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Volume 3, December 2016
Message from the Executive Director

As we all prepare to celebrate the upcoming holidays with our families and friends, I am proud to reflect on some of the substantive NE Delta HSA work since our July newsletter. The past few months have been filled with meaningful work that strengthens the integrated behavioral and primary healthcare initiatives we have established during the past three and half years. We work diligently to find innovative ways to work with our regional partners and make system changes that will improve health outcomes for our citizens. This positive change requires intentional coordination at our agency and innovative collaboration with our regional partners.
First I want to look forward and invite you to attend the Tobacco Cessation Summit we are conducting on Friday, January 27, 2017. The NE Delta HSA Tobacco Summit: A Clear New Year stems from the Tobacco Cessation program that we initiated in the spring as one facet of our integrated behavioral and primary healthcare model. We have a jam-packed program in place that will help providers and clinicians improve the health of our employees, family members and clients. Our nationally-recognized keynote speaker, Dr. Thomas Payne, a tobacco cessation and behavioral health professional, will share person-centered techniques that help citizens strengthen their motivation for change.

NE Delta HSA was recently selected by the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) North America, a research center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as a winner of its inaugural  Health Care Delivery Innovation Competition.  The competition identifies innovative programs with the potential to serve as national models and supports the development of large-scale randomized controlled trials to evaluate these programs' impact.  NE Delta HSA was selected because of J-PAL's interest in our integrated behavioral and primary healthcare model. J-PAL researchers will objectively measure how our services are meeting our citizens' needs and help us improve health outcomes for our region and our state.
We've made some significant headway over the past few months for our citizens and our communities. In October, NE Delta HSA opened The Phoenix Clinic, a pilot program within the NE Delta HSA Monroe Behavioral Health Clinic that offers behavioral healthcare services for citizens with co-occurring developmental disabilities and mental healthcare issues. The Phoenix Clinic will help ease the difficulty that persons with a dual diagnosis face and help them get access to comprehensive treatment methods that work. This new service offering also addresses the healthcare needs of family members and caregivers.
In addition, NE Delta HSA initiated its Opportunity Zone program in late summer. The NE Delta HSA Opportunity Zone is a strategic initiative that targets south Monroe communities. This initiative grew out of NE Delta HSA's regional faith-based mental health summits. It is one of three regional NE Delta HSA coalitions underway designed to positively influence many of the serious issues that our region faces: mental health and addiction prevalence, improvement of primary healthcare outcomes, reduction of crime rates, enhanced academic performance by students and schools, equipping faith and community leaders to recognize behavioral health issues, increased job opportunities and work that supports public policy in the health and human services arena. The first Opportunity Zone community meeting was held in October at the Emily P. Robinson Community Center in south Monroe. To expand this initiative, NE Delta HSA is offering grants to qualified schools within the NE Delta HSA Opportunity Zone. These grants are funded with federal dollars through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - Center for Substance Abuse and Prevention (SAMHSA - CSAP) Partnership Grant to build awareness and education around underage alcohol, tobacco and drug Usage.
We also joined state and local officials in October to officially break ground on a new inpatient psychiatric center in Marion that will fill a significant behavioral healthcare gap in northeastern Louisiana. This facility will not only treat patients with co-occurring mental health and addiction issues, it will also help people receive long-term inpatient care and a find a solid transition to employment and housing toward a successful recovery.
We are excited about the year to come and we look forward to deepening the collaborations we've built with partners in prevention, education, business and in our regional municipalities and parishes.   We willcontinue to use data and the needs of our regional citizens to drive our agency's priorities and budgetary considerations.
NE Delta HSA wishes you and yours a healthy and happy holiday season.

