News for and about CAHS Employees
July 2016
In this issue ...
Happy 20th Birthday, CAHS!
New CAHS Board Officers
Dr. Kasofsky Reviews Strategic Initiatives
Medicaid Expansion Efforts Begin
Activities: Suit Drive and EXPO
School Based Survey Results & Camps
Chillin' With ERC Ice Cream Socials
Celebrate At CAHS
20-Years Strong and Committed to the Future

On July 1, 1996, the Capital Area Human Services District was officially established by the Louisiana Legislature and Governor.  One year later, the agency was up and running, providing our seven-parish area with quality behavioral health services and assistance to citizens with developmental disabilities. Stay tuned for announcements about activities that will be part of our year-long celebration!
Congratulations: 2016-17 CAHS Board Leaders

Pictured (l-r):  Gary Spillman, Rebekah "Becky" Katz, and Amy Betts

Congratulations to Rebekah "Becky" Katz of Ascension Parish, and Amy Betts of West Feliciana Parish, who were elected June 6 by their fellow CAHS board members to serve as Board Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, for this fiscal year.

The members also expressed their appreciation to Gary Spillman for his dedicated leadership as CAHS Board Chair for the past two years.  He will continue to serve, representing West Baton Rouge Parish.
July Is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Please join CAHS in commemorating July as Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, as proclaimed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mental health directly and indirectly impacts us all. One-in-five adults in the United States experiences a mental health condition, and CAHS is proud to be a leading provider of mental health services in Louisiana. Learn more about Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

Pictured right: Bebe Moore Campbell (1950-2006) was a New York Times best-selling author who worked to raise awareness about mental health in communities of color and encouraged individuals to talk with their doctors about mental health.
Strategic Review At CAHS
Dr. Kasofsky Reviewing Strategic Initiatives
With CAHS Departments and Programs

CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD, is visiting with every CAHS department and program during June and July, talking with employees, thanking them for their dedicated service, and reviewing the agency's 2016 strategic initiatives.

The visits are particularly timely as CAHS is a major participant in the state's Medicaid expansion efforts which have real benefits for CAHS clients and our agency (
see related story below). In her visits, Dr. Kasofsky is focusing on three purposes of the strategic initiatives, by which all CAHS efforts and outcomes will be measured. Those purposes are: 

Purpose A
Apply Quality Improvement approaches for operational efficiency and programmatic effectiveness within a recovery-oriented system of care framework. 

Purpose B
Provide innovative business strategies incorporating internal and external referral expansion to address the needs of the community and to protect financial solvency.

Purpose C
Ensure targeted, locally responsive, population-based approaches to prevention, wellness and recovery through innovation, leadership, partnerships, and collaboration.
Great Causes At CAHS

 PLAN TO PARTICIPATE: Summer Salad Luncheon
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
CAHS Government Street, Room 200

Delivery is available to other locations
Choose your lettuce, dressing, and four toppings for only $5
Premiums and additional toppings, $1 each

Menu here
The proceeds from this ERC-hosted event will be used for future activities for CAHS employees
Enjoy Great Food ... Help A Great Cause
The Women’s Community Rehabilitation Center (WCRC) offers a tasty home-cooked lunch and drink for only $7. Free delivery is available for five or more lunch orders. Check out the menu here. Every order helps homeless women in our area. 

The WCRC, a CAHS partner agency, provides licensed beds for homeless women with severe mental illnesses (and co-occurring addictive disorders). The therapeutic residential program gives women a safe, secure, and supportive setting in which to regain practical skills to work and live independently in the community.
Suit Drive Benefits Men and Women Leaving Prison
Nine years ago, Michael Ellerbe, former Director of Pre-Release at Dixon Correction Institute, started a drive to collect business suits and clothing to help men and women make good impressions in their post-prison job searches.
Michael passed away in 2013, but his widow, Elain, continues the annual suit drive in concert with the Louisiana Department of Corrections and Men's Wearhouse. The need is great. In 2015 alone, more than 18,000 men and women were released from state custody back into Louisiana's communities where they interviewed for jobs.
You can help by donating gently used and clean items such as suits, dress shirts, jackets, dress skirts, outerwear, ties, belts, and shoes by July 31 at any Men's Wearhouse location. Click here for more information.
CAHS Participation In EduFest A Big Hit With Children

My Brother’s Keeper of Baton Rouge held its second annual EduFest, June 28, at the Family and Youth Service Center, 1120 Government St.  One of the outcomes of EduFest is to help children prepare for school -- beyond uniforms -- with health screenings and information about proper diet, rest, exercise, and good study habits.

