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Message from the Executive Director

Welcome to the Summer 2016 NE Delta HSA Transformations newsletter! We are kicking off the 2016-17 fiscal year with a substantive program on July 30. The third NE Delta HSA Faith-Based Mental Health Summit addresses the importance of clergy involvement in the mental health of our communities and families. The program will also feature a town-hall style discussion with law enforcement leadership and elected officials with a focus around faith-based approaches to dealing with mental illness and incarceration. This Summit delivers on our commitment to help strengthen the bonds among behavioral healthcare leadership and regional clergy, reduce mental health and developmental disability stigma and increase understanding of societal issues that affect our citizens' mental health.
We are resolute in our commitment to catalyze quality, accessible behavioral healthcare and developmental disability services for our citizens. This newsletter edition recaps some of our recent work, including a new Tobacco Cessation program that supports Healthy Living and powerful coalition work that helps reduce alcohol and prescription pill use among youth.
We plan to build additional, esteemed partnerships this year to deepen meaningful integrated behavioral and primary healthcare within our region. To help our citizens realize more positive outcomes and stability, we will continue to employ a more cohesive, progressive approach among our systems and processes that have traditionally operated in bureaucratic silos. We are also bringing in additional behavioral healthcare practitioners to help meet the demands that expansion will bring in 2017. 

We know that mental health is affected by social health determinants like poverty, hunger, unemployment, crime, poor education and inadequate housing, and we will continue to collaborate with our regional partners and ensure that people have access to behavioral and primary healthcare and services for developmental disabilities and substance abuse. We will continue to help define the resources needed to solve complex, systemic problems.
In this year of healthcare transition and expansion, we are excited to help improve outcomes for our citizens. We continue to fulfill our Mission and provide our citizens with greater access to services, excellent customer services and quality, competent care.

Dr. Monteic A. Sizer
Executive Director
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Join us for the Third NE Delta HSA 
Faith-Based Mental Health Summit 
on Saturday, July 30th

The third NE Delta HSA Faith-Based Mental Health Summit is scheduled for Saturday, July 30th at the Macedonia Baptist Church, 2602 Washington Street in Monroe. The focus is faith-based solutions to reducing crime and the incarceration of the region's mentally ill. 

The Summit will bring together regional clergy, mental health professionals and law enforcement leaders to support access to behavioral health services through faith-based organizations. Faith-based, behavioral health and law enforcement leaders are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP to Carolyn Hunt at Click here to learn more about the Summit.

(Above) Photos from the recent faith-based mental health symposium in Farmerville. Dr. Sizer spoke with the local clergy about ways to recognize mental health and substance abuse problems within their congregations. He also engaged the clergy in discussion about coming together to support each other with issues they may encounter as faith-based leaders.

NE Delta HSA Conducted its second Faith-Based  Mental Health Summit in March 2016 to again bring together regional clergy and mental health leadership toward greater understanding of citizens' mental health needs. Summit objectives were to help reduce mental health stigma, ensure greater access to behavioral health services and help eliminate communication barriers to mental health services.  Pastors Danny and Carolyn Hunt of the H.E.A.R.T.S. Coalition facilitated the second Faith-Based Mental Health Summit, which included panel-led discussions comprised of clergy and mental health leaders. 

Click here to see more photos from the March 2016 Summit on the NE Delta HSA Facebook page.

Northeast Delta

HSA Board Members



Ouachita Parish

E.H. Baker

Thelma Merrells


Morehouse Parish

Lorraine Reed


Lincoln Parish

Gina Jones

Michael Shipp


Caldwell Parish


East Carroll Parish

Lekeisha Powell


West Carroll Parish

Melba Sandifer


Madison Parish

Yvonne Lewis


Tensas Parish


Franklin Parish

Terri Spence


Union Parish

Alisa Lear


Jackson Parish


Richland Parish

Kathy Waxman

Join Us:
NE Delta
Faith-Based Summit

July 30 
 9:00 a.m.

