IMPORTANT MESSAGE:

CAHS offices will be closed Monday, May 27, 2024, in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday.   

Leadership

East Baton Rouge Parish

East Baton Rouge Parish

Board Members

Pointe Coupee Parish

West Feliciana Parish

East Baton Rouge Parish

West Baton Rouge Parish

East Feliciana Parish

Ascension Parish

Iberville Parish

East Feliciana Parish

Tamika M. Westbrook

Ascension Parish

West Baton Rouge Parish

Iberville Parish

East Baton Rouge Parish

Composition

Capital Area Human Services is governed by a 17-member Board of Directors. The Board is comprised of 12 members (two residents from each of the following parishes: Ascension, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana) and another five members who are residents of East Baton Rouge Parish. The members are appointed by the governor from among a list of qualified candidates nominated by the governing authority of each parish. The candidates from Ascension Parish are nominated by the parish president.

Expertise

Louisiana law stipulates that the Board members represent certain behavioral health care fields as follows:

  • Two members with professional expertise in the field of mental health,
  • Two members with professional expertise in the field of addictive disorders,
  • Two members with professional expertise in the field of developmental disabilities,
  • One member with professional expertise in finance, accounting, business enterprise, or auditing,
  • One member with professional expertise in the field of public health,
  • One member who represents the judiciary, with particular emphasis on specialty courts,
  • Two members who represent law enforcement, school-based healthcare, public health, or the coroner’s office based on the needs of the respective appointing parishes,
  • Two members who are parents, consumers, or advocates in the field of mental health,
  • Two members who are parents, consumers, or advocates in the field of addictive disorders, and
  • Two members who are parents, consumers, or advocates in the field of developmental disabilities.

Appointment and Terms

All Board members are appointed by the Governor, and all appointments must be submitted to the Louisiana Senate for confirmation. Each member serves a three-year term, and no member shall serve more than three consecutive three-year terms (nine consecutive years). All board members serve without compensation, however reimbursement for travel and mileage is allow, as funds are available.

Executive Management Team

Jan Laughinghouse, PhD, LCSW-BACS, LAC, CCS

Executive Director

Shaketha Carter

Deputy Director

Sheidra Boutté, LCSW-BACS

Clinical Director of Addiction Recovery Services

Karla Lee-Muzik

Director of Business Operations

John Nosacka, LCSW-BACS, MSHCM

Mental Health Clinical Director

Karen Pino, LCSW-BACS, LAC

Compliance Officer

Karen Thomas

Accountant Administrator

Aniedi Udofa, MD, DABPN, DFAPA

Medical Director

Senior Management Team

Maria Bates, RN

Registered Nurse Manager

Bridget Lewis, MS-LPP

Director of Prevention and Wellness Services

Shenitha Smith, MSW

Developmental Disabilities Division Director

Tony Square, MHRM

Human Resources Director

Virginia Pearson headshot

Virginia M. Pearson, M.A.

Board Member

Represents:

East Baton Rouge Parish

Expertise Represented:

Law enforcement, school-based healthcare, public health, or the coroner’s office, based on the needs of the respective appointing parish

Why I Serve:

Mental and behavioral health problems continue to grow, affecting not only individuals but families and the greater community. We are all affected by the brutal and debilitating results. None of this is very far from someone suffering from addictive behaviors or mental disorders. As a community, we must not turn our backs on those who need help. It is my honor to serve on the CAHS Board in support of a superb staff providing the best care possible. Keeping up with the latest treatment options is critical if we are to succeed and getting community support, and finding the necessary resources to provide appropriate treatment is the reason I serve.

Chalonda Hollins headshot

Chalonda Hollins, BACS, LCSW, C-SSWS

Board Member

Represents:

East Baton Rouge Parish

Expertise Represented:

Professional expertise in the field of mental health

Why I Serve:

As a social worker with more than 20 years of experience, I have provided services to the client population that is served by CAHS. My experience and insights allow me to support the mission of delivering caring and responsive services, leading to a better tomorrow. I believe it is our responsibility to be the example of customer service, the explorers of “why,” the compassionate communicators, and the change agents. As a CAHS Board member for East Baton Rouge Parish and representing mental health, I believe the adult and children’s behavioral health, school-based, substance abuse, and developmental disability departments share this goal and I am happy to be a part of it.
L Aguilliard headshot

Mary Laverne Aguillard, RN, M.Ed

Board Member

Represents:

Pointe Coupee Parish

Expertise Represented:

Law enforcement, school-based healthcare, public health, or the coroner’s office, based on the needs of the respective appointing parishes

Why I Serve:

I consider it an honor to serve on the Capital Area Human Services Board. Pointe Coupee Parish has been my home since early childhood. My profession in the field of Nursing places me in a very rewarding role. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and a Master’s Degree in Counseling- Behavioral Health and Educational Leadership. As the Parish Nursing Supervisor in Public Health Nursing, I spent most of my years providing Preventative Health Services to families in Pointe Coupee Parish. I later served as the Regional Nurse Manager for Region 2 where I was responsible for coordinating Public Health Leadership for The Baton Rouge Area and surrounding parishes. My years of Community Engagement has allowed me an opportunity to see firsthand the general health and emotional health challenges that families face. I have a deep passion for utilizing my past experiences to assist families in meeting those challenges.

Stephanie Ferguson, BAS

Board Member

Represents:

West Feliciana Parish

Expertise Represented:

Professional expertise in the field of developmental disabilities

Why I Serve:

As someone who is passionate about helping others in our community and  beyond, I am honored to serve on the CAHS board. I look forward to serving children and adults of various backgrounds with myriad socioeconomic status, helping them navigate public systems and finding resources imperative to their viability. I hope to be a voice and a guide for those in need of mental health, addiction recovery and developmental disabilities, as well as helping to bring prevention services to the citizens of West Feliciana Parish.

