CarePlus InsideLIne
June 2015 - There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.


4th Annual Golfers Give Back
Charity Golf Outing
September 21st


2015-2016 CPI Workshop & Training Schedule

Coming soon, stay tuned for CEU opportunities!

A Special Thanks

Information Migration to Order Connect

"We would like to acknowledge staffs hard work in completing this process."

- Kathy Bianco

 Over the past few months a number of staff members have been involved in the daunting and important task of migrating client information to a new E-Prescribing system. 

Among other items, this project included manually re-entering almost 7,000 medication records into the new platform. It has taken a lot of work and dedication, but these CarePlus staff members have been a huge asset:

Danny Belous

Nancy Cruz

Lorna Gazic

Jenny Hernandez

Lori Pietropaolo

Margaret Rinckhoff

Zaida Torres

Maria Torres

Gabriella Urato 

Thank you for all that you do!

  "Your willingness to help out is a demonstration of your commitment to our clients and your hard work." 

- Michelle Alkhalaileh

Development Committee
A Big Thanks to The Gala Committee


The Gala Committee did an amazing job this year! Together we were able to collect 108 Silent Auction items, 9 Live Auction experiences, and we exceeded our goals for the Ad Journal and Event Registration!


A sincere thank you too all who were involved in making the event a huge success - we could not have done it without you!


Right around the corner...


Golf Committee Meetings

First Meeting TBA

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 time and effort with us.


It's not too late to join the Development Committee - all are welcome! If you can only make a few meetings that is okay - every little bit of time counts.


Your support is helpful and valued. 

Spread the Word!

Click Here to Learn More!

CarePlus Wellness

For a Happy, Healthy Workplace.


CarePlus Wellness Program



Employee Primary Care

You've asked for it, and now you have it! 

As part of recognizing the importance of having a culture of wellness in the workplace, Primary Care Services are now available
on-site for staff covered under the
CarePlus health plan.


A quick and convenient way to access primary care services*, including but not limited to:

  • Medical Evaluation
  • Needed medications prescribed and renewed
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring
  • Administration of needed vaccines and TB testing
  • Bloodwork
  • Annual physicals

*All information shared with medical staff is confidential

The first 19 staff members to utilize these services will receive a grocery gift card!

Call to make your appointment today...
CarePlus Primary Care at 201-986-5024
Hours of Operation: Tues-Thurs 8am-4pm

Fitness Camp is Back!


Cycle 12 of our Fitness Camp with
Lorraine Gehrig starts June 2nd!
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 12 Here!


As the weather gets warmer, we will be playing outside - for added benefits of


Lorraine also provides us with some tips on how to get outside and PLAY:


Support your fitness goals by making ACTIVE plans when the weather is nice!

  • Go for a run or nice long walk
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Go for a hike (great resource for trails is:
  • Rollerblade
  • PLAY (ACTIVELY) on the playground
  • Walk/RUN with your dog



At a track:

  • Do a lap (sprint the straightaway, jog or walk the curves)
  •  After you complete the lap, go to the bleachers and do the following:
        - 25 tricep dips
        - 25 step-ups
        - 25 push-ups 

Go for 4 rounds total

  4 rounds = a one mile run
& 100 reps of all exercises!


Too much? 
Try to keep the 4 laps and reduce the number of reps for other exercise - maybe shoot for 50 total instead of 100.


At a park:
(with walking/running path)

  • You're going to run/walk/side shuffle/butt kick around the park (following the path)
  •  You're goal is to stop at (at least) 4 picnic tables/benches along the way.
    Do 25 tricep dips
    - 25 step-ups
    - 25 push-ups at each bench
    * add in 4 one-minute wall sits

Mix up your outdoor workouts! 
Have FUN! 


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.  

Peer Mentorship & Advocacy
CarePlus "Smile Station" in the Making


Years ago there was a CarePlus Partial Care Client who had a vision and was on a mission to End Loneliness. He put his plan into action by recruiting volunteers to visit residents in local Nursing Homes and Psychiatric Hospitals. Through his supported efforts, the Turn-a-Frown-Around Foundation was born.


Over a decade later, the vision has returned to its place of conception: the CarePlus NJ Headquarters.


On May 15th the newly formed Peer Mentorship and Advocacy group held it's first "World Changing Compassion Coffeehouse" in Paramus. With the help of a number of CarePlus staff members, the event was a success!


The Wellness Café was thoughtfully set up with nice table cloths and delicious treats such as pastries, fruit cups, and coffee. In the Conference Room clients, staff, and a board member all came together to share their thoughts on compassion, friendship and empowerment.


A special thanks goes out to the staff members who stayed late on a Friday night to provide transportation and coordinate all of the behind-the-scene details for the event.


