The Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians recently announce the hiring of Dr. Anthony "AJ" Ernst as Director of the Tribe's Human Services Division. Dr. Ernst comes highly respected as a clinician, trainer, administrator, project manager and policy analyst.
In his new role, Dr. Ernst will oversee the tribe's human service programs, which include the Family Resource Center, Indian Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Food Distribution, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Economic Support, and the Domestic Abuse Shelter.
Dr. Ernst brings with him 25 years of substance abuse and mental health experience. He is the primary author of the state of Texas administrative codes that continue to ensure uniformity of clinical standards and workforce competencies across the state's mental health and substance abuse systems. He also served as Director for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Native American Center for Excellence, Director of Technical Transfer for SAMHSA'a Co-occurring Center for Excellence, Texas Department of Mental Health and Retardation and Texas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Dr. Ernst has extensive experience working with Native American populations, most recently with the Lac du Flambeau Tribe as a liaison for the state of Wisconsin Department of Health Services. "My role will be an extension of the incredible groundwork that has already been done within tribe. I will continue to build on the existing initiatives, and look to strengthen the tribe's human services to better serve the community," Ernst said.
"We are extremely excited to have a person with as much knowledge and experience as Dr. Ernst does," said Tom Maulson, tribal president. "This acquisition will strengthen our ability to assist tribal members in getting healthy, and puts our tribe in a position to help our people become successful in all aspects of life," Maulson added.
The tribe has implemented a number of initiatives in the last 18 months that target crime, combat substance abuse, address mental health as a co-occurring condition, and has instituted education as a way to reduce poverty and incarceration. This innovative approach uses a holistic ideology in dealing with social issues on multiple fronts.
The Lac du Flambeau Band continues to address the needs of the community through the dedication and development of resources to aid our membership in the pursuit of physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being.