Dr. Monteic A. Sizer
Executive Director
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 NE Delta HSA Selected by Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
as National J-PAL Research Center 
Health Care Competition Winner

In August, NE Delta HSA was selected by the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) North America, a research center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as a winner of its inaugural Health Care Delivery Innovation Competition. The competition identifies innovative programs with the potential to serve as national models and supports the development of large-scale randomized controlled trials to evaluate these programs' impact.
"Empirical test findings around our innovative service delivery model could change the way primary and behavioral healthcare is delivered for vulnerable populations with complex needs in Louisiana and across the country. Being selected for this award is a testament to our Board and staff's commitment to our vision and mission. We look forward to sharing and implementing discoveries with our state's healthcare, business, community, and elected officials."
Northeast Delta HSA has developed an innovative services network that provides integrated behavioral and primary healthcare services, prevention services, services for people with developmental disabilities, tobacco cessation and a gambling addiction program. Northeast Delta HSA also supports a range of social services, including housing, inpatient addiction services, employment, prevention and peer support to rural and low-income populations who have behavioral health and developmental disability needs. Additionally, NE Delta HSA has established community and faith-based coalitions around societal challenges such as mental illness, addiction, primary care and poverty-related issues. 
To read more about the MIT J-PAL award to NE Delta HSA click here.

NE Delta HSA Speaks at the Poverty Action Lab
National Health Care Delivery Conference at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Sizer was a featured speaker representing the Louisiana Delta last month at a national health care conference.  The  hosted its Innovative Health Care Delivery to Reduce Poverty conference in Cambridge, MA. J-PAL is a  research center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 
"We discussed possible solutions to the challenges of the Louisiana Delta here in Cambridge with nationally-renowned researchers and scholars," said Dr. Sizer. "We are proud that J-PAL has recognized NE Delta HSA's work in integrated healthcare as significant and noteworthy."
J-PAL selected NE Delta HSA in August as a winner of its inaugural Health Care Delivery Innovation Competition. The competition identifies innovative programs with the potential to serve as national models and supports the development of large-scale randomized controlled trials to evaluate these programs' impact.  NE Delta HSA was one of four organizations selected nationally. 
"We are discovering an additional breadth of ideas we can bring back and put in place in northeast Louisiana," said Dr. Sizer. "We hope that some of these new concepts will help our clients, our region and our state, and help advance and support a reduction in some of the negative health indicators that our region is known for."
"We will continue to foster the collaborations we have built across governmental, philanthropic, faith-based and other sectors to help undergird our work," said Dr. Sizer. "We are excited about the integrated behavioral and primary healthcare approach we are employing to help improve the social determinants around poverty reduction, improved housing, education and employment that will help our citizens thrive."
Click here to read an interview from the conference between J-PAL and Dr. Sizer about innovative health care delivery.  Click here more to see photos from the conference.

NE Delta HSA Hosts MIT J-PAL Researchers in Monroe

NE Delta HSA hosted Massachusetts MIT J-PAL Policy Manager Jason Bauman and Research Manager Michelle Woodford in September to discuss upcoming research around 
NE Delta HSA's integrated services model. This MIT J-PAL work has the potential to further improve positive health outcomes throughout our region and serve as a model in additional areas of the country. We introduced our guests to one of our collaborative partners, University Health Conway - who hosted a facility tour for us, and we toured the NE Delta HSA Monroe Behavioral Health Clinic and the NE Delta HSA-supported Monroe Extra Mile Peer Support Center. 

Read more about the MIT J-PAL Health Care Delivery Innovation Competition!
Join us on Friday, January 27th for the NE Delta HSA
Tobacco Cessation Summit:
A Clear New Year - Removing the Smoke Screens

Emerson said, "The Greatest Gift is a Portion of Thyself."  During this gift-giving season it seems appropriate to discuss the most important gift you can give your family and yourself: the gift of health. Research suggests that quitting smoking is the single most important project to not only increase our life spans, but to dramatically improve the quality of our lives. Non-smokers reduce their chances of cancer, heart disease, stroke, COPD, emphysema and a myriad of other chronic diseases. Many sources suggest that we can add 10 to 25 years to our lives by being a non-smoker. Second and third-hand smoke are also damaging to the health of others around you who do not smoke. Quitting gives those you care about the clean air that they deserve. 
On January 27th, NE Delta Human Services Authority will be hosting a day-long event entitled A Clear New Year. An exceptional line-up of speakers will clear up many of the myths associated with smoking, show individuals in the health care field how to encourage change through motivational interviewing, and inspire all of us to do more to break the cycle of this common addiction. Many of us involved in the addiction field have bought into the fallacy that people who smoke, who are also addicted to other drugs "have bigger fish to fry." This  event, which takes place at the West Monroe Convention Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. will demonstrate why smoking is the "biggest fish" by far and that the need to continue using tobacco is as strong as that of heroin. If we compare the number of people who die from the use of the illicit drugs to that of the cigarette smoker, we will quickly see that tobacco is the big killer. Evidence is increasing that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other second-hand smoke fatalities are directly linked to the quality of air around us. 
We hope you will join us for this important event, and that 2017 will bring clarity to the importance of working together toward a tobacco-free future. 

