Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services
Coalition of healthcare, law enforcement, faith based, educational based, and concerned citizens focus on identifying issues related to alcohol and drug use, healthcare, and social services in our communities. Sharing information on the issues and networking with the services available.
CALL TO ACTION!
Meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of every month at the ADAPT conference room, 222 Memphis Street in Bogalusa. We would love to have you join us! Time is 9:30am. Sub Committees meet prior to the Coalition meeting at 8:30am.
October Meeting 2023
Angela Houlemard, WPCHS 2nd Vice President, presented Dr. Leslie Faulkner, Drug Enforcement Agency, with a certificate of leadership.
September Meeting 2023
Rusty Fornea, Executive Director, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services team members with a certificate of leadership. Pictured from left to right are Paula Charles, Tiffany Whitley, Fornea, and Nicole Crain.
August Meeting 2023
Paula Charles, WPCHS President, and Rusty Fornea, Executive Director, presents Sara St. Pierre (center) with a certificate of leadership.
July Meeting 2023
Paula Charles, WPCHS President, and Rusty Fornea, Executive Director, presents David and Dara Johnson with a certificate of leadership. Pictured from left to right are Charles, David Johnson, Dara Johnson, and Fornea.
June Meeting 2023
Rusty Fornea, Executive Director, and Paula Charles, WPCHS President, recognizes members of the Nurse Family Partnership for presenting at the June meeting. Pictured from left to right are Fornea, Charles, Jennifer O’Quinn, Wendy Castillo, Jamie Kohlman, Kristin Wheat, Annette Cavalier
April Meeting 2023
WPCHS guest speaker, Krystle Winkler is presented a Certificate of Leadership from Rusty Fornea, Executive Director.
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its April meeting at the ADAPT Office. The guest speaker was Krystle Winkler, MSHCM, Director of Business Development with the Northlake Behavioral Health System/The Ness Center. The Ness Center at Northlake is a comprehensive outpatient clinic providing various treatments for a wide range of mental health and substance use disorders. They provide behavioral healthcare for adults with substance use disorders and mental health needs. The level of care ranges from intensive outpatient treatment, outpatient, and alumni support. Their Mobile Crisis Team provides community-based services to adults and adolescents experiencing a behavioral health crisis needing on-site intervention and referral. The Ness Center at Northlake currently offers Case Management, Counseling services, family support services, and peer support, in addition to crisis behavioral health services including 24/7/365 mobile crisis teams, Intensive Outpatient (IOP) treatment for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) including suboxone treatment, Ambulatory Detox and Medication Management, Outpatient (OP) treatment for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders, Primary care screening and treatment services, Psychiatric screening, assessment, and diagnosis. The Ness Center at Northlake also offers an Adult Psychiatric Inpatient Treatment Program. Their inpatient services provide care for those ages 18 and above who struggle with one or more mental health disorders and in need of acute psychiatric care. They have a total of 32 beds (16 female, 16 male). Contact Kendrick or Elizabeth at (985) 334-4040 for more information.
March 2023 Meeting
Photo: WPCHS guest speakers, Rusty Fornea and Thomas Mitchell are presented a Certificate of Leadership from Paula Charles, WPCHS President.
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its March meeting at the ADAPT Office. The guest speakers were Rusty Fornea, ADAPT/Washington Parish Sexual Assault Center, and Thomas Mitchell, Hope House Children’s Advocacy Center. Fornea shared information about the Washington Parish Sexual Assault Center (WPSAC) which offers free services to anyone who has experienced a sexual assault, regardless of when it occurred. WPSAC was founded by Charlette Fornea and has been in existence for 33 years in Washington Parish. ADAPT is a level 3 accredited sexual assault center which is the highest that can be achieved.
Services offered include a 24/7 crisis line (985-732-4961), advocacy, law enforcement accompaniment, victim reparations, rape prevention education, and counseling services. According to Fornea, over 100 residents of Washington Parish received services from WPSAC last year. April is sexual assault awareness month. Visit www.adaptwp.org for more information. Mitchell discussed the Children’s Advocacy Center which is operated by Hope House. It provides a one-stop evidence response collection system for children who have been abused. Hope House will soon be moving to its new location in Bogalusa at 328 Austin Street. Hope House was established in 1994 and has served Washington Parish for over 28 years. Approximately 120 kids are serviced each year in Washington Parish. For more information on Hope House, visit www.cachopehouse.org.
