Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Arwen Podesta is a board-certified adult psychiatrist with sub-specializations in addiction medicine, forensic psychiatry, and integrative & holistic medicine. She has a background in biochemistry, complementary medicine, and massage therapy, and enjoys combining both her intellectual and vocational interests into her everyday practice.

While Dr. Podesta works in private practice at Podesta Wellness, she continues to be actively involved in the public sector, serving as medical director of ACER and as a consultant with Orleans Criminal Court Intervention (Drug Court) and Municipal Court Diversion Services. She was also chair and co-creator of the New Orleans Forensic Mental Health Coalition, which is now run by the New Orleans City Health Department. Additionally, she is a consulting addiction medicine specialist and holds privileges at East Jefferson Hospital.

After Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Podesta was involved with psychiatric care for the most needy and disenfranchised. In 2009, she was recognized by Gambit in its annual 40 Under 40 Awards, and she has been voted into New Orleans Magazine’s Top Doctors every year since 2012.

Amidst all these ventures, Dr. Podesta’s main focus is access to holistic mental health and addiction treatment. She is a renowned speaker and often travels to teach and speak on the subjects of addiction medicine and integrative psychiatry.

Dr. Podesta is a member of the Tulane Clinical Faculty, sits on a dissertation committee at UTH Dallas, teaches at the NOPD Academy and consults with several other organizations and institutions. She was also nominated president of the Louisiana chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine in 2017.

Dr. Podesta graduated from University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, and then moved to New Orleans for a psychiatry residency at Louisiana State University. Following her residency, she pursued a fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry at Tulane University.