Jean Hartzog, 
Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS), 
Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist (ICPS)
NE Delta  HSA Tobacco Cessation Coordinator

Click here  for more information about this program on the NE Delta HSA website.

Click here  to RSVP and attend the Summit!

The Phoenix Clinic
NE Delta HSA Now Offering Co-Occurring Developmental Disability and Behavioral Health Services

In October, NE Delta HSA opened The Phoenix Clinic, a pilot program within the Monroe Behavioral Health Clinic that offers behavioral healthcare services for citizens with co-occurring developmental disabilities and mental health issues.
"We have physicians and clinicians in place who are specifically trained to welcome these citizens and provide a high quality of care and treatment," said Dr. Sizer. "This will ensure access to the critical, quality behavioral healthcare that citizens need."
In addition to these services for citizens with a co-occurring developmental disability and a mental health disorder, this new service offering also addresses the healthcare needs of family members and caregivers. NE Delta HSA can provide an integrated behavioral and primary healthcare home to these individuals by referring them to one of its primary care network partners or another appropriate provider for additional healthcare and social supports.
Click here for more information about the Phoenix Clinic. Read a News Star article about the Phoenix Clinic here.
NE Delta HSA Establishes Opportunity Zone in South Monroe   

NE Delta HSA conducted an Opportunity Zone community meeting in October at the Emily P. Robinson Community Center in south Monroe. The Opportunity Zone event was attended by community and civic leaders, local pastors, Monroe Police Chief Quentin Holmes and additional city administrators.  The  NE Delta HSA Opportunity Zone is a strategic initiative that grew out of NE Delta HSA's regional community and faith-based mental health summits. This initiative is one of three regional NE Delta HSA coalitions underway that are designed to transform communities to help reduce mental health and addiction prevalence, improve primary healthcare outcomes, reduce crime rates, enhance students' and schools' academic performance, equip faith and community leaders, increase job opportunities, and establish support for public policies.
Part of NE Delta HSA's vision is to be catalytic. Collaborating with others is one of our foundational principles. And meeting community needs is why we exist. 

Click here to read more about the NE Delta HSA Opportunity Zone, and click here to see more photos. 

Opportunity Zone Focus Group in South Monroe 

Dr. Sizer and staff attended a south Monroe focus group meeting to discuss both challenges and solutions in south Monroe communities. This standing room only event was inspiring and showed the resiliency of those in attendance. Dr. Sizer intently listened to each event participant and offered specific solutions to their concerns. The event was part of NE Delta HSA's Opportunity Zone Initiative.

Northeast Delta

HSA Board Members



Ouachita Parish

E.H. Baker

Thelma Merrells

Laura Nettles


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

Tobacco Cessation Summit:

A Clear New Year

January 27

West Monroe Convention Center

Save the  Date!

Keynote Speaker Dr.  Thomas Payne from The University of Mississippi
Medical Center,  has trained numerous Tobacco Cessation Specialists and will share 
person-centered techniques that help clients strengthen their motivation for change. 

More information to come!

Jean Hartzog for more information or to RSVP.
LDCC and NE Delta HSA Work Toward  Holistic Solutions

LDCC held a career fair on December 13th at the Harvey Benoit Recreation Center. Programs were shared that targeted those in need of high school credentials, those who are looking for "ready to work" skill development, and those who desire to ultimately go on to university life.  
Click here to read more about the partnership between NE Delta HSA and LDCC.
NE Delta HSA at 2016 Leadership Ouachita Program!

