News for and about CAHS Employees
August 2018

In this issue ...

Register: Healthcare Provider Workshop, Sept. 14
Client Engagement:  A Unique "One Stop Shop"
CARF Tips: Preparing for the Survey Team
On the Move With CAHS Mobile Teams
Collaborative Finishes Review of Recommendations

CAHS to Participate in Back-to-School Events
Backpacks Distributed to 700 CAHS Clients
SB Summer Camps Serve 355 Children
SB Therapists Help Youth Cope With Trauma
CAHS Trains Facilitators for Lions Quest Program
Coming Up At CAHS

Register Now
Opioid Healthcare Provider Workshop, Sept. 14
Topic: "Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment System of Care"

Date / Time: Friday, September 14, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (lunch provided)
Earn CEUs: Continuing Education Credits for Social Work and Nursing
Place: Goodwood Library, Main Meeting Room, 7711 Goodwood Blvd.
1) Changes in the brain caused by opioid abuse
2) Overview of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
3) Screening and intervention of of at-risk patients in primary care clinics
4) Maternal opioid abuse and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
5) Opioid overdose reversal, naloxone kits, and resources for families
For more information, please contact
Dawn Collins at (225) 922-0055 or
Client Engagement At CAHS

CAHS Is A Unique "One Stop Shop"

The National Council for Behavioral Health reports that less than one-half of Americans with mental illness initiate treatment and only one-third of those who seek services engage in adequate care. The Council says the numbers for persons with addictions are even more alarming.

CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD, echos the Council's call for more help in the areas of mental health and addiction disorder services. She said CAHS is unique in the region as a "one-stop shop" where individuals can get help for both mental health and addictive disorders.

"It is critical that we engage our clients fully to ensure that their behavioral health needs are identified and addressed," said Dr. Kasofsky. "To that end, we emphasize and offer screenings for co-occurring disorders and work to ensure same-day access, timely scheduling, and follow up with clients to encourage their continued treatment."

Every employee, regardless of their role, plays an important part in effective client engagement. Click here to learn more from the Council's "Focus on Addiction" newsletter.
TIPS: Preparing for the CARF Survey Team
As we prepare for the CARF survey team in October-November, it is important that we reflect on our client services and do everything possible on a daily basis to ensure positive experiences for everyone we serve.

CAHS Program Manager Karen Pino, LCSW-BACS, LAC, who is coordinating CAHS' activities relative to the survey, offers these tips that have helped CAHS in previous years to achieve successful accreditation reviews:

1) Be friendly and helpful everywhere at CAHS;
2) Wear your CAHS identification badge;
3) Dress professioinally;
4) Know the contents of the CAHS Mission Statement and the Client Orientation Handbook;
5) Know the locations of safety exits, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and automated external defibrillators (AED);
6) Ensure that lobbies are welcoming and office areas are neatly organized;
7) Ensure that all clients’ confidential information is secure (stored in locked filing cabinets in locked offices); and  
8) Ensure that all clients’ confidential information is not visible to others who do not have a need-to-know (e.g., not left sitting on copiers, fax machines, scanners, desks, or computer screens).

In addition to these tips, the surveyors will ask questions to find out how the organization is meeting CARF standards. You might be asked about emergency plans, procedures, and drills, as well as changes made to improving processes and programs over the past three years.

If you are asked questions by the surveyors, answer honestly, even if the response is, “I don’t know.”  Be sure to explain to whom or where you would go to get answers.  Example: “I would ask my supervisor or look that up on the CAHS intranet or in the policy binder kept in the front office.”

Accreditation is the lifeblood of our clinic operations, as it qualifies CAHS for reimbursement of mental health and addiction treatment services provided to chil
dren, adolescents, and adults. It also lets our clients, families, and stakeholders know that CAHS meets or exceeds the highest industry standards. 

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
On the Move With CAHS Mobile Teams
Professionals Provide Critical Services and Linkages

While CAHS is known for its clinics that provide excellent services for mental illness and substance use disorders, the agency also is on the move, offering mobile outreach services in both rural satellite clinics and in client's homes.  

The Adult Outreach Team has the following components: 1) Mobile Crisis and Treatment Team, 2) Satellite Team, and 3) First Episode Psychosis Team.

The mobile teams help persons with serious mental illnesses (who might also have co-occurring addictive disorders) for whom traditional clinic-based services have not been sufficient.

The Mobile Crisis and Treatment Team
Program Director Paul Tuminello, LCSW-BACS, said the Mobile Crisis and Treatment Team focuses on individuals who are at high risk of hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and encounters with police. The Crisis Team only responds to current CAHS adult clients in a crisis. These clients are more likely to be arrested, jailed, hospitalized, and/or over utilize emergent services within the community. Once stabilized, CAHS clients begin receiving Community Psychiatric Support treatment, which is a community-based, therapeutic service offered across the CAHS region.  

