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Meet Our New Executive Director

CASA, a major provider of behavioral health treatment services in Bridgeport and New Haven, announces that its longtime director Asher DeLerme is stepping down and will be succeeded by Melissa Radhay of Norwalk, a regional director for the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.  She begins January 2, 2024.

CASA (Chemical Abuse Services Agency) was founded in 1987 to serve a Spanish-speaking population in Bridgeport. In 1991, a second clinical office, MAAS, was opened in the Fair Haven neighborhood of New Haven and in 1994 a Women with Children’s program, Project Courage, was opened in the East side of Bridgeport. Over the course of time, CASA has added transitional and supportive recovery housing to its constellation of services.

Under Delerme’s leadership, CASA has grown considerably, now serving more than 1,000 people with a $6 million budget.  CASA, a non-profit, focuses on providing culturally relevant services to underserved people. Services and programs operate in six sites that offer:

* Intensive and intermediate in-patient treatment

* Day and evening outpatient treatment

* Ambulatory detoxification

* Chemically (methadone) supported treatment

* Outpatient treatment designed for women with children

* Latino Outreach

* Women’s peer recovery and outreach services

* Residential and ambulatory behavioral health services for undocumented individuals

* HIV/AIDS services

* Housing recovery services to recovering substance abusers and persons with HIV/AIDS

* Primary care available at select sites.


Radhay’s earlier work experience includes director of the Montefiore Methadone Program and clinical director at Harlem United.     

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Baruch College and a master’s in counselling psychology, marriage and family therapy from Argosy University of Orange, CA.


“Asher has done an amazing job,” said Robert Kilpatrick, CASA board chairman. “His energy over 25 years has produced a phenomenal growth trend that has enhanced our ability to provide comprehensive services accessible to a low-income population,” he said.


Delerme said, “There are no words to express my profound gratitude for the privilege and honor to work with CASA for the last 25 years. I will continue to live with all the wonderful memories of all my co-workers, community stakeholders and the board of directors, who supported CASA’s mission and me.”


“Of course,” he added, “there are so many people to thank who touch my heart and inspired me to lean into hope and gratitude.  Soon I will pass the baton to another but as my chapter closes and another begins, I simply ask that you stay the course, be supportive and envision a healthy world for yourselves and our community.”


Radhay said, “As an accomplished senior leader with over a decade of experience in clinical management, I am passionate about making a meaningful impact on patient outcomes and fostering staff development. My journey has been marked by a commitment to setting high professional performance standards, driving the delivery of high-quality services, and closing gaps in knowledge and skills. I am thrilled to embark on this journey as the new executive director of CASA.

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