Brandi Lamana and Bethany Sclafani, of the School Based Therapy Program, represented CAHS as hundreds of children visited the stations, getting their passports stamped and gathering information. 
Pictured right: Children from the Big Buddy program enjoyed their CAHS treat bags, full of fun things like ear buds, stress balls, and pencils.
Coming Up:  Connecting The Dots EXPO, July 30
CAHS is pleased to be an exhibitor at the "Connecting the Dots EXPO," July 30. Admission is free, and the event will be held 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center, 4728 Constitution Ave., in Baton Rouge.

Bring your family to enjoy fun and learning with mini classes, prizes, giveaways, celebrities and sports stars, art activities, exercise, yoga, and meditation. CAHS and other exhibitors will provide information about healthy lifestyles, support for mental and behavioral health, treatment options, resources for families, and wellness.

Reminder At CAHS
Email Etiquette Matters: A Quick Refresher Course
Proper use of electronic mail and messaging on government devices is critically important.  Click here to refresh your knowledge of our guidelines.
Progress At CAHS
School Based Therapy Program Earns Top Marks
The results of the 2016 School Based Satisfaction Survey are outstanding.

"The School Based therapist is valuable and very important to the framework of our campus as a whole. We are very grateful to have her," said one school principal, while another principal echoed that sentiment, noting, "Our School Based therapist is a joy to work with, and her ability to perform her duties is extremely effective."

Fifty-four Quality Assurance Reviews were completed by principals and other school officials throughout the CAHS region, and where the services were applicable, 100% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that CAHS School Based therapists:
  • Are knowledgeable of mental health issues
  • Communicate effectively with families, teachers, and school staff
  • Work collaboratively with students, school staff, parents, and guardians
  • Report to work punctually and maintain their work schedules reliably
  • Adhere to and comply with school policies
  • Have professional and caring attitudes
The School Based program, which started in 1991, now serves 34 schools in CAHS' seven-parish region. SB therapists focus on reducing absenteeism, suspensions, expulsions, and improving grades by providing an array of counseling, information, therapeutic interventions, and medication management.
202 CAHS Clients Enrolled In Medicaid In June
Pictured right: Wanda Rodney, Social Service Analyst, CABH, demonstrates the new Medicaid enrollment process at one of CAHS' special kiosks in our main clinics.

Thanks to the assistance of CAHS employees, 202 of our clients were enrolled in Medicaid during the first 15 days of June as part of the state's Medicaid expansion program.   

Also, about one-quarter of CAHS clients
who previously received "Take Charge" benefits only, began receiving full Medicaid benefits on July 1, said Karla Muzik, CAHS Director of Business Operations. She said CAHS employees are helping SNAP beneficiaries complete the Medicaid questionnaire to qualify for full benefits, and all CAHS clients with no insurance coverage who seek no-cost or sliding fee services are being asked to apply for Medicaid.

Medicaid enrollment means that CAHS clients benefit from a full menu of health care services, just as they would through private insurance. The benefits include mental health care, as they have received historically from CAHS, addiction recovery services, primary health care, and transportation to and from medical appointments.

The Medicaid expansion efforts also help CAHS from a budgetary standpoint, as Medicaid reimbursements for CAHS services would replace state general fund dollars that have been cut significantly in recent years. As more CAHS clients are covered, those Medicaid dollars (instead of declining state general funds) will follow the clients and will be used to fund our services.

Special thanks to all CAHS employees for their help with the enrollment efforts and to the members of the CAHS Medicaid Expansion Management Team: Jan Kasofsky, PhD, Chair; Shaketha Brown, Human Resources; Stephen Aguillard, Clinical Services; Karla Muzik, Operations; Adina Collins, Finance; and Bruce Salisbury, Information Technology.