Crisis Team member Rona Williams, LMSW, says she likes the personal nature and connectedness of working with clients in their homes. "When we visit in their homes, clients and families tend to be more comfortable and receptive. It helps us establish rapport more quickly so we can start helping them with their treatment plans."

Mobile Crisis and Treatment Team (l-r): Quennie Bethely, Psychiatric Aide; LaKeshia Reed, LMSW;
Bridgette Victorian, Psychiatric Aide; Rona Williams, LMSW; Angela Johnson, LCSW; and
Richard Brown, LMSW. Not pictured is Vada Baker, Psychiatric Aide Supervisor.

CAHS' Crisis Team, modeled after programs in Texas and Maryland, was created in 2007 to help better respond to mental health crises after the trauma of Hurricane Katrina. Since 2014 the Crisis Team has served 1,478 individuals, seeing a steady annual increase from 225 in 2014 to 455 this year. Currently, 85 individuals receive assistance from the Crisis Team, helping them better comply with treatment plans. 

Tuminello said CAHS recently wrote a funding proposal and received a year of funding from the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Behavioral Health, to create a second Crisis Team that will be able to serve even more people, including 25 who are now on a waiting list. 

Satellite Team (l-r): Michael Green, Psychiatric Aide; Jessica Whitney, LCSW;
Dorothy LeBrane, Admin Coordinator; and Felisha Dixon, RN
The Satellite Team
In addition to the Mobile Crisis Team, CAHS staffs a Satellite Team that travels to the rural parishes of West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, Iberville, and West Baton Rouge to ensure that the outpatient mental health needs of rural communities needs are met. The Satellite Team also helps decrease the likelihood of higher levels of care by providing regular mental health services in those rural areas.

Satellite Team member and Psychiatric Aide Michael Green says the work is challenging, but rewarding. "Individuals and families are often nervous when we start working with them, but over time they begin to talk and relax, and we make progress together. It feels good to see how we help change lives for the better."

First Episode Psychosis Team (l-r): LaKeshia Reed, LMSW, Individual Resiliency Trainer; Danielle Marshall, Supportive Employment Education Specialist; and Angela Johnson, LCSW Family Program
The First Episode Psychosis Team
The First Episode Psychosis Team specializes in cases that involve individuals younger than 35 years of age who are newly diagnosed with schizophrenia. The goal of that team is to provide insights, education, and coping skills to help the clients and their families transition into mental health services and reduce the risk of elevated psychotic events. Individual Resiliency Treatment, Family Coordination, Supportive Employment Education, and Case Management are offered through community-based therapeutic services to clients living in the CAHS region. 

Tuminello said one of the young clients of the First Episode Psychosis Team is now stable, married, and working in a full-time job, thanks to the individualized efforts of team members LaKeshia Reed, LMSW, Individual Resiliency Trainer, and Danielle Marshall, Supportive Employment Education Specialist.
Changes In East Feliciana Parish Services
Clients Consulted, Still Being Helped

Because of low utilization of mental health services at the East Feliciana Public Health Unit in Clinton, clients are now being served at alternate locations, effective July 27, 2018.

CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD, said all CAHS clients who were being served at the health unit were contacted and offered to continue receiving services at other facilities in Clinton, St. Francisville, or Baton Rouge.

Most of the clients said the St. Francisville location would be more convenient for them. Dr. Kasofsky said all but two clients will continue their care with CAHS.

"After discussing these options with our clients, the majority have chosen to continue their care with CAHS in West Feliciana. CAHS will continue to make every effort to ensure their treatment needs are met," wrote Dr. Kasofsky in a letter to CAHS' leadership.

Clients were offered to continue their services at these locations:

*  CAHS West Feliciana Satellite Clinic, 5266 Commerce St., St. Francisville
*  CAHS Margaret Dumas Mental Health Clinic, 3843 Harding Blvd., Baton Rouge
*  RKM Primary Care, 11990 Jackson St., Clinton
Behavioral Health Collaborative Hears About Law Enforcement Initiatives and Completes Review of Recommendations for Regional Opioid Response Plan
Attendees of the July 19 Behavioral Health Collaborative heard from two law enforcement officials about their efforts to address opioid distribution and misuse. The Collaborative also completed its review of recommendations for the region's Opioid Response Plan.

Brad Byerley, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's Baton Rouge District Office
pictured right), said the DEA is focused on three areas in the battle against drug misuse: 1) enforcement, 2) regulatory compliance, and 3) public education.

"Every day in America, 174 people die from drug overdoses, and 120 of those deaths are from opioids," Byerley said, noting that 72,000 individuals died from drug overdoses in 2017. 

