, has been examining the issue of engagement for our mental health and addiction recovery clients and what it means to CAHS as an agency.

Special thanks to these CAHS professionals who comprised the workgroup: Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD; Medical Director Aniedi Udofa, MD, DABPN; Mental Health Clinical Services Director Stephen Aguillard, LCSW-BACS; Director for Addiction Recovery Services Jan Laughinghouse, PhD, LCSW; Mental Health Program Director Lula Richardson, LCSW; Director of Business Operations Karla Lee-Muzik; and Program Manager John Nosacka, LCSW, MSHCM.

The workgroup focused on the most critical needs of CAHS clients: 1) access to post-acute care (post-hospitalization) for new and established clients, and 2) access to treatment by new and established clients.

CAHS has developed action steps to increase the number of clients showing up for their post-acute, clinical care appointments (known as "aftercares"). These clients are most at risk for relapse or re-hospitalization if they don't have access to community-based care.

CAHS also has focused on the experience of clients who come to its clinics for treatment as “walk-ins” and who were asked to return because they could not be seen that day by a treatment social worker, nurse practitioner or psychiatrist. Even in those cases, however, no one is turned away without being assessed by a licensed clinician, which is a proactive step known as triage.  

Across all clinical services, CAHS sees about 360 clients every day, and that demand can exceed the capacity of our clinicians and other professionals on a given day.

The work group is using data and clinical feedback to continue to refine steps that the clinics can take to improve access to services and to make (and ask for) recommendations from our facility managers and their employees.  In addition, the workgroup has developed uniform tools to measure and continue to improve CAHS' processes. 

Click here to read more about what we are doing and plans to address the needs of aftercares and the number of clients triaged.
Are YOU Ready for the CARF Survey Team?
(take this quiz to find out)
When the CARF survey is underway in October-November, it will be important that we all know the answers to key questions about our emergency response, health, and safety. 

Click here to test your knowledge with this 10-question quiz that will help you prepare (an answer key is included).

Thank you, in advance, for everything you have done, are doing, and will do to ensure our successful accreditation survey this fall.

Outpatient Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
Outpatient Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Children and Adolescents)
Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (Adults)
Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (Children and Adolescents)
Residential Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
What's Happening At CAHS
Amy Betts Completes Term as CAHS Board Chair

We appreciate the service of Amy Betts who completed her year-long service as CAHS Board Chair on June 30, 2018.

CAHS Board Chair for 2018-19 Thomas Sawyer presented Mrs. Betts with a certificate of appreciation for her leadership at the June Board meeting in Baton Rouge.

Mrs. Betts represents East Feliciana Parish and will continue to serve on the CAHS Board.
Corlis Gremillion Named Director
of CAHS' Division of Developmental Disabilities

Corlis Gremillion, JD, RN, has been named Director of CAHS' Division of Developmental Disabilities. CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD, detailed Gremillion to the position in June and announced her permanent appointment in August. 

"This is an exciting opportunity that requires a variety of skills to help our clients," said Gremillion.  "My legal background will help with navigating through these processes, and my calling as a nurse fills me with compassion to be helpful.  We want to assist people to access community resources, supports and person-centered services needed to live full and productive lives in the community."

Gremillion earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University and a nursing diploma from the former Our Lady of the Lake School of Nursing (now Franciscan University). She also graduated from the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge. She is a registered nurse, attorney, notary, and medical auditor. 

Gremillion has worked for CAHS since 2014, most recently as Nurse Supervisor at the Center for Adult Behavioral Health. Also, she served in East Baton Rouge Parish both as an assistant public defender and as an assistant parish attorney.

In her new position, Gremillion will be responsible for administering a complex system of programs that provide access to community services and supports for citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Components of the system include eligibility determination, coordination of support services, individual and family support, crisis referrals, Medicaid Waiver services, intermediate care facility certification placement, voter registration, and nursing home placement.
CAHS Now Offering Vivitrol Injections for Opioid Treatment
Capital Area Human Services is now offering screening, assessments, and treatment using Vivitrol monthly injections as part of relapse prevention for individuals with a history of opioid dependence or misuse.

