CarePlus InsideLIne
April 2015 - "April hath put a spirit of youth in everything." -  William Shakespeare 

2015 Annual Conference
Addressing the Effects of Trauma
in Mental Health and Education:
A Discussion of the Neurosequential Model
with Dr. Bruce Perry
April 20 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
May 14 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


June 3 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm




Auction Items & Sponsors
Get everyone involved in Gala Season 


You are NEVER TOO YOUNG to support the CarePlus Foundation Courage Awards Gala.  Check out Laura Del Tufo's son, Brandon, helping collect auction item donations from local businesses! 



No donation is too small.  Gifts cards to restaurants, entertainment, beauty salons, etc., are always welcome and are popular items at our Silent Auction the night of the Gala.....and if Brandon can do it, SO CAN YOU!


Contact Alexis, Jamie or Caitlyn to get digital or hard copies of the official letter, sponsorship and auction item donation forms - then get out there with your friends and family to POUND THAT PAVEMENT! 

Staying Mindful at Work
Tips from a Yogi
"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured." - B.K.S. Iyengar, Yoga Master

Yoga at Your Desk

I am encouraging you to integrate a little bit of yoga into your life - especially while you are at work. The benefits are numerous, and as soon as you start you won't want to stop!


"Office Pose of the Month"

Eagle Arms

This pose is ommazing for all of the neck and shoulder tension and stress the builds up while we are behind computer screens. 

  1. Take your arms out to either side, parallel to the floor.
  2. Bring the arms forward, crossing the right arm over the left and bringing the palms to touch.
  3. Lift the elbows while keeping the shoulders sliding down your back.
  4. Repeat with the left arm over the right.

While in the pose, work to get your elbows level with your shoulders, keep your shoulders away from your ears, and pull your forearms away from your face. You should feel a glorious stretch from your finger tips through your shoulders.


See more poses here: Desk Stretches 


Meditative Minute

Here is a simple tip to get you started on a dedicated mindfulness practice: take a minute to center yourself between tasks.
  1. Before you open your email, set a timer on your phone for 1 minute. Become aware of your breath, working to make each inhale and exhale a little longer. Also become aware of the space between the breath: the suspension after the inhale and the retention after the exhale. Every part of the breath is important and powerful!
  2. Repeat this action as needed. After you finish going through your morning emails, after lunch, before going into a meeting, and definitely after any stressful encounters!

Development Committee
Annual Courage Awards Gala Planning Gala season is moving full speed ahead! 50/50 tickets are available (contact Alexis), Cranes for Courage is live, and the committee is working hard to solicit sponsors and journal ads for the event.  


Join us in Paramus on Thursday, April 16 at
9 am for a fun and productive meeting!


Gala Committee Meeting

Thursday, April 16, 2015  9AM

Tuesday, May 5, 2015  6PM

Thursday, May 21, 2015  9AM

Golf Committee Meetings

Tuesday, June 16, 2015  9AM

Tuesday, July 7, 2015  6PM

Tuesday, July 28, 2015  9AM

Tuesday, August 18, 2015  6PM

Tuesday, September  1, 2015  9AM


We are grateful for every committee member that has committed their times and efforts with us. However, infrequent flyer are more than welcome! If you can only make a few meetings that is okay - every little bit of time counts! Your support is helpful and valued. 

News from 
Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Did you know that you have access to resources pertaining to everyday life right at your fingertips?  Get educated on what is available to you through the care CarePlus EAP. With this Employee Assistance Program, you will have access to information and resources for family, health, money and much more. 

This EAP also features free Webinars, a monthly newsletter and tips for daily living.  These are just a few of the resources you will find... there is much more!  Right now, you or someone you know may need assistance. When you are searching for information and/or resources they could just be a click away!

Be sure to explore the website: 

Login: CPNJ Password: 123

Webinar of the Month

Disrupting Negative Thoughts - 4/21/15
12 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time


Learn how to gain control over negative thoughts and increase recognition of the positives occurring in your life.

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Bell in the Human Resources Department at or call 201-843-5218, extension 227. 


Bergen County: Stigma-Free Zone
Paramus Stigma-Free   
Paramus Stigma-Free Zone
Website    Facebook Page   Twitter



Fair Lawn Stigma-Free Zone
Facebook Page

Park Ridge Stigma-Free Zone
Facebook Page
Bergen County Stigma-Free Towns:



Fair Lawn

Franklin Lakes


Little Ferry


Midland Park



Park Ridge


River Vale




Woodcliff Lake


Strides in Breaking Stigma



Two CarePlus employee's caught Governor Chris Christie's attention today during the Town Hall Meeting in Fair Lawn - thanks to the Paramus NJ Stigma-Free Zone t-shirts! When asked if he would consider making the Stigma-Free campaign a state-wide initiative, Governor Christie enthusiastically acknowledged the need to do so. The wheels are turning and arrangements are being made!


How exciting it is to see how easy it can be to spread awareness and end stigma!

Let's work to make all of New Jersey Proud to Be Stigma-Free!

