Casama seeking 6th term as coroner

Published 9:28 am Monday, July 13, 2015

Dr. Roger Angeles Casama is announcing his candidacy for re-election for his sixth term — a total of 30 years — this coming October. He was first elected in 1989 as coroner of Washington Parish. He was re-elected for his second term in 1992-93 and was re­elected unopposed for his third, fourth and fifth terms for a total of 26 years in the position.

Casama said he is running for this office for sixth term because he would like to continue to practice forensic medicine as coroner and medical examiner.

Casama had a pathology residency in Elizabeth, N.J., in 1964-66 and a general internal medicine residency at St. Elizabeth Hospital, N.J., under the Seton College of Medicine Residency Program and the Veterans Administration Hospital, New Orleans, under the Tulane Residency Medical Program. He took part of his hospital training at Charity Hospital in New Orleans and postgraduate training at the Washington-St. Tammany Parish Hospital.

He has been practicing adult urgent care medicine and general internal medicine for the last 47 years. He graduated from the Far Eastern University, Philippines, in 1962. He practiced in Manila, Philippines, in 1962-64 and was a missionary physician in Mountain Province, Philippines, for almost a year. He immigrated to the United States as part of an exchange visitor program and subsequently was given permanent residency status and eventually was naturalized as an American citizen almost 30 years ago.

At present, he is practicing forensic medicine and forensic addictionology. He is a member of the National Association of Medical Examiners and the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners and the Louisiana State Coroner Association.

Casama is board certified by the American Board of Urgent Care Medicine, board eligible in Internal Medicine and American Board of Addiction Medicine. He is also a member of the AMA, the American College of Physicians and a fellow of the American College of International Physicians.

He founded SASAC, Seven Acres Substance Abuse Center, a social detox facility for men, and housed afflicted substance abuse males for almost 10 years until it closed after Hurricane Katrina. He is now seeking a federal grant for abused women and children who have been victimized physically and sexually by friends, relatives and other people. He has already written to several legislators in Washington, D.C., and presently is being helped by community volunteers.

The parish government has been supportive of his endeavors and now is getting financial assistance for his deputy coroners and other personnel. The governments of Bogalusa and Franklinton as well as some neighboring towns and villages are also helping him manage his present coroner’s expenses in terms of autopsies and travel expenses of his on-call deputies. He is also streamlining the issuance of death certificates, including toxicology and cremation permits.

One of the coroner’s most important functions is the issuance of an Order for Protective Custody, which is a certificate of authority to apprehend anybody with problems related to psychiatric illnesses.

Casama said he is extremely grateful and very appreciative for the cooperation he is receiving from the public and his constituents and from the different law enforcement agencies, prosecuting agencies, judicial courts and parish, city and municipal governments.