“Vivitrol  is an FDA-approved medication that reduces cravings and prevents relapse among individuals in addiction recovery treatment,"  said CAHS Medical Director Aniedi Udofa, MD. 
CAHS Director of Addiction Recovery Services Jan Laughinghouse, PhD, said Vivitrol is administered monthly by injection and is part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes group and individual therapy.  

"Vivitrol is an opioid blocker, preventing opioids from affecting the brain, so individuals don't experience the euphoria or 'high' they normally would from opioids," Dr. Laughinghouse explained.  She added that clients must undergo complete detoxification from any opioids or opioid-containing medications for seven to 14 days before starting Vivitrol.

Dr. Laughinghouse said some health plans pay for Vivitrol as part of treatment, but clients must demonstrate the ability to pay for the medication if their insurance does not pay. Individuals may call 225-925-1906 for appointments at the Center for Adult Behavioral Health, 4615 Government Street, Building 2, in Baton Rouge.

Client Success
De'Marion Eackels Graduates From ASCEND

Seven-year-old De’Marion Eackels has a smile that will warm any heart, and his smile melted the hearts of the CAHS ASCEND staff who said goodbye as he graduated from the program in August.

De'Marion, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), entered the
Accelerated Supports for a Child's Evolving Neurodevelopment (ASCEND) program in 2015 when he was 4. At that time, he displayed challenging behaviors that included tantrums, physical aggression, and elopement (running or wandering away). 

He did not initiate socialization with other children, nor did he have functional communications skills, such as the ability to request preferred items. Also, he would frequently repeat words and phrases he heard on television. 

CAHS staff who worked with De'Marion in those three years say he made "amazing progress" and grew into a very smart, friendly boy. They say he developed sophisticated language skills and greatly increased his vocabulary. He enjoyed greeting and playing with other children, and he started to sight read and spell simple words.

Also, De’Marion’s instructors say he became cooperative with them and performed academic tasks without disruptive behavior.

Pictured below: De'Marion with ABA Line Technician Sarah King, RLT.

"De'Marion mastered his treatment goals," said ASCEND Program Director Karen Sheridan, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA. "His progress in ASCEND allowed him to transition to an inclusive kindergarten class in the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools."

CAHS staff and De'Marion's parents are optimistic about his new school placement that gives him an opportunity to socialize more with his same-age peers.
ASCEND Program Director Speaks at EBR Library

CAHS' Karen Sheridan, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA (pictured left), recently spoke to a group of East Baton Rouge Parish Library system managers, providing them with information about individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Dr. Sheridan directs CAHS' Accelerated Supports for a Child's Evolving Neurodevelopment (ASCEND) program, which serves children ages two to five-years-old who have a diagnosis of autism. Autism is a medical condition that impacts normal development of the brain and affects talking, thinking and interacting with others in leisure, learning, and play.  

Dr. Sheridan's presentation, “Understanding the ASD Population,” given at the EBR library's main branch, was designed to help the librarians understand how they can better serve patrons with ASD and their families. She provided lists of resources and services, including the
Libraries and Autism website, that helps the librarians and their patrons with ASD.

Above: Some of the EBR library managers in attendance for Dr. Sheridan's presentation.
CAHS Officials Discuss Need
for Emergency Mental Health Center


Click above to watch
CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD, and CAHS Director of Addiction Recovery Services Jan Laughinghouse, PhD, are featured in this story by Graham Ulkins of WAFB-TV.

CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD, and CAHS Director of Addiction Recovery Services Jan Laughinghouse, PhD, were featured in an Aug. 9 WAFB-TV report that detailed the need for an emergency mental health center in Baton Rouge.

"Like most things, if we don't do it up front, we'll pay a lot later on," said Dr. Kasofsky. "To incarcerate somebody costs a lot more than if we give them the care they need so they can stay in the community."

The region has been without a center since 2013 when the clinic at the former Earl K. Long charity hospital was closed.

Dr. Laughinghouse (
pictured right) described CAHS' efforts to battle the opioid epidemic, noting that CAHS has distributed hundreds of doses of naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses in the region. She said CAHS now offers monthly Vivitrol injections to help with opioid recovery (see related story).