James Jefferson, CAHSD Board Member

James Jefferson, III, MS

Board Member

Represents:

East Baton Rouge Parish

Expertise Represented:

Judiciary with particular emphasis on specialty courts

Why I Serve:

Working as a career-focused law enforcement and criminal justice official, I am keenly interested in serving on this board to enhance my knowledge of mental health, addiction recovery and disability services in the region and to provide outreach and CAHS resources to my fellow associates, their families and interested citizens of the parish. As a law enforcement officer and dedicated public servant, I am honored to represent the community of East Baton Rouge Parish.
Toddie milstead

Toddie VanNorden Milstead

Board Member

Represents:

West Baton Rouge Parish

Expertise Represented:

Professional expertise in the field of addictive disorders

Why I Serve:

As the mother of three daughters and an advocate for drug-free outreach and education, I am readily aware of the need for prevention in our communities. We all have a voice, and I am proud to utilize my skills and commitment to making our region one that focuses on health. My role on the Capital Area Human Services Board helps me share, with the citizens of West Baton Rouge Parish, the caring and responsive services through its clinics and outreach presentation and school-based services.

Rikki Permenter headshot

Rikki H. Permenter, Ph.D, LPC-S, LMFT

Board Member

Represents:

East Feliciana Parish

Expertise Represented:

Professional expertise in the field of addictive disorders

Why I Serve:

I serve on the CAHSD Board to serve my community and to be the eyes, ears, and voice of my parish. I am committed to ensuring people of every age, race, gender, and economic status have access to quality mental health care in our parish.

Courtney N. Phillips, PhD

Board Member

Represents:

Ascension Parish

Expertise Represented:

Advocate in the field of developmental disabilities and mental health

Why I Serve:

As the former Louisiana Department of Health Secretary, I am keenly aware of the enormous impact of our state’s local governing entities, such as Capital Area Human Services District (CAHSD) to the state’s healthcare infrastructure. I understand the importance of effective healthcare service delivery in ensuring individuals are getting what they need, when needed. By serving on the CAHSD Board of Directors, I hope to continue contributing to our communities. 

Edward A. Songy Jr.

Board Member

Represents:

Iberville Parish

Expertise Represented:

Professional expertise in the field of mental health

Why I Serve:

As a resident of Iberville Parish, I am proud to represent our citizens and to provide insights into the needs of our community. Recognizing the high importance of quality health care available to all who are in need is especially important to building and maintaining a strong community. 

Behavioral health, addiction recovery and developmental disability services at CAHS, as well as prevention and wellness education outreach, are a vital addition to the health care services in Iberville Parish.

genny thomas

Genny Nadler Thomas

Board Member

Represents:

East Feliciana Parish

Expertise Represented:

Parent, consumer, or advocate in the field of development disabilities

Why I Serve:

As a community activist and lifetime advocate for children, I am proud to serve on the CAHS Board of Directors. Not only does this agency guide parents and youth, but also adults who at times find themselves in need of behavioral health care. East Feliciana Parish has great need for health services, which is why I choose to serve on the board. Our residents are especially appreciative of the outreach services provided in mental health, addiction recovery and developmental disabilities.

Tamika Westbrook, MSN, RN, CMSRN, NPD-BC

Board Member

Represents:

Ascension Parish

Why I Serve:

Serving on the CAHSD Board of Directors will help me be a voice for those whom we serve in the parish.  During my career as a nurse I consistently see the need of the population for an increase in mental health services.  As a servant leader who focuses on holistic care, I want to participate in the health and healing of those most in need.  Being a board member of CAHSD will provide me the opportunity to work with others who are purposed to help increase the mental health services in the parishes they represent.  It is an honor to be chosen as a board member of CAHSD.

Mary Winfield headshot

Mary Winfield, RN, BSN

Board Member

Represents:

West Baton Rouge Parish

Expertise Represented:

Professional expertise in the field of public health

Why I Serve:

I am honored to be a part of CAHS Board of Directors. As a healthcare provider I see the need and understand the importance of quality and effective behavioral health and substance abuse care and treatment. Being a member of this board gives me the opportunity to ensure these services are available for West Baton Rouge Parish and our surrounding parish neighbors.

Kathy DAlbor headshot

Kathy D’Albor, M.S., Ed.S.

Board Member

Represents:

Iberville Parish

Expertise Represented:

Professional expertise in the field of developmental disabilities

Why I Serve:

Having dedicated my entire career to special education and the needs of children and families in the Iberville School System, I am honored to represent the parish on this human services board and to assist the citizens to know about the depth and breadth of behavioral health specialists available at Capital Area Human Services. Besides their Developmental Disabilities Division, CAHS provides mental health and addiction recovery clinical services and an outreach program in prevention and wellness too. I am proud to represent Iberville Parish on this board and to connect our citizens to these services.

Gerri Hobdy headshot

Gerri Hobdy

Vice Chair

Represents:

East Baton Rouge Parish

Expertise Represented:

Parent, consumer, or advocate in the field of mental health

Why I Serve:

Serving on the board allows me to contribute my expertise and to gain knowledge about services that support community members with disabilities, behavioral health, and addiction challenges. It is inspiring to be part of such a caring organization that anticipates the needs of the community and responds accordingly and comprehensively in quiet times and in times of emergency and crisis. I am honored to be part of Capital Area Human Services and to be able to work with its amazing leadership and staff.