BATON ROUGE- Department of Health Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise today announced the appointment of Dr. Kathleen Crapanzano as Medical Director for DHH’s Office of Mental Health.

Most recently, Crapanzano worked within the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System, serving as staff psychiatrist at East Louisiana State Hospital in Jackson. Prior to that post, she worked at Earl K. Long Medical Center in the Internal Medicine Department as a consult-liaison psychiatrist.

According to Dr. Cerise, Crapanzano has played a strong role within the Office of Mental Health for the past five years, having served as the chair of that office’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee.

“She has been instrumental in establishing and promoting policies to standardize patient safety goals and improve the quality of life for citizens with mental illness,” Cerise said.

Crapanzano joins William Payne to complete the leadership team within the Office of Mental Health. Payne was appointed acting assistant secretary earlier this month.

“I have asked Will and Kathleen to work closely together as a leadership team. I believe with this administrative and clinical knowledge they will provide the direction needed to address many of the critical mental health needs for our citizens today,” Cerise added.