Macedonia Baptist Church
2602 Washington St.
Monroe, LA

RSVP to  lacap@

NE Delta HSA Discusses  Regional Behavioral Healthcare Issues  at Medicaid Expansion Kick-Off Meeting

Dr. Sizer discussed regional healthcare solutions and issues at the Louisiana Department of Health's Medicaid Expansion Kickoff meeting last month. This event provided information about new healthcare coverage and eligibility criteria for regional citizens.
"Medicaid Expansion began on July 1, 2016, and we wanted to emphasize the importance of continued integration between behavioral and primary healthcare, which efficiently helps persons who suffer from chronic, co-occurring mental and primary health problems," said Dr. Sizer. "In addition to cost savings to the state and to taxpayers, an integrated approach ensures that citizens have access to quality, competent treatment, whether they first seek care in a behavioral or a primary healthcare setting."
"We need to coordinate our resources across local, state and federal governmental agencies and utilize cohesive strategies that will help people get the healthcare they need," said Sizer. "Significant recruitment and retention efforts are also needed to address the critical shortage of psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed social workers and other healthcare professionals within our region."
Sizer said that while agencies meet behavioral and primary care needs, healthcare agencies and providers must concurrently address social determinants that continue to prevent Healthy Living, like poverty, housing, workforce development and nutrition. "We will continue to facilitate access to services that help people live a more engaged, full life," he said.
NE Delta HSA is implementing several community programs that enable citizens to live healthier lives, including a new  Tobacco Cessation program, a  faith-based mental health coalition and a  Union Parish collaborative that aims to reduce underage drinking and prescription pill use among youth.
In addition to Dr. Sizer's comments at the event, Louisiana Department of Health staff provided a Medicaid Expansion overview. The Healthy Louisiana health plans provided an overview of benefits. 
NE Delta HSA Offers Tobacco Cessation Program to Clients and Regional Community

NE Delta HSA is offering a new tobacco cessation program for its clients in northeast Louisiana.  According to the Louisiana Public Health Institute, almost one quarter of adults in Louisiana smoke, ranking the state 43rd in the nation in smoking prevalence. 

"We know that people with mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders are nicotine dependent at rates 2-3 times higher than the general population," said Dr. Sizer. "However, quit rates are substantial for these individuals. NE Delta HSA will provide clear and personalized smoking cessation strategies to our clients. We will proactively deliver effective, proven education and intervention. Effective smoking cessation efforts might reduce the risk of addiction to cocaine and other illicit drugs."
Tobacco Cessation is a program within NE Delta HSA's integrated healthcare model, which helps provide citizens with access to the behavioral and primary healthcare services they need. "Through collaboration with providers throughout our region, we can all address the complex healthcare needs that our citizens face," said Dr. Sizer. "With this model, we can address serious quality of life barriers that prohibit positive health outcomes and realize cost savings statewide."

Smoking cessation services will initially be offered at the NE Delta HSA Monroe behavioral health clinic. For more information, contact Delores Hawthorne or Jean Hartzog at 1-800-256-2522.
Click here for more information about this program on the NE Delta HSA website.

NE Delta HSA Awarded Proclamation by Louisiana House of Representatives

NE Delta HSA received a  proclamation  in June from the Louisiana House of Representatives. The proclamation commends the Authority for its extraordinary efforts in improving the quality of life for the people it serves. It also lauds the NE Delta HSA vision to build a more unified northeast Louisiana where individuals are capable of thriving and reaching their full human potential.
The proclamation cites NE Delta HSA's Integrated Health Model, which helps provide citizens with greater access to behavioral and primary healthcare service, and its efforts to deliver personalized, proven tobacco cessation education and intervention to its clients. The new NE Delta HSA Tobacco Cessation program is offered at its  Monroe Behavioral Health Clinic.
"We wish to thank Representative Frank Hoffman, Chairman of the Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee and the entire House of Representatives for this public recognition. This formal recognition demonstrates the desire of the legislature to help NE Delta HSA meet the needs of some of Louisiana's most vulnerable citizens," said Dr. Sizer. "We support our Governor, House and Senate leaders as they continue to grapple with many tough budgetary decisions. We hope that our innovative, Healthy Living approach to human services delivery will help move the needle within our state's health indicators." 

NE Delta HSA was also cited in the 2016-2010 Louisiana State Health Assessment and Improvement Plan for its faith-based mental health work.

U-ACT (Union Parish Alliance for Transformation) Supports 
Healthy Living in Union Parish

Stemming from a Louisiana Department of Health Partnership for Success fund award, U-ACT is a NE Delta HSA-funded coalition.  Its focus is to address underage drinking and prescription pill use in Union Parish.  U-ACT also aims to have an indirect positive impact on depression, suicide, teen pregnancy, school failure and violence. 
Building upon the strong system of churches, community-based organizations and culturally-relevant local media to develop trust with parents and students, U-ACT is a grass-roots movement that is both sustainable and measurable. Community leaders' willingness to partner and pool resources weaves all available human and financial resources together in the best interest of Union Parish citizens.
Recently, the U-ACT student ambassadors served as a part of the visit of Governor John Bel Edwards at the Union Parish Chamber of Commerce Banquet. This outstanding group of high school Student Ambassadors continues to be the highlight of U-ACT. These 10 students are amazing in carrying the U-ACT message to their peers and the community at large. 

