In this podcast, Dr. David Legendre talks about formerly owning two addiction rehab facilities and his current private practice, as well as his first impressions of Lakeview Health.
Gina Thorne: Good morning everyone. This is Gina Thorne and we’re excited to have you back for the Lakeview Podcast Series. I’m joined today by Dr. David Legendre from Youngsville, Louisiana, who is joining us here at Lakeview and doing a tour and learning about our services, but we thought we’d steal him for a little bit and learn more about who he is. Thank you, Dr. Legendre, for joining us.
David Legendre: Thanks for having me.
Gina: So can you tell us a little bit about how you got into the field of addiction treatment.
David: I come by this honestly. Thirty-three years ago, somebody was there for me when I needed the help. I went through a treatment program, a halfway house and all of that, and came back. One of the things that the program teaches me is that you have to give back and so that’s why I continue to do what I do today.
Gina: That’s fantastic! And you went to school to be more empowered from the academic side as far as working as well?
David: Yes I did. I have my undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Rehab Counseling from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and my Doctorate is in Marriage and Family Therapy from THE Florida State University.
Gina: The one and only! I’m a graduate also.
David: There ya go! Go Noles.
Gina: Thank you! I feel like a lone ranger here in Jacksonville. So I understand that you’ve owned several addiction treatment facilities, two most specifically in Lafayette; Acadiana Addiction Center and Victory Addiction Recovery Center.
David: That’s correct.
Gina: And can you tell me, how did you come to own two treatment centers?
David: Well you know, as a private practitioner in a community, I live there and I want the best for people in my community. One of the things I saw beginning to happen is that I was having to send a lot of people away and what was coming back was not the product that I really wanted from a treatment facility. So I figured, well, it’s not like I don’t have the menu, so let me try to do this. So back in early 2002 I founded Acadiana Addiction Center and built that into a fine 32-bed residential center that treated well over 1,500 patients and families. And then a large company came and wanted to purchase it and at the time it was probably the right thing to do. So then I stayed out of the field for a little while and then the opportunity to do Victory Addiction Recovery Center came along and although it didn’t end like I wanted it to, it was founded because I felt there was a real need for family-based treatment in my community and I still believe that that’s how you gotta do this. So that’s how I kind of came to not only own, but part with two facilities.
Gina: Well it’s interesting that you mentioned the family piece. Of course we here at Lakeview believe that it is a family disease and so if you don’t include the family in the process of recovery then…
David: …you’re not gonna touch it. You can do the best treatment in the world with an individual but if you send them back to their family not treated, it’s prohibitive.
Gina: It is. It’s almost like you’re doing them a total disservice if you’re not doing that.
David: And that’s why I came to look!
Gina: That’s great! So you’re in private practice now in Youngsville, Louisiana, which is outside of Lafayette and I understand that being an LMFT you probably spend a lot of time doing family work.
David: I do. I really enjoy being in a room with the entire family. A lot of my colleagues get intimidated. They like that one-on-one stuff and although that has its place too, it’s the more the better for me. If you’ve got grandma and grandpa in the room, let’s bring it! The point is, families get themselves in a bind together and they need to get themselves out of a bind together and I just believe that that’s where you make the most impact.
Gina: It’s true.
David: I do a lot of that and I do a lot of divorce mediation work and often times I advocate for children in child custody situations. I’ve also found myself as a substance abuse professional SAP for the Department of Transportation. We have a large segment of all field service companies in the proximity and they’re all under the OT guidelines so if somebody is using illegal substances in a safety-sensitive position, they’ve got to come see yours truly. And again, I really feel like protecting the public interest. That’s just part of my job. So I do a lot of things, but I try to do them very well.
Gina. Good. And going back to the issue around the families, you know, if the families don’t believe they have to do their own recovery work, I think we find often when families bring their loved ones here that it’s kind of like “oh, just fix them” and we immediately engage them, as I’m sure you’ve done, so that makes a huge difference.
David: No, you have to. A huge piece is the family component. If the family doesn’t get well it’s going to be difficult for the individual to get well.
Gina: Right. So you’re visiting us for the first time and I know that you’ve probably heard about us before coming to visit and I know you haven’t had the chance to do the full tour yet, but what are your initial thoughts of Lakeview?
David: What has really impressed me up to now is the corporate culture here. I’ve always been interested, having been on both sides of the aisle, so to speak, with that. But having had a long conversation with your CEO, Roy Serpa, yesterday, I think I’m qualified to spot when somebody is not quite invested in something, but your CEO, from the top down, is a corporate culture that is few and far between and that’s really impressive to me. When you come from the bottom up, that runs against all the grain of those corporate cultures and I think that’s the thing that has so far really impressed me. And I see it in all of you guys. You gotta love this because you’re not gonna get patted on the back, but you really gotta love this.
Gina: And I think you’re absolutely right and I think as you pursue looking at other aspects of the campus and meeting with other staff, that it really has been a pervasive change with the culture and I’m glad that you felt that and that you got that same feedback. We’re hopeful at Lakeview that we can communicate that message by doing and showing, so that other facilities can adopt that same philosophy.
David: What was funny was I heard it and saw it in your CEO yesterday, and then when I came here this morning I see it in the front office person, I saw it in a maintenance guy that I ran into in the bathroom, and you know that doesn’t just happen. But that’s probably, I guess for me, the most impressive part.
Gina: Well thank you for your feedback on that. We really appreciate that. So if someone who is listening today needed to access services, particularly private practice services, how could they get in touch with you?
David: Call me up! I can be reached in Youngsville, 337-856-1919. Or you can reach me by email, DRD4FSU@aol.com. You can always reach me there. I’m very easy to find. If you call the office and I happen to be with someone, it’ll go to a confidential voicemail and you can leave your name and your number, I’m the only person that’s gonna get it and I’m very good at returning phone calls.
Gina: Very nice. Well thank you for taking the time to speak with us today!
David: Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed it.
Gina: Wonderful! For those of you that want more information about Lakeview, we invite you to visit us at LakeviewHealth.com or you can reach us at 866.704.7692.