• Ann Tucker

Key Policymakers, Providers Convene for Roundtable on Substance Use

Odyssey House, Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD Lead Discussion Opioid Treatment and Prevention

On Tuesday, August 23, Odyssey House Louisiana (OHL) convened a roundtable discussion with fellow providers and stakeholders, as well as local and state policymakers, featuring honored guest U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, MD. Attendees discussed topics related to substance use and treatment, the impact of illicit fentanyl, mental health, and more. The event also presented an opportunity for Senator Cassidy to discuss congressional reforms related to behavioral health.


Senator Cassidy has long been a champion of Louisiana’s most vulnerable citizens. We are appreciative of his leadership in parity efforts so that coverage for behavioral health is comparable to coverage for other forms of medical care," said OHL CEO Ed Carlson. "As Louisiana and the nation battle multiple crises of addiction and substance use, the conversations we have about overcoming these challenges must be centered around treatment and we are grateful that policymakers, stakeholders, and fellow providers present today see the importance of this ongoing dialogue and action steps.


Participants included OBH Asst. Sec. Karen Stubbs, Governor’s Office of Drug Policy Director Kristy Miller, Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson, New Orleans Health Dept. (NOHD) Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Jefferson Parish Coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich, MHSD Executive Director Dr. Rochelle Dunham, JPHSA Executive Director Rosanna DiChiro, and NAMI New Orleans Interim Executive Director Ret. Judge Calvin Johnson, as well as representatives of Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee-Sheng, the Louisiana Primary Care Assn. (LPCA), La. Mental Health Coalition, and fellow provider agencies Bridge House Grace House, Responsibility House, and Plaquemines Community CARE Centers.

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