This summer, U-ACT has participated in the Inaugural Willie Davis Basketball Summer League Invitational and hosted Hollis Conway in partnership with Union Parish Library as part of their Summer Reading Program.  Upcoming summer projects for U-ACT include a Teen Zone at the 53 rd Annual Watermelon Festival, Back to School events in August and planning for Fall projects including Summit UP youth summit, UPHS social norming campaign, Red Ribbon Week and the selection of new student ambassadors.
Be on the lookout for more information to follow on our partnership to host Prescription Take Back Days in our region and the Cardinal Health grant awarded to expand our prescription drug education and medication disposal program.  For more information on U-ACT and our work in Union Parish, contact Mary Barrios, program coordinator, at 318-323-8775 or

- Mary Barrios, UACT Coordinator

Click here to read more about the Union Parish Collaborative, and visit the UACT Facebook page here.
NE Delta HSA at Caldwell Parish Annual Health Awareness Day

The NE Delta HSA Columbia Clinic participated in Caldwell Parish's Annual Health Awareness Day in Columbia. Thanks to Felicia Downs, Clinic Manager and Pam Esters, Social Services Counselor, for proudly representing NE Delta HSA.

Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) 
Helps Find Recovery Resources for Flood Disaster Victims

NE Delta HSA, in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health, is in the early stages of administering the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) for northeast Louisiana parishes within the recent presidential flood disaster declaration. The CCP assists individuals and communities with recovery resources through the provision of community-based outreach and pyschoeducational services.
The CCP is fully funded though the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The CCP began with a 60-day immediate service program. During this period, assessments were conducted to identify the needs of the affected area. A nine-month regular service program follows.

"The beauty of this program is it's a canvassing program," said Dr. Sizer. "It's not where people have to come to us. This program is designed for the CCP to find the impacted individuals."

Dr. Sizer says individuals who require assistance outside the scope of the program receive referrals to facilities capable of providing the appropriate level of care. "There are individuals who may be seriously mentally ill and also be impacted by the flooding," Sizer said. "For those individuals, the traditional services we offer at our clinics are still very appropriate for that. For those individuals who are not seriously mentally ill, but may have been stressed due to the historic flooding, there will be a crisis counseling program that is specifically designed for those individuals."
For more information about the CCP program, contact Shanda Washington at 318-754-8202. To find additional CCP information on the NE Delta HSA website,  click here.

NE Delta HSA Gearing Up to Support State Combined Charitable Campaign

The Louisiana State Combined Charitable Campaign has helped raise nearly $500,000 statewide to benefit 88 charities that serve the people of Louisiana. Over the past two years, NE Delta HSA has contributed more than $14,000 to the SCCC. The Louisiana Association of United Ways (LAUW) serves as the Principal Combined Fundraising Organization. This will be our third year as a Louisiana SCCC contributor! 

NE Delta HSA staff: If you are interested in assisting in this effort and being a part of the campaign committee, please contact Demetrius N. Roberts at   or Sharla Coates at

New NE Delta HSA Outdoor Signage Supports Tobacco-Free Living

New NE Delta HSA signage at our clinics and administrative offices supports Healthy Living and a tobacco-free campus. The signage also carries out phoenix imagery, which supports our mission to connect with our clients.

Our phoenix logo represents the shedding of old ways and renewal toward a better existence. It also represents the sun that sinks below the horizon each day and fades away into ashes, rising again each day anew. The ashes are not those of destruction, but rather of hope and wisdom. As with the phoenix, we are always in some phase of growth and transformation. We use the ashes of our former selves to create the person we are destined to become. We invite you to stop by one of our facilities or visit our website at

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NE Delta HSA Speaks to the Collaboration Needed 
to Meet Behavioral Health Care Demands

Dr. Sizer delivered the keynote address at the June Mental Health and Addiction Conference, conducted by the Northeast Louisiana Behavioral Health Advisory Council.
Dr. Sizer discussed the upcoming Louisiana Medicaid Expansion and its impact to the northeast Louisiana region. "Within the state's goal of enrolling 375,000 citizens, it is projected that we'll have about 30,000 new Medicaid clients throughout our region," he said. "We must continue to collaborate as providers and break out of the silos in which we previously worked, so we can help our citizens live healthier lives."
He said that solutions are really about finding innovative ways to work together and make a system change so that our citizens can improve their own lives. "We are building momentum with programs to help catalyze productive solutions," said Dr. Sizer.
To read more about the keynote speech, click here .
NE Delta HSA Serves on Panel at Civic Engagement for Youth


Dr. Sizer served as a panelist at the 5th annual Civic Engagement Institute for Youth (CEI), a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Louisiana (BBBS) event. BBBS is a program of The Wellspring Alliance for Families. This day and a half workshop engaged northeast Louisiana high school sophomores and juniors in the democratic process and taught best practices of civic engagement, leadership and community service. Students identified issues and gathered research in areas of local and national concern, then presented proposals for change to local community leaders. CEI not only allows students to learn how to work for positive change in their communities, it also teaches them skills such as communication, problem solving, positive conflict resolution and teamwork.