Support the 2015 Gala
Earn a Paid Day Off

Annual Awards Gala Recognizes Courage, Hope and Quest for "Happiness"

In case you haven't heard,there is an incentive for staff members to get involved in this year's Gala - and it's an easy way to contribute to our efforts! Join the crowd funding campaign then share the link with friends, families, and social network. The staff member that raises the most funds on their individual CrowdRise will win a paid day off!


"The theme of this year's Gala is inspired by an adolescent CarePlus client who tells her story inspired by the Japanese Legend that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, you get to make a wish. This young lady did just that," explained Jamisin Saracino, Director of Advocacy and Community Education at CarePlus. "She folded 1,000 paper cranes over a 10-month period, and once she completed the task, she wished for happiness."


"Her wish was granted when she discovered CarePlus," Saracino continued, "She was linked to a therapist and support group within the organization and began her journey towards recovery. Inspired by her story, we are celebrating this theme of hope and happiness at this year's event."


The Gala committee created "Cranes for Courage", an online CrowdRise fundraiser to spread her message of hope. As a reminder of the support given to these efforts, a paper crane will be mailed to each person that makes a minimum $10 donation through the site. The goal is to generate 1,000 donations and to distribute 1,000 paper cranes, with the wish that CarePlus can serve more individuals struggling with their mental health and help them find happiness.


Get Involved!            


Joe Masciandaro to be honored
NJAMHAA Annual Conference

In recognition of his dedication to service, the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies will be honoring Joe Masciandaro at their Annual Conference on April 15th: Inspiring Progress, Seizing Opportunities at the Woodbridge Renaissance in Iselin, NJ.


"We greatly appreciate your leadership, innovative spirit, passionate advocacy and dedication over the years."


Spotlight: Partial Care Services


"CarePlus is like the Harvard of mental health centers"
- Partial Care Services Client


"I've gotten a lot of help" explained one client who receives services through the CarePlus Partial Care program. He went on to explain that he came into the program experiencing years of both trauma and struggles with mental health and substance use disorders. Through this treatment, he has found more peace of mind, and links his recovery to specialized group therapies, as well as, self-help support strategies, such as exercise and weight-lifting.


The CarePlus Partial Care services program is a full day treatment program assisting individuals with mental illness to integrate and maintain their status as contributing members of the Bergen County Community.


CarePlus utilizes a comprehensive and holistic approach; focusing on integrated healthcare. The program is designed to maximize healthy lifestyles, while minimizing relapse and re-hospitalization. Individuals are empowered to fulfill their highest level of functioning through the services offered by CarePlus and working with staff on a jointly planned treatment goals.


"I've been to a lot of places trying to get help, but there is more activity here. There is more freedom, which is really what it is about." He closed his reflection on his years with Partial Care by sharing his favorite experiences, which involved group outings with clients and staff members. In addition, he stated that is grateful for the Wellness Café, and knows that learning to eat healthier is an important part of his whole body wellness.


"It's a lifetime lesson to learn how to be healthy - to learn about the illness," another client kindly shared. With confidence and appreciation she explained some of the lessons she has learned through her experience with Partial Care.


"I've become solution oriented instead of problem oriented," she went on, proudly saying that communication is at the core of healthy relationships. Through the many services she has received at CarePlus, she has been able to adopt these healthy coping skills and thought patterns.


"People come here to learn and have hope. The counselors are here to help - they appear as friends, not as therapists. I think that is very important, because it helps a lot."


The Partial Care staff and clients are working together with other CarePlus staff members to launch a sustainable Peer Mentorship & Advocacy Program in association with the Turn-a-Frown-Around Foundation. Keep an eye out to learn more about the CarePlus Smile Station and how you can get involved!


Learn more about Partial Care Services...


CarePlus Wellness

For a Happy, Healthy Workplace.


CarePlus Wellness Program


Cycle 10 of our Fitness Camp with Lorraine Gehrig starts April 7th! The program runs Tuesdays and Thursdays each week for 4 weeks. You can choose to sign up for one night or both!

Register for Cycle 10 Here!


As the weather gets warmed, we will be playing outside - for added benefits of FRESH AIR and FUN!


Lorraine also provided us with some guidelines that will help you achieve your fitness goals:


1.  Eat small meals every 3-4 hours - starting with breakfast.

  • Eating small meals (along with exercising) helps to regulate your metabolism which will help you to lose weight.  
  • Avoid letting yourself get to the point of "starving".  Your body will hold onto fat if there's uncertainty about when the next meal is coming. Also, avoid overeating - when you eat every 3-4 hours, this is easier to accomplish.
  • Include lean protein (grilled, baked, broiled, - not fried!) and good carbs in every small meal (for ex: salads should always include a serving a protein)
  • Some protein choices:  chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, beans, tofu, Greek yogurt, egg whites and nuts. 
  • Some carb choices:  fruits, vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats/oatmeal, whole grain pasta (moderately) and whole grain bread (no high fructose corn syrup).
  • Try to stay as close to natural as possible. Highly processed foods frequently include added sugar, salt, artificial ingredients and preservatives that do not promote health or weight loss.  A rule of thumb is to look at the ingredients - if it's more than 5 or you don't have any clue what they are - think twice before eating/drinking it.  Highly processed foods include many frozen meals, quick side dishes, cereals, crackers, chips, cookies, etc. 
  • Aim for at least 80% healthy eating per day or week.  You're not always going to eat perfectly -don't let that get you down.  