January 2023 Meeting
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its January meeting at ADAPT. Rusty Fornea installed the 2023 officers for the coalition. Newly inducted officers include: Paula Charles, president; Glory Davis, vice-president; Angela Houlemard, 2nd vice-president; Shawn Singletary, secretary; Stacy Hartzog, treasurer, and Gloria Kates, parliamentarian. Fornea serves as the Executive Director for WPCHS/ADAPT. Assisting Fornea with the installation was Regina Meyerchick, DFC/WPCHS Project Director.
The next scheduled meeting for WPCHS will be on February 28th at 9:30 a.m. at ADAPT, 216 Memphis Street, Bogalusa. Guest speakers will be Taffy Morrison and Erica French with the Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center. Meetings are open to the public. For more information, contact Rusty Fornea at 985-735-0160.
February 2023 Meeting
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its February meeting at the ADAPT Office. Guest speaker was James Ducote, Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana Deputy Director. He provided a presentation on "Medicaid Unwind: What Does This Mean & How Will It Affect Medicaid Coverage.” Ducote shared information about what individuals with Medicaid Health Insurance should do to continue receiving healthcare coverage. He stated that all residents who currently have a Medicaid Insurance Plan must make sure their account information is up-to-date in order to continue to receive coverage. Resources will be shared on free assistance available and options available for those determined to no longer be eligible for Medicaid. Mary Bolton Warren is a navigator that will be working with residents in Washington Parish with one-on-one assistance with applying, updating info and educating about health insurance options for Marketplace, Medicaid and LaCHIP. Warren is available to assist on Mondays at the Bogalusa Health Unit.
September Meeting '22
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its September meeting at the ADAPT Office in Bogalusa. Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) presented a program on Domestic Violence Awareness. Paula Charles, Managing Attorney, gave an overview of data. According to Charles, Louisiana has the fifth highest rate of domestic violence of women in the nation. Louisiana is 85% higher than the rest of the nation in women that are murdered by men. Don Sauviac discussed the free services that SLLS provides for those who have been affected by domestic violence, including Protective Orders. SLLS offers services at the ADAPT Office in Franklinton every Monday. Charles announced that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. More information can be obtained by visiting www.lcadv.org.
October 2022 Meeting
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its October meeting at the ADAPT Office in Bogalusa. Guest speaker was Representative Malinda White. Representative White gave legislative updates. Some things that she has been working on to obtain funding for our parish include: 1) funding for equipment to allow encrypting of communications for Bogalusa Police Department, Franklinton Police Department, and Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office. This will help ensure safety and privacy for community members. 2) plans to expand Northshore Technical Community College to increase the number of students who can attend. 3) improvements to the Bogue Chitto State Park. 4) renovations to the Washington Parish Courthouse. 5) Rayburn Correctional Center will obtain funds for operations. White has been a member of this group since its inception and believes that it is one of the best organizations for addressing needs of human services.
July 2022 Meeting
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its July meeting at the ADAPT Office in Bogalusa. Myra N. Magee, Director of Pride and Hope Ministry, was the guest speaker. Pride and Hope Ministry is a licensed Home and Community Based Service in the state of Louisiana and the state of Mississippi. Pride and Hope Ministry plays a critical role in caring for seniors and bringing peace of mind to families in need of care for their loved ones. The long-term costs for non-acute care with a Home and Community Based Service such as Pride and Hope Ministry is typically much lower than living in a nursing home full-time. Pride and Hope Ministry also operates a fully licensed Type 3 Day Care facility in Angie. The Day Care is open to children from 6 weeks old to 17 years old. Pride and Hope employees 120 employees. For more information about services offered by Pride and Hope Ministry, contact Myra Magee at 985-732-9494 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 2022 Meeting
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its August meeting at the ADAPT Office in Bogalusa. Rhonda Gunnell, Prevention Specialist with ADAPT, Inc. provided a presentation on the HRSA. According to Gunnell, ADAPT, Inc. has been awarded the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) grant with a start date of September 1, 2022. RCORP is a multi-year initiative by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD) in high-risk rural communities. The HRSA grant that has been awarded to ADAPT, Inc. is renewable for four consecutive years at $500,000 per year. ADAPT, Inc. will be the lead agency in implementing Project ADAPT (All Deserve Advocacy, Prevention, & Treatment). Other organizations who will be partnering with ADAPT, Inc. in the implementation of the grant includes Florida Parishes Human Services Authority (FPHSA), Southeast Louisiana Volunteers of America (VOA), Our Lady of the Angels Hospital (OLOAH), Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, and B.B. “Sixty” Rayburn Correctional Center. This grant will be wide-reaching into the community, involving parish leaders, organizations, rural health care providers, behavioral health care providers and residents to reduce SUD/OUD among the citizens of Washington Parish. Gunnell will serve as Project Director for this program.