NE Delta HSA Community Outreach Supports Healthy Living 
Jean Hartzog and Gail Durbin at Operation Stand-Down

In June, NE Delta HSA's Jean Hartzog and Gambling Addiction Counselor Gail Durbin promoted Healthy Living at  the Community Health and Wellness Day at the Madison-Tallulah Community Center. Jean and Gail provided information about NE Delta HSA addiction services, including Tobacco Cessation and Gambling Treatment. The event was sponsored by Tallulah Charter School. For more information about NE Delta HSA Addiction Services, visit . For more information about the NE Delta HSA Tobacco Cessation program, click here: 

In March, Jean and Gail distributed information and smiles at the annual Operation Stand Down healthcare and services fair. Offered in part with funding from the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs and in partnership with the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, Operation Stand Down is an event for those who are homeless (individuals, families, adults and children, Veterans and non-Veterans). Jean and Gail shared information about NE Delta HSA mental health services, developmental disability services, gambling treatment resources, 1-800-Quit Now information, information about illegal substances and stress prevention. 

NE Delta HSA Participates in Mental Health First Aid Training 

Earlier in 2016, NE Delta HSA participated in Mental Health First Aid training! You may know CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver. But can you administer First Aid in a mental health crisis? Mental Health First Aid is an in-person course from the National Council of Behavioral Health that teaches the public how to help someone who is developing a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps identify, understand, and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses. Participants  learn:

* Risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems.
* Information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, and addiction disorders.
* A 5-step action plan to help someone developing a mental health problem or in crisis.
* Where to turn for help - professional, peer, and self-help resources.

The training was conducted by Michael Duffy, SAMSHA Regional Administrator. Michael has an esteemed history in behavioral health as an administrator, consultant, lecturer and clinician and has long-worked to help the citizens of Louisiana. His first job was working at the NE Delta HSA Monroe behavioral health  clinic on South Grand!

NE Delta HSA Developmental Disabilities Supports Children's Services 

NE Delta HSA participated this month in the Louisiana Department of Health NE LA Resource Information Workshop, which focused on Children's Special Health Services. Representing the NE Delta HSA Entry Unit, Torchia Duhon addressed questions from attendees (Left). Jennifer Purvis, NE Delta HSA Director of Developmental Disabilities, spoke about Developmental Disabilities services (not pictured). Nina Littleberry from the NE Delta HSA Women and Children's Clinic spoke about behavioral health and addictive disorders (right). Event participants included client families, health care professionals, LPC's, social workers and additional professionals who work with children. For more information about accessing NE Delta HSA services for children, 

NE Delta HSA at Healthy Louisiana Event 

Dr. Sizer was a presenter and panelist at the Healthy Louisiana event hosted by Dr. Shelley Jones, Medical Director/Administrator - Office of Public Health Region 8. Dr. Sizer discussed how NE Delta HSA's Integrated Services Model serves our citizens' mental health, addictive disorder and developmental disability needs. Event discussions focused around the topics of Healthcare & Insurance, Unemployment & Economic Development and Behavioral Health & Substance Abuse issues. 
Summer Reading Programs Abound Throughout the NELA Region

(Above left) NE Delta HSA and East Carroll Parish farmers, law enforcement and community leaders discussed  ideas to improve economic growth and self-sufficiency within the area. The group exchanged ideas and discussed the importance of healthy-living. (Above right)  U-ACT partnered with the Union Parish Library recently during its Summer Reading Program and hosted Olympic medalist Hollis Conway. Hollis, a champion long-jumper and author, talked to the kids about overcoming obstacles.  (Second row)  NE Delta HSA at East Carroll Parish Library at the Summer Reading Program Kick-Off in Lake Providence. NE Delta HSA Regional Prevention Coordinator, LaTonya Owens, staffed an informational booth and provided attendees with information on the services that NE Delta HSA provides to the East Carroll Parish community.

"A great life is about small things that make a big difference."
~Marian Wright Edelman