Agency shares lessons with group from Hawaii _lowres

Photo provided by Vivian Gettys -- Health administrators and medical staff from the Hawaii Community Foundation, Shriners Hospitals for Children-Honolulu and Dr. Ira Chasnoff of the National Training Institute of Chicago recently visited with the Capital Area Human Services to learn about the CAHS’s model of early childhood behavioral health care program, called Infant, Child and Family Center. Attending, first row from left, were Dr. Ryan Lee, director of the Neurodevelopmental Clinic, Shriners Hospital for Children-Honolulu; Chris van Bergeijk, with Strategic Initiatives and Networks, Hawaii Community Foundation; Joy Soares, with Hawaii Community Foundation and Andi Kubota, with Shriners Hospital for Children-Honolulu; and back row, John White, administrator, Shriners Hospital-Honolulu; Chasnoff; Vivian Gettys, CAHS Prevention Division director; Rhonda Norwood and Taylor Gilbert, with ICFC; Jan Kasofsky, CAHS executive director; Karla Muzik, CAHS director of business operations; Stephen Aguillard, CAHS clinical services director and Tom Matsuda, Hawaii Community Foundation.

Capital Area Human Services recently hosted administrators and medical staff from the Hawaii Community Foundation; Shriners Hospitals for Children-Honolulu; and Dr. Ira Chasnoff, consultant, National Training Institute of Chicago, Illinois, to share the early childhood behavioral health care model implemented nine years ago at the agency’s Infant, Child and Family Center.

Chasnoff worked with the group and more than 40 agencies to implement a comprehensive, evidence-based model of care in 2007 to expand the agency’s services for children under 6 years old who experience emotional or behavioral disturbances due to trauma, prenatal substance exposure or impairment in the caregiving relationship, a news release said.

The Hawaii delegation visited several sites in California to learn about best practices in children’s behavioral health programs, Chasnoff said.

“It has been extremely valuable to work with CAHS to address needs in the Greater Baton Rouge community, and (I) was grateful for the agency’s willingness to share their experience with others in the field,” Chasnoff said.

Several agencies have partnered with the organization to provide early intervention children’s behavioral health services over the past nine years: Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, The ARC of Greater Baton Rouge, Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health, Louisiana Office of Public Health, the Pennington Family Foundation, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Louisiana State University.

Jan Kasofsky, CAHS executive director, said the event was held to discuss key strategies and lessons learned by the group’s regional experience to develop and implement early childhood behavioral health services.

Capital Area Human Services provides community-based services for mental health and addictive disorders in the seven parish capital area.

For information on the early intervention services, contact Vivian Gettys, director of prevention for Capital Area Human Services, at (225) 922-2700 or