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its June meeting at the ADAPT Office. Joey Peterson and David Boudreaux were the guest speakers for the meeting. Peterson shared his story of recovery bringing hope to all who suffer from addiction. He credits God and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for his success. Boudreaux spoke about the Opioid Outreach program in Louisiana. Health Units are now including questions about family opioid use in its triage and provides free Narcan to those who have opioids in their home.
May Meeting 2022
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its May meeting at the ADAPT Office. Carla Mouton, Administrative Support Officer for the Northshore Community Foundation provided the program. According to Mouton, the Foundation has been providing services for 15 years in Washington, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and St. Helena parishes. They support philanthropy and non-profits. The home office is in Covington, 807 N. Columbia Street. An initiative for the foundation is making a difference where it counts. They are partnering with NAMI to provide a Well-Connected Program. Talk Space is the platform that will be used for providing counselling to individuals in need. Talk Space grants are available, and June 17th is the deadline to apply. Scholarships are available for students in 6th-12th grade who want to start their own business. For more information, Mouton can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by calling her office phone at 985-893-8757.
April 2022 Meeting
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its April meeting at the ADAPT Office. Toni Bonvillian, Ness Healthcare Executive Director, was the guest speaker. The Ness Center is located in Mandeville and encompasses Washington Parish. It is a comprehensive outpatient clinic providing various treatments for a wide range of mental health and substance use disorders. The Ness Center offers a full continuum of care. For more information about services, contact Toni at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone – (504) 710-9162.
Attendees of the April meeting included: In-person: Gloria Kates, Ginger Champagne, Rusty Fornea, Rhonda Gunnell, Maddie Champagne, Sheila Seal, Mike Ingram, Rosa Moses, Glory Davis, Cadie Robertson, Mary Rasch, Don Sauviac, Leslie Holmes, Bobbie Kimbrell, Regina Meyerchick; via Zoom: Toni Bonvillian, Tammy DiBartolo, Sheri Eastridge, Marty Hennegan, Wendy Castillo, Katasha August, David Boudreaux, Jennifer Johnson, Nnenna Minimah, Angela Houlemard,
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its March meeting at the ADAPT Office. Rusty Fornea, director of the Washington Parish Sexual Assault Center (WPSAC), was the guest speaker. WPSAC was founded by Charlette Fornea and has been in existence for more than thirty years in Washington Parish. WPSAC is one of twelve accredited sexual assault centers in the state of Louisiana. Services provided by WPSAC include a 24-Hour Crisis Line (985/732-4961), hospital escort services, law enforcement accompaniment, individual and group counseling services, and sexual assault educational programs.
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its February meeting at the ADAPT Office. Special guests at the meeting included MCCA XLII King Johnny Passman and Queen Theresa Wascom. Also, Krewe of Unity V King Glennis E. McKelphin, Jr. and Queen Danielle Keys were recognized. According to King Passman, the parade will roll at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 26th. Everyone is encouraged to come enjoy the revelry. Rusty Fornea, ADAPT Executive Director, presented gifts to the royal guests. WPCHS President challenged the guests to “let the good times roll” as she presented each with a certificate of appreciation.
Dr. Mike Haley, WPSO Chief Deputy, was guest speaker. He spoke about the opioid epidemic which continues to grow each year. Haley said, “According to the Center for Disease Control, 100,306 people died in the United States from overdoses during 2021.” Louisiana reported 2,251 overdose deaths for this same year. This was a 37.2% increase from the previous year. Washington parish reported 35 overdose deaths during 2021 – this is equivalent to 3 persons losing their lives to overdose each month. Haley suggested that opioid and other addictions are a spiritual issue which needs to be addressed through a faith-based program. Haley commended ADAPT for the work they do in the community to bring awareness and education to the citizens of Washington Parish.
January 2022 Meeting
Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services (WPCHS) held its January meeting at ADAPT. Guest was Sheri Eastridge. She is a Training Coordinator for the Louisiana’s Adverse Childhood Experience Educator program, provided the program. According to Eastridge, ACEs are very common. About two-thirds of the population have at least one ACE and about one quarter have three or more. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Educator Program offers ACEs training free of charge to organizations and community groups across Louisiana. To request an ACE Educator Training, email email@example.com. Contact information for Sheri is firstname.lastname@example.org and phone number is 985-201-5660.
