CarePlus InsideLIne
July 2017 - "It always seems impossible until it's done."  ~ Nelson Mandela 
Great News & Great Leadership!
A Message from Joe Masciandaro
As many of you may know, Care Plus NJ has been working with its partners on a bid for the operation of Bergen Regional Medical Center. I am happy to announce that our proposal to operate the hospital has been selected by the County of Bergen as the winning bid. We have created a separate new non-profit corporation, Care Plus Bergen Inc., which will serve as the tenant-operator of the (to be re-named) hospital. Our partners in this, and sub-contractors, will be Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Integrity House, and Care Plus NJ Inc. We are very indebted to Brigitte Johnson, Kris Pendy, Shelby Klein, and many others who were fundamental in creating the proposal.
Care Plus NJ will be contracting with the new entity, Care Plus Bergen Inc., to serve as a third party operator of the behavioral health service lines. We have begun the transition, and will officially take over operations on October 1st. During this period, and beyond, a number of Care Plus NJ's senior leadership, particularly Kristine Pendy, Brigitte Johnson, and other staff, will be deployed to plan and execute the implementation of our new hospital division. This new venture will undoubtedly result in the need to re-organize the operations of Care Plus NJ, which is a positive move as we expand our services and footprint state-wide.

Tara Augustine has assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer at Care Plus NJ, and will be leading the internal efforts to restructure and reorganize service delivery in light of our internal challenges with the Fee for Service transition, as well as the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic and Behavioral Health Home initiatives, while Kristine Pendy leads the efforts to establish the new behavioral health management services at the Hospital.
This is a historic opportunity to improve, and innovate, the delivery of integrated care in the County. Our leadership team is humbled, proud, and happy to share this news with all of you!
Embarking on CCBHC Federal Demonstration Project
CarePlus is one of seven agencies selected by the state to participate in the two-year Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic ("CCBHC") demonstration program, a federal payment system that is being implemented in eight states throughout the country.

The vision of the CCBHC demonstration program is to increase access and quality of integrated primary and behavioral health care through evidence-based practices, community collaboration, and a comprehensive approach to care coordination. This payment system will benefit adults with serious mental illness, children with serious emotional disturbance, individuals with chronic addiction, and others diagnosed with mental health or substance use disorders.

"Our staff is working tirelessly on the CCBHC implementation," explained Joseph Masciandaro, President and CEO at CarePlus. "The payment system is a breath of fresh air in the midst of an intense funding atmosphere, and we are grateful for this opportunity to continue to provide the most effective and comprehensive care for those that we serve."
Joe Masciandaro emphasizes the importance of the four pillars of behavioral health care, primary care, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and access to social services. CarePlus has multiple programs or services that address each of those pillars, and that is why the organization continues to set the bar in providing care, plus so much more.

CarePlus leaders have affirmed that the national vision for the CCBHC project is in line with the agency's goal to offer affordable care to all individuals and families in need. They are optimistic that the implementation will be a step in the right direction for behavioral health care, and commend the NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services for their role in bringing this project to New Jersey communities.

Click here for more information... 
Wellness Offerings
Free for Staff 

Basic Meditation & Stress Reduction  
Wednesday, August 2nd 12-1pm
40 Eisenhower Conference Room 

Wednesday, August 16th 12-1pm  
610 Conference Room

Wednesday, August 30th 12-1pm
Fair Lawn Conference Room
 Please RSVP to Caitlyn if you plan to attend, if you would like to be added to the staff wellness offerings email list, or if you have suggestions for training topics.
From the Foundation:
Volunteers Needed!

We invite you to support those we serve by getting involved with the 2017 "Golfer's Give Back" Charity Golf Outing at White Beeches Golf and Country Club in Haworth, NJ on Monday, September 11, 2017.

We will have a moment of silence in honor of all those who lost their lives and those who were affected by the attacks on 9/11/01.

Online Sponsorship & Registration  


Contact the Foundation Office for more information about participating or volunteering!

Employee Assistance Program

Did you know that you have access to resources pertaining to everyday life right at your fingertips? With this Employee Assistance Program, you have access to information and resources for family, health, money and much more.   
Be sure to explore the website: 
Login: CPNJ
Password: 123  
Webinar of the Month - 8/15/17 
"Bereavement: Coping With Loss"
Available On Demand
Starting 12pm Eastern Time 

"Grief and loss trigger conflicting emotions. Explore your own reactions to loss, from a death to divorce. Learn why some people are stuck in a "grief rut" as you discuss more healthy ways to grieve."

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Bell in the Human Resources Department.

myStrength - Step 1

Visit, and Sign Up for a Professional and/or Personal Account 
Professional Access Code:
Personal Access Code:
Referring your clients to myStrength provides them with private resources 24/7 to empower their recovery and extend the impact of your care. Be sure to create your personal account so that you can start to experience the benefits, and then share them with those you serve! 
We are working to increase staff engagement with myStrength. If you would like to be more involved, please contact Caitlyn . 

New Tenant Operator for the State's Largest Hospital  
We have created a new corporation, Care Plus Bergen Inc., which will serve as the tenant-operator of the hospital. The sub-contractors are Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Integrity House, and Care Plus NJ Inc.

Kris Pendy, Joe Masciandaro and Brigitte Johnson.