Leading The Way At CAHS
Behavioral Health Collaborative Begins Action Planning Process for Coordination of Services

The Behavioral Health Collaborative, hosted by CAHS in partnership with Humana, met June 17 to explore ways to integrate behavioral health services with primary health care.  

CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, PhD, led the meeting and noted that CAHS began a process of integrating services several years ago as behavioral health clients also experienced primary health issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

“We realized that our clients needed a well-rounded, coordinated system of care, not just attention for their behavioral health needs. We also found that as their primary health needs were addressed, they were better able to achieve their behavioral health goals,” Dr. Kasofsky said.

Attendees at the meeting included providers, doctors, nurses, and counselors who identified four primary issues: 1) lack of providers, 2) fragmented services, 3) lack of access to services offered, and 4) “tiers of service” that offer better care for those who can pay more.

As part of its work, the Collaborative divided into groups to begin action planning around four main topics: 1) service delivery, 2) financing, 3) infrastructure, and 4) rules and regulations.

The groups brainstormed issues and opportunities and agreed to convene again on July 22 at CAHS to continue the action-planning process. 
Aguillard, Washington To Present At State Conference
CAHS Clinical Services Director Stephen Aguillard, LCSW-BACS, and Certified Peer Coordinator Sam Washington will co-present at the upcoming Louisiana Association of Substance Abuse Counselors and Trainers (LASACT) conference.

"Charting the Course: Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery" is the theme of the conference, July 31 - Aug. 3, at the Crown Plaza Executive Center, 4728 Constitution Ave., in Baton Rouge. Stephen and Sam have been invited to co-present about Peer Recovery Support on Aug. 3 at 1:30 p.m.
Having Fun At CAHS
CAHS Summer Camps A Big Hit At Area Schools
The CAHS School Based Therapy Program is providing Summer Enrichment Programs for 16 schools throughout our seven-parish area.  The programs, held 9 a.m. - noon, provide adventure based counseling techniques, arts and crafts, and recreation to students who are enrolled in CAHS' School Based Therapy Program throughout the school year.  

Participating schools are  Baker Heights/Bakerfield Elementary, Claiborne Elementary, Cohn Elementary, Crescent/Iberville Elementary, Gonzales Primary, Highland Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Magnolia Woods Elementary, Melrose Elementary, Merrydale/Eden Park Elementary, Valverda Elementary, West Feliciana Middle, and West Feliciana High.

The School Based Therapy Program would like to thank Dr. Holley Galland and Dr. Richard Haymaker for their generous sponsorships of healthy snacks and creative activities for our campers.  We appreciate you!

ERC Treats Employees To Ice Cream Socials

The CAHS Employee Relations Committee (ERC) treated employees at four CAHS centers to ice cream socials in June. The socials were held at the Center for Adult Behavioral Health on June 15, the Gonzales Mental Health Center and Margaret Dumas Mental Health Center, both on June 17, and the Capital Area Recovery Program on June 29. Check out the pictures below of the fun had by all.

Who's Who at CAHS
Who joined CAHS recently?
Click here to see!
Welcome, Jeff Salard
Jeff Salard, Technical Support Supervisor in the IT Department, has worked in the information technology field since the 1990s, performing just about every IT role imaginable. He has worked in computer sales, built and serviced computers, and has served as a high-level business consultant.
“I am often asked what I enjoy about working in the IT field and I have to say that I find IT is very challenging on many levels. But what I enjoy above all is the sense of accomplishment when you are at the end of a project, regardless of size or scope, and look back to see all that you have completed.“
Best Wishes, Joe Patin
Joe Patin, LMSW, will be missed at the School Based Therapy Program, after having served the past three years on contract and having fully retired on June 30. 

Prior to joining SB, Joe worked for more than 30 years in various capacities for CAHS and the State of Louisiana. Joe officially retired from the State in 2013 and joined the SB program where he served at Belaire High School.  We wish Joe the best!
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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