The group is working together to decide on the time for the next Coffehouse, which is anticipated to be held in June. As the "Coffeehouse" becomes a well-oiled machine, you will be sure to hear more!


While working through the process of becoming volunteers at Bergen Regional Medical Center, the Peer Mentors & Advocates are looking to enhance their skills through on-site visits with CarePlus clients who may be looking to expand their social horizons.


If you are interested in being a part of this program, or if you work with a client who may benefit from volunteer or socialization experience please contact Caitlyn for more information.


New Children's Mobile Mascot
Congratulations & Welcome Back, Jessica!


Spotlight on Services:
CarePlus designated as
First Behavioral Health Home
in New Jersey


Based on the approval of the New Jersey State Plan Amendment (SPA) on March 12, 2015, Care Plus NJ, Inc. (CarePlus) will be the first state-certified agency to provide integrated mental health care services to individuals residing in Bergen County with severe mental illnesses (SMI) through their Behavioral Health Home (BHH) model.


The SPA was approved to authorize BHH services under section 2703 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This legislation was made effective and backdated to July 1st, 2014, where the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) rate applicable to such payments will be 90%. This legislation will not only benefit certified Behavioral Health agencies and the individuals that they serve; it will also benefit The State and Federal governments by decreasing the frequency and cost of inpatient hospitalizations.


This advocacy effort makes health care services more affordable and accessible to those individuals with SMI that need the services and might not otherwise be able to afford them.


"The approval of the SPA is very timely considering May is Mental Health Month," explained Joe Masciandaro, CEO at CarePlus." "Bergen County was selected as the first county for this initiative, and we are proud that the CarePlus BHH model is the first in the state to be recognized."


CarePlus has been a leader in the integrated mind and body approach to wellness since 2010 when the agency was awarded a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Through that funding, CarePlus was able to develop proven integrated treatment care regimens that produced favorable outcome measures including: normal blood pressure, reduction of emergency room visits, participation in wellness programs, and a positive perception of care.


"Being a pioneer isn't new for us at CarePlus," Masciandaro continues, "we have also spearheaded the county-wide Stigma-Free Initiative in local communities. CarePlus has taken a strong role in developing the foundation for this initiative, and we are taking the action to further these efforts through our dedication to provide the most optimal service for those who struggle with mental health challenges."


Moving forward, the agency is working to provide comprehensive physical and behavioral care management and transitional care following any inpatient hospitalization. These care coordination services include a professional team of medical and behavioral health experts that work together to best serve the individual and their recovery through the BHH model.


If you work with a CarePlus client who may benefit from these services, please contact
Kathy Bianco for more information.



Staying Mindful at Work
Tips from a Yogi
"The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga are your body and your mind." - Rodney Yee, Yoga Master

Yoga at Your Desk

Have you been trying the monthly poses?

Is so, are you noticing a difference
in your mind, body and/or spirit?
If you haven't tried yet -
what are you waiting for?
Give yourself a break!


WARNING: Once you start,
you won't want to stop!


"Office Pose of the Month"

Seated Forward Bend

This pose is great to relieve tightness in the shoulders, neck and arms.

  1. Push your chair back from your desk.

  2. Bring both feet flat on the floor.

  3. Interlace your fingers behind your back.

  4. Straighten your arms, drawing the interlaced fingers down.

  5. Fold at the waist, bringing your interlaced hands over your back.

  6. Rest your chest on your thighs and release your neck.

  7. Repeat with the opposite clasp of the hands. 

While in the pose pull from your knuckles to create the stretching sensation and elongate your arms. With this motion, you are pulling the shoulders away from the ears and allowing gravity to decompress the spine. 

Don't forget to breathe!


See more poses here: Desk Stretches 



What you put after the words "I am"
can be powerfully creative or destructive.
Be mindful of your words because
that is what you will manifest.
  1. Create your own list of 10 or so affirmations that you will say every day. They can be related to work, family, personal development, healing, spirituality - whatever make you feel GOOD. (ex: I am kind; I am helpful; I am a good mother/father/daughter/son/sister/brother; I am healthy; I am worthy of happiness; etc.)
  2. If you're uncomfortable creating your own list, you can YouTube/Google lists of affirmations that have already been created! There are many powerful ones out there. (ex: Affirmations for Abundance, Health, Weight-Loss, Stress-Management, Strength, Personal Development; etc.)
Cranes for Courage

This is the first year we implemented a Crowdrise campaign into our Annual Courage Awards Gala, and it was a great idea! We were able to raise
 almost an additional $3,000 and sent out close to 100 cranes to those who donated.

Tied for the Free-Day-Off, at $431 raised each:
Keri Diamond and John Paul Simon!!