Hearty congrats to all of the 2016 Leadership Ouachita graduates and to our own Avius Carroll-Zimmerman! Click here to read more about the event!

NE Delta HSA Staff Training Supports Competent Care Provision in Northeast Louisiana

NE Delta HSA conducted Cultural Competency Training this fall for its entire staff, above. This outstanding training included discussions of communication variations within and across cultures, and how culturally competent healthcare improves our clients' experience! NE Delta HSA is committed to continuous learning and improvement for its staff. Below are photos from Integrated Healthcare for Providers Training this month, which supports the NE Delta HSA approach to ensuring that our citizens have access to behavioral and primary healthcare.


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Groundbreaking: Center will offer long-term addiction and mental health treatment
Senator Mike Walsworth, Representative Bubba Chaney and local officials joined together in October to officially break ground on a new inpatient psychiatric center in northeast Louisiana. "As promised, we are well on our way to building that continuum of care from arrest to community re-entry," said Dr. Sizer. "Additional psychiatric and addiction beds will create alternatives to arrest and help prevent nonviolent offenders who have mental illness and drug addictions from languishing untreated in jails."
The facility is being financed and operated by private investors who have worked closely with public entities to determine and meet regional healthcare needs. "As we conducted town halls across northeast Louisiana, hundreds of citizens expressed the need for more psychiatric and addictions treatment facilities," said Dr. Sizer. "Today, I can announce that need is becoming a reality."
Click here to read a News Star article about the inpatient center.  Click here for more information about the facility. 
Click here to see more pictures from the groundbreaking ceremony!

NE Delta HSA Aims to Strengthen Communities through
Faith-Based Mental Health


Last month, members of clergy, behavioral health leaders, public servants, educational leaders, students and the community-at-large came together to actively help build a healthier northeast Louisiana. Dr. Sizer wishes to thank all the attendees, speakers and panel participants, including Dr. Carolyn Hunt and Bishop Danny Hunt of the HEARTS Coalition, Bishop Terrence Millican of Solid Rock, Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, Acting Chancellor Dennis Epps of Louisiana Delta Community College, Monroe Chief of Police Quentin Holmes, Sr., Representative Katrina Jackson, Pastor Jack Norman, III and Dr. Jamil Norman of St. Luke Baptist Church, Dr. Kelvin C. Wade, Harrison Tribble of Delhi Charter School, Belinda Isaac and Minister Barbara Freeman. 

Click here to see photos from the November Faith-Based Mental Health Summit.

In October, First United Methodist Church of Monroe hosted a NE Delta HSA Faith-Based Mental Health meeting.  "A mental health or addictive disorder issue doesn't only affect the one individual who is suffering," said Sizer. "These struggles can have a negative ripple effect on the family, the congregation, the community at large, our region and beyond."

NE Delta HSA Conducts Regional Prescription Take-Back Events

The NE Delta HSA-funded U-ACT Coalition, in partnership with the Children's Coalition of Northeast Louisiana, the ULM School of Pharmacy, Brookshire's, Generation Rx, the Union Parish Sheriff's Office and Cardinal Health unveiled a new Prescription Take-Back box in Union Parish in August. Citizens can turn in unused or expired prescription medication, no questions asked. NE Delta HSA's Regional Prevention Coordinator, 
LaTonya Owens, was on hand for the unveiling.   Initiated by National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in October, NE Delta HSA and U-ACT have conducted prescription take-back events in Bastrop, Columbia, Farmerville, Monroe, Ruston and West Monroe. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day encourages citizens to turn in their unused or expired prescription medications for safe disposal. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the U.S. The majority of prescription drug abusers report that they obtain their drugs from friends and family, including the home medicine cabinet. 

Click here  for a link to a News Star article about safe disposal of unused medications. To learn more about NE Delta HSA Addiction services on our website,  click here .