"People are really needing to be in safe places where they can get a medical detox," said Dr. Laughinghouse.

Margaret Dumas Staff Represents CAHS at Health Fair

Thanks to Administrative Coordinator Deborah Royal (pictured) and RN Supervisor Maria Bates for representing CAHS and the Margaret Dumas Mental Health Center at the Scotlandville Interfaith Community Health Fair recently.

The event, held at the Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church, hosted 50 vendors, including CAHS.

The vendors represented various businesses, organizations, and agencies that offer community resources such as physical healthcare, emergency medical services, dental health, insurance, elder care, mentoring, behavioral health, domestic violence prevention, law enforcement, services for veterans, vision, and women's health.
SB Therapy Program Goes Back to School

School Based supervisors, clinicians and support staff celebrate the start of school.
Front row kneeling (l-r): Amy Christian, Alaina Miley, Taylor Deranger, Sherry Verdel, Larie Acosta, and Michele McCaskill. Second row seated (l-r): Debra Hebert, Sarah Giroir, Misty Humble, Velinecia McNair, Raven Winding, Teresa Maxwell, and Natalie Sanders. Back rows standing (l-r): Kristi Normand, Brittany Gabriel, Dina Rife, Jasmine Sholes, Nina Julien, Kayla Kron, Courtney Ward, Roberta Carruth, Crystal Manning, Sarah Marcello, Beronica Sullivan, Dedric Smith, Cherish Feaster, Lisa Patin, Megan Duffy, Rose Burdick, Khourtni Fears, Monique Carter, Sara Sanders, Amanda Bitting, Jenna Fereday, Mary Hanken, Megan Lasserre, Bethany Sclafani, Mallory Pryor, and Dana Berggreen. Not pictured: Anthony Monteleone, Anisha Nelson and Shelby Wilson.
It's back to school for the School Based Therapy Program, but not before additional training, held Aug. 7, at CAHS on Government Street. 

Thanks to Toni Bankston, LCSW-BACS, of the Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center, who spoke to the SB staff about the importance of helping children with Mind Body Connection and how important it is to for the therapists themselves to take a little time in each day for self-care. List of schools served by the SB program.

Welcome to the SB Program's newest employees (l-r): Crystal Manning LMSW, Raven Winding CSW; Cherish Feaster CSW; Sarah Marcello LMSW; Khourtni Fears CSW; Megan Duffy CSW; Taylor Deranger LMSW; Jenna Fereday CSW; and Megan Lasserre LMSW.
Back to School With CAHS Info and Fun

It was a fun-filled day with all smiles as Capital Area Human Services rolled out its anti-bullying campaign, Aug. 4, at two "Back to School Extravaganza" events.

One event, sponsored by the Gardere Initiative, was held at BREC's Hartley-Vey Park. The other event was sponsored by East Baton Rouge Parish Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis and was held at Baton Rouge Community College. 

A CAHS exhibitor booth was provided at the events with interactive activities, educational materials on bullying and opioid misuse prevention, and CAHS informational brochures.

The new anti-bullying campaign included student post cards, “What You Can Do to STOMP Out Bullying," along with a fact sheet for parents, “Bullying: What You Need to Know.”

"I had no idea that bullying was still such a big problem. I will definitely talk to my son more often about it," said one of the appreciative parents who was among 1,500 participants that CAHS reached that day.

Both events featured music, student back packs, school supplies, child identification badges, games and food. The Hartley-Vey park event included a grand reopening ceremony for the park's recent improvements. 

Special thanks to the #MeByDesign campaign planning team of Fahrenheit Creative Group, and the CAHS Prevention Team: Vivian Gettys, Bridget Lewis, Yolanda Yancy, Janice Ihaza, and Dawn Collins.
Who's Who at CAHS

Who has joined the CAHS family and who retired recently?  Click here to see!
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 Kayia AguillardKaren BrayRichard Brown, Jr.,
Lynetta ButlerChristiana FreemanLaBrencia HarrisCalantha KempRafael Maza,
Karen MorrisShenitha SmithShannon Southall, and LaTonya Wilcox.

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 © 2018 CAHS/Capital Area Human Services, All rights reserved.

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