Cathy Orman Castille, PhD, MP graduated from Central in 1969. She has made significant contributions to the field of psychology, through her tireless efforts to improve the quality of mental health care for the underserved and less fortunate. Castille has worked to advance positive legislation and influence the utilization and understanding of psychology on a local, state and national level. She has made positive changes affecting the training of all levels of providers of mental health services, and has been involved in strategic planning initiatives to improve systems of healthcare. In addition to working at the policy and systemic level, Castille has also worked at the other end of the spectrum, as a provider of psychological healthcare in clinics, hospitals, and in private practice. In 2004, the American Psychological Association (APA) recognized Castille's efforts by honoring her with the Karl Heiser Award, for her "nationally significant Contributions to Psychology and the Public".
As an example of her efforts, Cathy was at the forefront in the passage of a Louisiana law enabling Louisiana to become one of only two states in the nation currently to allow appropriately trained Medical Psychologists to prescribe medications. The passage of this 2004 law has allowed expansion of quality mental health care to a greater number of underserved individuals in Louisiana. Cathy has the distinction of being the first female civilian Medical Psychologist to earn full prescriptive privileges in the nation.
Professionally, Dr. Castille is a Clinical and Advanced Practice Medical Psychologist, having been awarded her PhD in Psychology from Louisiana State University. She completed a clinical internship/residency at the Medical College of Georgia and Veterans Administration Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia. Cathy also holds a Post-Doctoral Masters Degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP). Castille was a member of the first class to graduate with the MSCP degree in the nation. She earned the Advanced Practice designation in 2010.
Cathy has been very active in professional organizations, seeing this as a way to give back to the psychology profession, while at the same time taking on a leadership role in order to influence policy decisions, and to promote psychology in order to aid the public. Most recently, Dr. Castille was elected President of the Louisiana Academy of Medical Psychologists, having just completed a two-year term of office. She was active in the Louisiana Psychological Association for many years, functioning in numerous leadership capacities, including President in 2003-2004. She was President of the Baton Rouge Area Society of Psychologists at an earlier point in her career. In addition, Cathy has been an Accreditation Site Visitor for the American Psychological Association, and has served as the APA Disaster Response Coordinator for the State of Louisiana.
In previous professional roles, Cathy served as Associate Clinical Director of Mental Health Services at the Louisiana State University Student Health Center, and was the Director of Internship Training for the Southern Louisiana Internship Consortium. While working at LSU, she was responsible for the establishment, development, and oversight of an APA accredited psychology doctoral internship program, paving the way for better trained providers, and insuring improved care and outcomes for the mentally ill.
Castille's role as a psychologist drastically changed focus following the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, when she was called to serve as a Deputy Director at the Louisiana Family Assistance Center. During the hurricane recovery period, she worked with the National Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) to provide aid to families in crisis, and to help families find loved ones who were lost or missing in the aftermath of the hurricanes. Cathy recalls this as one task that she never would have anticipated while in her graduate training.
Dr. Castille recently retired from her position at the Louisiana State Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), where she served as the State Planner in the Office of Behavioral Health. In her role at DHH, she was responsible for one of the largest grants in the division, and she served as liaison with the chronically mentally ill in the community. Never expecting to completely retire, Castille continues in full-time work as a private practitioner and consultant. She still works for DHH as a Medical Consultant on the Medicaid Eligibility Determinations Team. Cathy has maintained a private practice in Baton Rouge, and also continues working as a State Agency Medical Consultant for Social Security Disability Determination Services.
Cathy attributes her drive to work hard in her chosen profession to the values she learned while growing up on Orman Avenue, attending Central High School, and learning the importance of public service from the legacy of her parents and grandparents.
Since she equally values fun, relaxation, and a good bowl of green chili, you may catch a glimpse of Cathy in Colorado about once a year, getting her necessary "mountain fix" with her Louisiana born Cajun husband. Cathy has been married for 40+ years, and has two sons.
In summary, as a respected leader among her peers, a mentor to young professionals, a legislative activist for positive change, and a pioneer in Medical Psychology, Dr. Castille has advanced the profession of psychology while improving and enhancing the provision of psychological care in the service of those who are in need.