JCAHO Standard - Handwashing

Breaking the Chain of Infection                  

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) concurs, stating that "handwashing causes a significant reduction in the carriage of potential pathogens on the hands," and [in healthcare settings it] "can result in reductions in patient morbidity and mortality from nosocomial infection."


APIC offers the following handwashing techniques for healthcare workers:
  • Wet hands with warm running water.
  • Apply handwashing agent (soap) and thoroughly distribute over hands.
  • Vigorously rub hands together for 10 to 15 seconds, generating friction on all surfaces of the hands and fingers, including thumbs, backs of fingers, backs of the hands, and beneath the fingernails.
  • Rinse hands thoroughly to remove residual soap then dry using paper towels dispensed from holders that require the user to remove them one at a time.
  • If the sink does not have foot controls or an automatic shutoff, a paper towel may be used to shut off the faucet to avoid re-contaminating the hands.

Read more... 

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



There were so many happenings in May for Mental Health Awareness Month, and we are happy to have been a part of it. The Stigma-Free Zones throughout Bergen County have been committed to making a difference in our local communities, and they truly have. On Monday, May 18th, Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco planted a Stigma-Free tree in VanSaun Park in Paramus. The tree is a symbolic representation of getting to the roots of stigma. We are excited to see how Bergen county will continue to set an example for the rest of the state and country through the Stigma-Free Zone Initiative!


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!

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

Communication Skills for Collaboration - 6/16/15, 12 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Learn about different communication styles, why communication sometimes fails, and strategies to create a respectful and cohesive workplace.

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Bell in the Human Resources Department at or call 201-843-5218, extension 5227. 


CarePlus Foundation's Courage Awards Gala Exceeds Expectations,
Expands Ability to Help Others Achieve Goals


(Left to Right) Tara Augustine, Senior Vice President at CarePlus; Ken Ehrenberg, Paramus Chief of Police; John Cosgrove, Mayor of Fair Lawn; Mary Ann and John Uzzi, 2015 Courage Awards Co-Chairs.


Celebrating courage, hope and the quest for happiness was the theme of the CarePlus Foundation's 2015 Courage Awards Gala held on Wednesday, June 3rd at the Venetian in Garfield. The venue was decorated with 1,000 colorful paper cranes that appeared to fly throughout the space on tables, plants, and centerpieces.


The origami cranes were symbolic of the journey of one CarePlus client who shared her story about her wish for happiness that led her to the services at CarePlus. During her speech at the Gala she m entioned that a majority of the cranes that filled the Venetian that night were part of the original 1,000 that she had created.


The celebration began with the presentation of 29 recipients for the 2015 Bernard Dubnick Scholarship which recognizes hard work and determination to further educational and career goals. The Foundation was proud to award the largest amount of scholarships to date, totaling $55,000.


"The Courage Awards Gala is our largest fundraiser of the year," said Tara Augustine, Senior Vice President at CarePlus. "This year the event exceeded expectations by raising over $155,000, our most ever!"


This type of success allows the Foundation to continue to provide the Bernard Dubnick Scholarship awards yearly to individuals who face mental health or substance use challenges and who also need financial assistance with reaching their educational goals. Money raised at the Courage Awards Gala is also used to fund housing support, medication assistance, addiction services, child abuse intervention and many more services for children, families and adults in the greater northern New Jersey area.


The evening continued with recognition of local heroes who shared their stories of resiliency, advocacy and service related to mental health. This year's honorees included The Sefcik Family, survivors of suicide loss and advocates in prevention with their presentation "Remembering T.J. - A Story of Teen Depression, Lessons and Hope"; John Cosgrove, the Mayor of Fair Lawn and supporter of the Fair Lawn Stigma-Free Zone initiative; and Kenneth Ehrenberg, the Chief of the Paramus Police Department and collaborative leader in crisis de-escalation and mental health awareness.


Carolina Chia, Executive Administrative Assistant; and Joe Masciandaro, President and CEO at CarePlus.

The Foundation also awarded Dr. Dina Vaynberg with the Compassionate Care Award for her 28 years of service at CarePlus, representing the best in the field of mental health care. In accepting the award, Dr. Vaynberg expressed gratitude for her patients, her co-workers, and the CarePlus President and CEO, Joe Masciandaro for his leadership.


In addition to closing the silent auction and 50/50 raffle sales, the Courage Awards concluded with a Live Auction conducted by one of the event's co-chairs, John Uzzi. After auctioning off 9 prizes, the guests at each table were asked to work together to make one final donation in exchange for the handmade centerpieces featuring the origami cranes.


"The evening celebrated all that CarePlus and its supporters achieve and contribute to the local community," Augustine remarked. "We are very grateful for all that contributed to its success."





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What is STIGMA?

Posters and flyers are available to print from our website. Be sure to download it and share it with staff and clients! 
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.