2.  Exercise 3-5 times a week (no excuses!)

  • Regular exercise helps to stabilize your metabolism which will help you lose weight!
  • Weight training leads to building lean muscle which will also help you lose weight!
  • Always set goals for yourself and challenge your abilities.       

3.  Avoid drinking calories.

  • If you want to lose weight and/or build lean muscle, you need to evaluate what you eat and drink.  Are the calories in a particular food/drink going to help you get to your goal or are they "empty" (meaning it's just sugar or fat that's going to actually sabotage your efforts)?
  • Be careful of fruit juices and "healthy"-looking drinks - many of them have added sugar - better to just eat the fruit. 
  • Try to get in the habit of drinking water, unsweetened teas and/or black coffee.
  • The 80% rule can be applied here too.

4 .  Rest and manage your stress in healthy ways.

  • Muscles need rest in order to repair.
  • Stress management is also an important factor in weight loss - if your body feels like it's in crisis it's going to hold on to fat to survive.
  • Sleep, massage, yoga, meditation, therapy, laughing - all good ways to manage stress!
Program Marketing
It is important 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 so that it is 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 M Drive so that staff can quickly access Program Information Sheets. These Fact Sheets can be found in the first folder in 999 General 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 our adolescent group services. This is the first part of our efforts 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 and clients that go above and beyond.  


 Bergen County Agencies Join in Fight Against Substance Abuse


On March 11, 2015 Care Plus NJ, Inc. ("CarePlus") and Turning Point, Inc. officially launched their Partnership in Recovery with a symbolic "Ribbon Tying" event at the CarePlus Headquarters in Paramus. The Partnership consists of a compilation of "Turning Point at CarePlus" programs created to serve adolescents and adults who are experiencing issues with both substance use and their mental health.


Often times those with co-occurring substance use and mental health issues get lost between the cracks because they don't know how to access appropriate care. With the new partnership, there is no wrong door. Those in need of services are encouraged to call CarePlus admissions (201-986-5000), however they can contact either organization and will be directed to the appropriate care.


"We found that we were stretched," Joe Masciandaro, CEO of CarePlus, explained at the start of the event. "When people have a problem, they may not necessarily go through the right door."


With Turning Point's specialty in substance use treatment and recovery, CarePlus will be able to offer more comprehensive services to existing clients. Likewise, Turning Point is able to offer new services for adolescents because of the expertise CarePlus has in working with families and children.


"There is a synergistic effect when two people work together to bring the best of what they are," commented Pat White, Vice President of Clinical Services at Turning Point, "with the establishment of this partnership, lives can be saved."


White went on to highlight a few historical partnerships that forever altered the sense of what is possible, including Louis and Clark's expedition, as well as the flight of the Wright Brothers.


"At a time when addiction and mental health agencies were competing for new grants and funding opportunities, Turning Point and CarePlus were cultivating this collaboration that enables each program to continue to deliver the highest quality of services to the most complex clients within its area of expertise," said Chris Barton, Acting CEO of Turning Point. "Together we can do more, and do it better, than either of our programs could have done alone."


By capitalizing on the strengths of each other, both organizations are benefiting. More importantly, it is the individuals and families that they serve that will benefit the most.


"At the age when I started [using substances] I didn't realize I had a problem," began a client of Turning Point at CarePlus. "I didn't know I had an addiction, and I didn't know that it was a disease."


In a manifesto of her experience with substance use disorder, she went on to explain how addiction does not discriminate, it can affect anybody regardless of race, social class, religion, or age.


"I want to help other addicts who are suffering," concluded the client in her statement. She shared that it is a long journey through recovery, and without agencies like CarePlus and Turning Point, she would be lost. Thanks to these services she has learned how to cope and thrive in daily life, and is motivated to help others do the same.


The wide range of new services offered through the partnership includes family therapy, which is critical in an individual's recovery. By educating the family, the individual has a better chance of creating a strong support system that understands the intensity of the disease.


Guests at the event were given blue and green "awareness ribbons" to wear, representing each of the organizations. In addition, attendees were provided with informational packets consisting of program information and resources that Turning Point at CarePlus provides.


For more information on the new programs being offered visit Substance Abuse Programs.


(Left to right) Tara Augustine, VP of Children and Family Services at CarePlus; Roberta Braneck, Director of Outpatient and Marketing at Turning Point; Joe Masciandaro, CEO at CarePlus;
Chris Barton, CEO at Turning Point; Pat White, VP of Clinical Services at Turning Point; and Katherine Coleman, Outpatient Program Coordinator for Turning Point at CarePlus.


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Mentally AWARE Campaign

Posters and flyers are available to print from our website. Be sure to download it and share it with staff and clients! 
Do YOU have a story to share? If you have a story, update, announcement, photos to share here, 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 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.