CASES’ Ann-Marie Louison, Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer, was honored as one of City & State’s Mental Health Power 50. The list seeks to recognize “some of the most influential public officials, academics, health care professionals, advocates and activists who are making a difference in the lives of people living with mental illness.”
Ann-Marie has worked at CASES since 1999. She initially joined to launch the groundbreaking Nathaniel Project, an alternative-to-incarceration program for people with serious mental illness that garnered national recognition. For the subsequent 16 years, she oversaw the development of an array of CASES programs and treatment services for people with serious mental illness and behavioral health needs who are impacted by the criminal legal system. She was named Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer in 2017 and now leads and coordinates the organization’s efforts to monitor and continually improve its services for the majority Black and Hispanic/Latinx participants enrolled in the CASES programs.
Across the organization, colleagues agree that her innovative, empathetic approach to behavioral health services has driven significant advancements and garnered recognition both internally and externally.
“Ann-Marie’s guiding hand has made a huge difference not only in our behavioral health programs, but across the organization,” said Joel Copperman, CASES’ Chief Executive Officer. “She plays a critical role in the full range of work we do. Her understanding of our clients, her understanding of the courts, her understanding of what works in the intersection of the behavioral health and criminal legal systems has made her a leader at CASES and in the field at large.”
“Ann-Marie has been instrumental in the growth of behavioral health services at CASES, growing from two Assertive Community Treatment teams and the Clinic into a real continuum of outpatient forensic mental health care. She bridges different parts of the agency, always sewing the thread throughout all the departments,” said Jessica Klaver, CASES’ Senior Director of Behavioral Health Services. “She embodies the mission of the agency. Thinking about meeting people where they are and about their needs, engaging them while expanding the service landscape in smart, strategic, and innovative ways.”
“Ann-Marie is more than passionate about the work she has been doing for the past 20 years. She is a vessel for the city’s hopes,” said Billy Green, Director of Practice Operations & Clinic Programs. “She walks the walk; it’s a natural part of her. She’s always been an inspiration to those of us who run behavioral health programs in terms of vision, passion, and innovation. She’s certainly deserving of this recognition.”