Rusty Fornea installed the 2022 officers for the coalition. Newly inducted officers include: Gloria Kates, president; Glory Davis, vice-president; Paula Charles, 2nd vice-president; Charlette Minor, secretary; Ginger Champagne, treasurer, and Mike Ingram, parliamentarian. Fornea serves as the Executive Director for WPCHS/ADAPT.
WP Youth Coalition Featured in National CADCA Publication
Washington Parish Youth Coalition has been featured on the cover of the national CADCA December newsletter. This national recognition is a prestigious accomplishment. LaDerrick Smith is featured on pages 10-11 for his continued work across the nation. We are making a difference in our community and nationally. To read more, click the newsletter on the left.
Enhancing the psycho-physical well-being of all individuals of Washington Parish throughout their life span.
As coalitions are uniquely designed to create change, they must act to create these changes. WPCHS was involved in the following community actions for Washington Parish:
Working on Social Hosting Framework
Planning Drug Take Back Days
Alcohol Town Hall Meeting
Efforts toward creating Detox/Rehab Center in Washington Parish
Work towards bringing Operation Angel to Washington Parish
Northshore College Wellness Week
Chasing the Dragon presentation at all parish schools
MCCA Mardi Gras Alcohol and Tobacco Free Zone extended two blocks
Adverse Childhood Experiences training
Substance Abuse Rally at Cassidy Park
We Have Connections
Parish and State Officials
United Way of SE LA
LA Campaign for Tobacco Free Living
Southeast Legal Aide
Washington Parish Schools
American Heart Association
Bogalusa Public Schools
Washington Parish Head Start
Social Service Agencies
Business - Mary Helen Williams
Civic - Levi Lewis
Health Care Professional - Bill Nielsen
Law Enforcement - Percy Knight
Media - Regina Meyerchick
Parent - Kelly Thiebaud
Religious Organization - Emma Ross
School - Frances Varnado
State Government Agency - Stephanie P. Solar
Substance Abuse Organization - Danielle Keys
Youth - LaDerrick Smith
Youth Serving Organization - Ginger Champagne
LaDerrik Smith, CADCA Youth Trainer, represented Washington Parish's Youth Coalition in Grapevine, Texas as part of CADCA's 18th Annual Mid-Year Training Institute. Smith, along with fellow attendees, share their thoughts and stories.
It is important to be your own advocate if you or a loved one are prescribed an opioid pain reliever. Ask questions! Use as directed! Never share with others!
Jaime Bruins Cyprian ( Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living) and Deborah Durapau (Our Lady of the Angels Hospital) were guest speakers at the July WPCHS meeting. WPCHS President Gloria Kates presented both guests with a certificate of appreciation. Bogalusa is celebrating its one year anniversary of passing an act to ban smoking in public places, including bars and gaming areas!
David Duke installed the 2020 WPCHS Officers. They are Glory Davis, president; Sheila Seal, vice-president; Gloria Kates, second vice-president; Katasha August, secretary; Tiffany Crain, treasurer; AJ Sherrard, parliamentarian. David Duke is serving in his tenth year as the Bogalusa City Prosecutor. Bogalusa is the only city with an elected city prosecutor. According to Duke, Bogalusa has a good set up for youth who come through the legal system which includes access to a Detention Center for Delinquents. Youth receive therapy and are well cared for during their stay at the Center. Duke stated that there are fewer drug related arrests on the youth side. His advice to juveniles is “don’t take what is not yours and don’t touch someone else." Duke was presented with a certificate of leadership by Rusty Fornea, ADAPT Executive Director, and Glory Davis, WPCHS President.
Regina Meyerchick gave an overview of the Washington Parish Youth Coalition which is a branch of the WPCHS. Meyerchick works closely with students in grades 7-12 to build leadership and knowledge about the harmful effects of substance use. Bailey Brooks, 8th grade student at Pine High School, and Lauryn Smith, 8th grade student at Varnado High School, gave a joint presentation on the Youth Coalition and Juuling. According to Brooks, nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain. Smith stated that members of the youth coalition work to educate their peers about the harmful effects of nicotine and other substances. Meyerchick, Smith, and Brooks were presented with a certificate of leadership by Sheila Seal, WPCHS Vice-President.