Byerley said the DEA is expanding its footprint in Louisiana by partnering with local law enforcement agencies and adding police officers and sheriff's deputies to DEA task forces. He said Louisiana law enforcement officers now make up 45% of the DEA's workforce in the state.

He said the DEA and its task forces work on enforcement cases where drugs and monies are seized to combat drug trafficking. On the regulatory side, the task forces work with medical providers to ensure compliance with federal laws regarding the prescribing and dispensing of opioids and other regulated prescription drugs. 

Byerley said the DEA also works to raise public awareness about the dangers of drugs, particularly opioids, by participating in community events and sponsoring "take back" days and drop boxes where individuals can safely and legally dispose of unused prescription medications. He said 4,500 pounds of prescription drugs were disposed of last year through the take back program.

Tim Lentz, MCJ, Chief of the Covington Police Department
pictured left), told the Collaborative about "Operation Angel," a program that started in Massachusetts and that he launched in Covington in 2016 after a 911 call that he said changed his life and the way he viewed law enforcement's efforts against opioids.

In that call to a Covington police dispatcher, a woman is heard pleading for help as her husband overdoses from heroin and children are heard crying in the background. The man survived after being treated by medical personnel, but the experience caused Chief Lentz to change the city's practices.

"We, as a city, declared that we would start treating drug misuse as a disease, not as a crime. We give people the help they need instead of putting them in jail," said Chief Lentz, noting that more than 100 people have contacted the police department to ask to participate in Operation Angel, which provides access to treatment and distributes the life-saving, opioid-reversal agent naloxone.  See Chief Lentz' presentation here.

Pictured right (l-r): DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brad Byerley and Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul talk with CAHS Board of Directors Chair Thomas Sawyer at the July 19 Behavioral Health Collaborative meeting.

Chief Lentz said Operation Angel has helped reduce crime, has reduced the stigma attached to drug addiction, has saved the city money from fewer incarcerations, has increased community trust, and has resulted in a positive community dialogue among the public and local officials. He also showed interviews with individuals whose lives were changed through Operation Angel.

"Of the 100-plus people who have asked for help through my department, 40% of them are clean and sober today. These citizens have reestablished relationships with their families, are working at good jobs, and are giving back by helping others in their recovery efforts," said Chief Lentz.
The Collaborative In Action

Above: Joseph Pete, PhD, CAC, Facility Manager of the Capital Area Recovery Program (CARP) leads a review of recommendations and action steps in the area of recovery services.

In addition to hearing the presentations from law enforcement, the Collaborative's attendees completed their review of recommendations and action steps in five remaining areas that will be included in the region's Opioid Response Plan, which is being prepared by CAHS and is expected to be presented this fall.
Those five sections dealt with 1) law enforcement, criminal justice reform, and corrections; 2) pain management and treatment; 3) detoxification and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT); 4) specialized treatment for pregnant women and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS); and 5) recovery services.
The review sessions were led by CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD; Joseph Pete, PhD, CAC, Facility Manager of the Capital Area Recovery Program (CARP); Jan Laughinghouse, PhD, LCSW, Clinical Director, CAHS Addiction Recovery Services; Vivian Gettys, RN, MPH, CAHS Prevention Division Director; John Nosacka, LCSW, MSHCM, CAHS Program Manager (pictured right); and Sheidra Boutte', LCSW, Clinical Lead for justice-involved clients.

On June 22, the Collaborative completed its review of four other areas of the plan: 1) public awareness and stigma; 2) prevention; 3) prescribing practices; and 4) overdose reversal, outreach, and syringe access.
CAHS to Host Booths at Community Back-to-School Events

CAHS will sponsor informational, interactive booths at two community back-to-school events, both to be held in Baton Rouge on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Thanks to the following employees who will represent CAHS at these events:  District 6 Event: Project Coordinator Janice Ihaza, RSW, of the Opioid Prevention Alliance for Ladies and Girls (OPAL); and Project Education Coordinator Dawn Collins of the State Targeted Response (STR) grant. Gardere Initiative Event: Program Monitor Supervisor Bridget Lewis, MS-LPP; and Program Monitor Yolanda Yancy, RPP.
10th Annual District 6 Back to School Extravaganza
10 a.m. - noon
Baton Rouge Community College Wellness Center
201 Community College Drive
Gardere Initiative 11th Annual Back to School Extravaganza
9 - 11 a.m.
BREC's Hartley/Vey Park at Gardere
1702 Gardere Lane

SB Therapy Program and Children's Behavioral Health Services Distribute 700 Backpacks to Clients

Pictured (l-r): CAHS Social Worker Chinyere Agu and Social Service Counselor Christiana Freeman prepare backpacks for CBHS clients.

The CAHS School Based Therapy Program and Children's Behavioral Health Services (CBHS) filled 700 backpacks with school supplies to help their clients prepare for the start of school this month.