We are thrilled to announce the selection of Care Plus Bergen Inc. to serve as the tenant-operator of New Jersey's largest hospital. Our partners in this, and sub-contractors, are Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Integrity House, and Care Plus NJ Inc. These three premier organizations are powerful leaders in their respective fields.
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco presents keys to the County to Joe Masciandaro, CarePlus NJ; Dean Robert Johnson, Rutgers NJ Medical School; and Robert Budsock,
Integrity House. 
This historic decision honors the efforts and values of the Bergen County community, as well as the heartfelt vision of our County Executive, Jim Tedesco. With the ongoing efforts of the Stigma-Free initiative in Bergen County, the demand for effective behavioral healthcare will continue to rise. This collaborative project will increase our capacity to meet the needs of our families, friends and neighbors through care integration, compassion, and efficiency.

We are humbled, and proud, for this opportunity, and commit ourselves to fully achieve the goals described in our proposal, including enhancing services to Veterans; integrating primary care with behavioral care; extending the continuum of care through collaborations with other local hospitals and community based organizations; and confronting the opioid epidemic by improving access to care, including the provision of ongoing medical and social interventions.

We are grateful and indebted to all
Joe Masciandaro signs the Proclamation, accompanied by County representatives, internal bid team members, and CarePlus Trustees.
those who contributed to the formation of what will be a National model for healthcare, especially the Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Bergen County Improvement Authority, the residents of Bergen County, our partners from Rutgers and Integrity House, the "dream team" of consultants and support staff that spent endless hours working on this project, and of course - the Board of Trustees and staff at Care Plus NJ that put their whole heart into the mission and vision that has fueled this momentous achievement.
Anxiety, and What to do to Feel Better
Your Monthly Tip from myStrength 

Are you ready to let go of your anxiety, fear and nervousness?

Worry can be a quiet, lingering problem. It can come on quickly, and become more intense when you don't understand the source. When anxiety becomes constant, you can feel:
  • Restless and troubled
  • Strained
  • Head or stomach pain
  • Tired
  • On edge
Are you feeling anxious? Know that you're not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most frequent mental challenge experienced by adults in the U.S.

Log in to myStrength and view the  Anxiety activity to hear from Dr. Susan Heitler, who shares tips to deal with the uneasy feelings anxiety can create.

Be sure to sign up for your personal and professional myStrength to receive wellness tips, links and resources directly to your mailbox! 
State Funding Transition:
Advocacy Action Steps

1. Write Letters & Make Phone Calls
You can use the following link to find your legislators. Simply enter your hometown and you will get all of the information you need:
Please note: some letters will be more detailed than others, but short and simple contributions are important as well.
2. Story Telling Campaign
Part of our advocacy campaign is to collect written or video testimonials by clients, family, and staff. With enough engagement, the campaign is expected to grow into a larger, more powerful storytelling campaign that will launch through an Instagram account.
We need your help: if you are a staff member that would be willing to participate, or if you have a client that has a story to tell, please contact Caitlyn . We will be able to work with people who would like to remain anonymous, and think that this will be a very engaging way to increase our culture of community and compassion.       

3. Get Educated & Stay Up To Date

CarePlus along with eight other non-profit community mental health organizations have joined together to form the New Jersey Community Mental Health Coalition ( NJCMHC ). Together we are advocating for continued, comprehensive treatment and care for mentally ill adults and children throughout New Jersey. Our mission is to give a voice to each person suffering from mental illness and ensure that they have continued, uninterrupted access to the proper treatment and long-term, ongoing care that they desperately need. 

Connect with the NJCMHC on Social Media:
Twitter & Facebook 

Connect with CarePlus on Social Media!

Facebook         Twitter          LinkedIn
Program Marketing 
It is important for staff to familiarize themselves with the variety of program and services offered through CarePlus so that we can make appropriate referrals for those in need. For that reason, we are working on streamlining information and materials so that they are more easily accessible.

This involves appropriately updated Program Fact Sheets, comprehensive marketing folders, social media spotlights, and up to date information on the CarePlus website.

A new folder has been added to the S Drive so that staff can quickly access Program Information Sheets. These Fact Sheets can be found in the first folder in All Staff titled _FactSheets.  

If you need any materials created, revised, or printed for your program or presentations you will need to utilize the electronic request form. This new system is being used to ensure timely and effective completion of projects.   


You may have noticed recent Facebook posts highlighting some of our services. This is the part of our effort to market each of our programs to the community.


If you would like to put your team, group or program in the spotlight, contact the ACE team to make arrangements.


You can also send positive reviews and feedback for coworkers who go above and beyond. If you have anything you would like to submit for the InsideLine, email your story and information to Caitlyn Yerves.

Do YOU have a story to share? If you have a story, update, announcement, or photos to share on the InsideLine, on Facebook, or on the website, send it to the ACE team and we will work to get it out to staff and friends of CarePlus.

Obligatory disclaimer ("the gray area"): This newsletter is compiled by humans, and you know how humans are: we make occasional mistakes - not too many, but they do happen. Please do not consider a rush in judgment. We - "the humans" - apologize in advance for any omissions, inaccuracies, misspellings, and flagrant discombobulations. Should you desire to suggest a correction or addition, please email Caitlyn.

You can even just email if you'd like to say you do (or do not) like the Inside Line, however no cursing or inflammatory remarks, please, as we are humans.