Baton Rouge, La. - The Louisiana Department of Health (DHH) sent invitations to state health leaders and stakeholders last week requesting their input on the process of integrating Medicaid recipients' behavioral health services into the Bayou Health plans.

In November, LDH announced its plan to transition specialized behavioral health services from the Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership (LBHP) and improve those services by fully-integrating planning, treatment and care coordination with physical healthcare through the recipients' Bayou Health plans.

Meetings for the advisory group, which will include directors and key members of various health and advocacy organizations, are scheduled for Jan. 30, Feb. 20 and March 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 118 of the Bienville Building in downtown Baton Rouge. The public is welcome to attend and observe the meetings.

Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham, LDH's Assistant Secretary and Medical Director for the Office of Behavioral Health, is looking forward to working with the health community during the transition.

"We are committed to improving health outcomes across Louisiana, and we encourage our health leaders to participate in that process," Dunham said. "Involving the community in the transition will help ensure our plan is successful."

LDH anticipates full integration of these services into Bayou Health by Dec. 1, 2015.

The advisory group members will be selected from psychological, social work, licensed professional counselor, pharmacy, state board of medical examiner and psychiatric organizations. Please visit the Behavioral Health Advisory Council webpage for a full list of advisory group members.

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's Twitter account and Facebook.