Most of the backpacks were distributed in July to clients who attended SB Summer Camps (see related story about the camps) and to clients of the CBHS Clinic on Government Street. The remaining backpacks will be distributed at the CBHS Clinic throughout August and at area schools where the SB therapists work during the year.

SB Program Director Bethany Sclafani, LCSW-BACS, said the backpacks were filled with notebooks, notepads, crayons, pencils, pens, snacks, stress balls, and water bottles.


Above (l-r): Striking a pose are School Based Administrative Assistant Debra Hebert; Social Service Counselor Rose Burdick; Program Supervisor Dina Rife, LCSW-BACS; SB Therapist at Claiborne Elementary Kayla Kron, LMSW; Social Service Counselor Lisa Patin; SB Therapist at Magnolia Woods Elementary Shelby Wilson LMSW; and Program Supervisor Larie Acosta LCSW-BACS.

A Summer to Remember
SB Summer Camps Serve 355 CAHS Clients

This summer, 355 CAHS clients attended CAHS' School Based camps where they enjoyed adventure-based fun, arts, crafts, and recreation. 

"Our clients had a great time, families were thankful for our services, and the schools were very accommodating as our hosts. We are especially thankful for our therapists and supervisors who put so much time and energy into making these camps so successful," said SB Therapy Program Director Bethany Sclafani, LCSW-BACS.
The camps, which ended July 19, were hosted at 20 area schools and used the "Journey of Hope" curriculum, developed to help CAHS clients learn how to cope and adapt after undergoing various forms of adversity.

CAHS School Based therapists staffed the camps and taught the CAHS clients how to cope with issues such as fear, worry, sadness, anger, bullying, and self-esteem.
SB Therapists Help Area Youth Cope With Trauma

School Based Therapists Brittany Gabriel, LMSW, and Sherry Verdel, LPC (pictured l-r), partnered with the Baranco-Clark YMCA, A.C. Lewis YMCA, Magnolia Woods Boys and Girls Club, and Buchanan Boys and Girls Club to facilitate weekly groups at their summer camps, reaching about 90 students who otherwise would not have received CAHS services.

The children were from areas in Baton Rouge most directly impacted by the series of traumatic events that occurred in 2016. The group activities were funded through East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome's office and the Resiliency in Communities after Stress and Trauma (RECAST) grant, which provides resiliency and coping-skills training to children in EBR Parish. CAHS is a partner in the RECAST grant.

The groups followed the Journey of Hope curriculum that helped the children explore various feelings and concepts such as sadness, anger, worry, fear, and bullying. The children learned through kinesthetic activities, stories, drawing, and group discussions.

Participants said they enjoyed the program, especially being able to share their feelings with a counselor or social worker. The RECAST grant will provide additional help in August, providing EBR Parish teachers with toolkits to help them implement coping skills and to create "calm down corners" in their classrooms.
CAHS Trains Facilitators for Lions Quest Program

CAHS' Prevention Division sponsored a Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence workshop on July 23 to train facilitators to implement the program designed to help middle school students this year.

The Lions Quest program, used in more than 90 countries around the world, integrates social and emotional learning, character development, drug and bullying prevention, and service-learning for positive youth development. 

The training, held at CAHS' Government Street location, featured Terry Silver, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of Tennessee, who trained participants from CAHS, O'Brien House, and the West Feliciana Drug and Alcohol Awareness Council. 

Special thanks to the CAHS Prevention Division staff for offering Lions Quest: Vivian Gettys RN, MPH, Prevention Division Director; Bridget Lewis, MS-LPP, Program Monitor Supervisor; and Yolanda Yancy, RPP, Program Monitor. CAHS also appreciates Valorie Fisher, Coalition Coordinator for the West Feliciana Drug and Alcohol Awareness Council, and the West Feliciana Parish Hospital for their support of the program.

Workshop attendees said they are eager to implement Lions Quest after participating in interactive workshop sessions that provided a good opportunity to learn the curriculum and effective instructional strategies.


Above sitting (l-r): Lions Quest workshop participants Narussia Deloach, Assyria Smith, Christine Gibson, Emily Tilley, and Mary Rogers. Standing (l-r): Janna Rogers, Bridget Lewis, Janice Ihaza, Yolanda Yancy, Valarie Selders, Vivian Gettys, Valorie Fisher and Terry Silver (instructor).
Who's Who at CAHS
Best Wishes to Sharon and Richard
We want to wish the very best to two CAHS employees who retired recently. Sharon Schmidtfranz, Community Service Manager in the Developmental Disabilities Division, served 26 years with the State of Louisiana, 12 of those years at CAHS. Richard Moody, LPN at the Capital Area Recovery Program, retired after 15 years of State service with four of those years at CAHS.

Who has joined the CAHS family 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 MazaKaren 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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