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Wednesday, April 25, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Rochelle Head-Dunham, M.D.
Medical Director, Metropolitan Human Services District

Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham is a New Orleans native who completed a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry at Xavier University of New Orleans, an MD degree at Tulane University School of Medicine and Psychiatry Residency training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in Bronx, New York. Dr. Head-Dunham was the first fellow to complete a Substance Abuse Fellowship at Tulane in 1991. She is Board Certified in both Adult General and Addiction Psychiatry.

Dr. Head-Dunham currently serves as the newly appointed Executive Director and Medical Director for Metropolitan Human Services District, the Local Governance Entity tasked with service delivery for persons suffering from Mental Illness, Addictive Disorders and Developmental Disabilities within the tri-parish areas of Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes. Her past immediate appointments were Assistant Secretary and Medical Director for the Office of Behavioral Health within the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. In her DHH role, she provided statewide behavioral health leadership as both the appointed State Commissioner of Mental Health for the National Association of Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and the Louisiana Single State Agency Director for the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD). Her academic appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry is served at both Tulane and LSU Schools of Medicine.

Dr. Head-Dunham’s academic leadership has served as a bridge for the behavioral health (substance use and mental illness) knowledge chiasm, pioneering statewide advances in knowledge, skills and application of standards of care for co-occurring mental and addictive disorders. Her work in this area has been foundational to statewide readiness, for Louisiana’s aggressive move to fully reform and integrate physical and behavioral healthcare systems. Her anchoring to the commitment of holistic healthcare care has expanded her reach to engage national attention and support for state and local integrative efforts. Her transformative leadership style galvanizes and motivates buy-in for shared vision by the members of her team. Relationship building with a focus on organizing, supporting and developing those in her employ is a priority. Dr. Head-Dunham’s pragmatic style has fostered inter and intra departmental collaborations resulting in systematic unprecedented changes within the new construct of Louisiana statewide integrated management of primary and behavioral healthcare. In her newly appointed role, Dr. Head-Dunham’s Vision centers around “building the core” of her agency and “expanding” partnerships and collaborations.”

Dr. Head-Dunham currently serves as a Governor’s appointee to the Medicaid Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee and the HIV Commission. Dr. Head-Dunham in prior years, managed a very robust solo Private Practice in New Orleans for 15 years. In addition to her publications and research accomplishments, Dr. Head-Dunham is a member of several professional, medical and civic organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. She is a practicing member of the Baptist faith and serves in leadership positions at her local church. She currently resides in New Orleans with her husband and two daughters.

Current Topic


     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
Nationally, there is a shift towards providing care for the elderly at home and through community-based services rather than at institutions. But analysts say that Louisiana has a bias towards nursing home enrollment both in policies and funding. A series of bills being proposed this legislative session would address what some consider an imbalance in how the state supports care for its aged population.

So, how much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care? Is the demand for institutional care rising or on the decline? And what options are available to provide the funding and the care that the state’s older residents desire? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Balancing Eldercare” Wednesday, April 25 at 7 pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Tuesday, April 24.)

Our panelists are
· Jeanne Abadie, The Advocacy Center
· Mark Berger, Louisiana Nursing Home Association
· Hugh Eley, Former Deputy Sec. of Louisiana Dept. of Health
· Senator Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana president, Robert Travis Scott, moderate the discussion.
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(7) Comments

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