DD Training and Quarterly Meeting 


The NE Delta HSA Developmental Disabilities Team (DD) recently hosted training for its support coordinators that focused on coordinating transitions for people with developmental disabilities from institutional settings into their own homes. Presenters were Leah Broussard with the OCDD Central Office TEPPA Program, Krista Tipton with the OCDD Central Office "My Place" Project and Chantel Ambrose & Tunjia Corbin with 
Easter Seals Permanent Supportive Housing.
The NE Delta HSA DD team also hosting its Quarterly Providers Meeting in October. The program included an update about permanent supportive housing with Tunjia Corbin, a Community Support update from Dr. Sandy Brindamour of the OCDD Resource Center Community Support Team, and updates from the NE Delta HSA DD team director, Jennifer Purvis and NE Delta HSA Waiver Supports & Services' Drew Fluke and Michelle Conti.
NE Delta HSA at
Office for Citizens with DD Regional Advisory Committee Meeting 

Dr. Sizer shared information at the recent NE Delta HSA Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities Regional Advisory Committee meeting about NE Delta HSA's integrated care through our new Phoenix Clinic, which serves citizens who have co-occurring issues of developmental disabilities and mental health. He also spoke about the importance of training people who care for people with developmental disabilities. He said "we always want our regional citizens to have a better quality of life for the rest of their lives."
National Bullying Awareness Unity Day at Wossman High School

NE Delta HSA Regional Prevention Coordinator LaTonya Owens visited Wossman High School in October and conducted a balloon release event in support of National Bullying Awareness Unity Day. Wossman Principal Eric Davis said that Wossman is elated to be a part of NE Delta HSA's anti-bullying efforts and reiterated his school's commitment to this important initiative. LaTonya told the students that NE Delta HSA's anti-bullying efforts focus on reducing the incidence of bullying in schools and communities throughout our region, and that students can be empowered by using verbal strategies and actions that can take a stand against bullies.

Wossman High is part of the NE Delta HSA Opportunity Zone, an initiative that aims to engage the south Monroe community and increase access to NE Delta HSA's healthcare services. The Opportunity Zone supports an environment where all people live long, healthy lives.

NE Delta HSA also campaigned at additional south Monroe Opportunity Zone sites including Swayze, Robinson, Madison James Foster and Berg Jones Elementary schools with balloon releases in support of Al's Pals, which NE Delta HSA funds through the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana. 

NE Delta HSA's U-ACT Youth Summit Focuses on Leadership and Positive Choices  

NE Delta HSA's U-ACT (Union Parish Alliance for Community Transformation) recent "Summit UP" Youth Summit included activities focused on leadership, team-building and the importance of making positive choices! Summit UP took place at OWL (Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center) in Dubach, Louisiana, where high school students participated from Union Parish High School, Ruston High School, D'Arbonne Woods Charter and Downsville Charter.
   NE Delta HSA Engagement with Regional Municipalities and Parish Leaders

Dr. Sizer met with Richwood Mayor Gerald Brown in October. They discussed municipal transformation, behavioral health solutions, workforce development and other ways to catalyze change that will be beneficial to the citizens of Richwood.

HSA staff met with the Lincoln Parish Police Jury in September. We look forward to continued collaboration around upcoming initiatives in Lincoln Parish!

Dr. Sizer met with Tallulah Mayor Paxton Brand and they discussed the great value of human and economic development.

After meeting with Tallulah Mayor Brand, Dr. Sizer spoke at the Madison Parish Chamber of Commerce monthly meeting. He emphasized the importance for employers to have healthy, 
knowledgeable and productive employees.
Regional Leaders Celebrate Grand Re-Opening of Inpatient Treatment Facility 

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in early fall at Rayville Recovery, an inpatient addiction treatment facility located in Rayville, Louisiana, to celebrate its grand re-opening. In attendance were local, parish, and state dignitaries. Dr. Sizer spoke to the audience about the continued importance of much-needed inpatient mental health and addiction services in the region. He applauded Rayville Recovery's commitment to those in need of quality inpatient addiction services. Dr. Sizer also noted that Rayville Recovery's critical inpatient addictions services were part of Northeast Delta HSA's growing continuum of primary/behavioral integrative healthcare.
NE Delta HSA Celebrates the Season at its 2016 Holiday Gathering!! 

Here are links to additional pics from the NE Delta HSA Holiday Party!! Warm wishes to you for a happy and healthy holiday season!!

"The height of the pinnacle is determined by the 
breadth of the base."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson