BATON ROUGE Louisiana Department of Health Secretary Alan Levine today announced Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham will assume the post of interim assistant secretary of the Office for Addictive Disorders February 4, 2010, following the retirement of current Assistant Secretary Michael Duffy. Dr. Head-Dunham currently serves as medical director for the Office for Addictive Disorders, as well as a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Tulane University Hospital and Clinics and a physician consultant to Xavier University’s Institutional Review Board, Human Subjects Committee.

"Virtually everyone who has ever worked with Mike Duffy would attest to his passion for improving the lives and opportunities for those who suffer with addictions," said Levine.  "Mike will be missed, and we are grateful for his years of true service to the state.  I have great confidence in Dr. Head-Dunham, and I know all our stakeholders will work with us to ensure her success in this critical role."

Dr. Head-Dunham is board certified in both adult psychiatry and addiction psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).  She is a New Orleans’ native who completed a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry at Xavier University in 1982, and attended Tulane University School of Medicine where she received her medical degree in 1986 and was awarded the Bick Scholarship Award for Outstanding Achievement & Promise in the Field of Psychiatry.  In 1991, she became the first to complete a Substance Abuse Fellowship at Tulane University School of Medicine.

Dr. Head-Dunham will assume a major role in both the planning and implementation of strategies for the newly created Office of Behavioral Health, authorized last year by the legislature and part of the Governor’s multi-year strategy to create a more responsive, evidenced-based and community-focused behavioral health system in Louisiana.  "With her training and experience in both mental health and addiction disorders, Dr. Head-Dunham is a respected voice in both the mental health and addiction disorders communities. She will provide strong leadership during this important time of transition at the Department," said LDH Deputy Secretary Tony Keck.

Prior to serving as medical director for OAD, Dr. Head-Dunham held a variety of positions throughout the addictive disorders field, including serving as medical director for the Metropolitan Human Services District’s Addictive Disorders Division and as medical director for the New Orleans Center for Addictive Disorders Methadone Detoxification Program. She also has 15 years of private practice experience.

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