Louise Nieto, M.A., LMFT

Program Director for the California Youth Opioid Response program
Louise Nieto, M.A., LMFT, is a program director for the California Youth Opioid Response program at Advocates for Human Potential (AHP). She has more than 20 years of clinical leadership experience within behavioral health, health care, and government organizations. Her work spans three states (Washington, Oregon, and California) and includes implementation of regional and statewide programs to support Medicaid Transformation, integration of behavioral health in schools and healthcare settings, and workforce expansion initiatives to promote Behavioral Health Peers and Promotores (Community Health Workers). She is also a licensed marriage and family therapist, focused on those who are uninsured and un(der)employed, families without permanent housing, and others who experience stigma or unequal access to health and human services.

Her recent accomplishments with the State of Washington’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery included implementation and management of behavioral health legislative processes, oversight of more than $225 million in federal funding, and leadership in the development of Health Equity and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. Prior to Washington State service, Ms. Nieto worked for a regional Accountable Community of Health, was a behavioral health program manager for Providence’s Community Health Division, Oregon region, and a behavioral health consultant for both Multnomah and San Diego County schools. Highlights in these positions included the planning and implementation of community care coordination initiatives, convening cross-sector regional stakeholders to design and ready the development of Medicaid Transformation Projects; conducting behavioral health systems gap analyses, leading planning groups tasked with addressing specific identified community health needs in behavioral health; and integrating community health workers and peers in health care.

As a clinician, she has provided treatment to individuals, families, and youth in diverse settings—from within schools and community agencies, to both inpatient and outpatient clinical environments. She has mentored therapists of color, worked in private practice and hospice care, and edited for The Therapist  magazine. These collective experiences have helped to inform her technical expertise and leadership style to effectively engage partners, identifying and drawing on the strengths within people to implement projects and programs within communities, clinical settings, and government administration. Throughout her career, she has served as a leader and advocate in the development of innovative health initiatives, community and behavioral health workforce development and effective community wellness programs. 
She holds an M.A. in marriage and family therapy from the University of San Diego and a double B.S. degree in psychology and in family and human development from the University of Utah.

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