CarePlus InsideLIne
July 2015 - In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.  ~ F.D.R.


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

Youth Mental Health First Aid

 7 Clinical CEUs

Sept. 23rd - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

An Experiential and Conceptual Framework
to Explore the Use of Mindfulness Based
Stress Reduction in Both Professional
and Personal Contexts
4 Clinical CEUs Pending Approval 

Oct. 21st - 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

School Avoidance: Managing the Complicated Adolescent in the Public School Setting

4 Clinical CEUs

Nov. 12 - 10:30 am - 3:00 pm


Trauma Informed Care Assessments
and Practice: A New Generation of
Service Delivery
2 Clinical CEUs Pending Approval

Dec. 10 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Tourette's Disorder: Misunderstood and
Often Misdiagnosed But More Common
Than You Think
2 Clinical CEUs

Jan. 13 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

 Cross-Cultural Competence Skills
For Professionals in Social Service Fields
5 Cultural CEUs

Feb. 8 - 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Evolving Diagnostic Changes
with Autism and Early Diagnosis

2 Clinical CEUs Pending Approval

Mar. 10 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Full 2015-2016 CPI Workshop & Training Schedule

Coming soon, stay tuned for more CEU opportunities!

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 13 of our Fitness Camp with
Lorraine Gehrig starts July 7th!
The program runs Tuesdays and Thursdays each week for 4 weeks.

You can choose to sign up for
one night or both!


Note from Lorraine: 

Big PROPS to those who
sweated it out with us this month!


    Working out in HOT weather
requires us to stay well hydrated!
Proper hydration is based on your weight and activity level. 


      Boost your hydration by drinking
at least one glass of water first thing
in the morning and at least one
glass of water with every meal. 
Also, eat fruits that have a high
water content - like watermelon!


Tips to Boost Water Intake:

Read More Here

  1. 16 oz before every meal
  2. 16 oz in the morning, 8 oz at night
  3. Measurement container
  4. Infused water
  5. Bubbly

Happy Summer


Spotlight on Services:

CarePlus Leads the Way in Integrated Primary and Behavioral Health Management Solutions

Update on BHH Services
& Call for Referrals

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


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


"The approval of the SPA was very timely considering May was 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 providing the most optimal service for those who live with mental health challenges."


The State funded BHH model only provides coverage to a select group of individuals affected by serious mental illness. What distinguishes CarePlus is the newly formed Health Management Solutions team that is looking to leverage this model to the outliers of state coverage including commercial insurers, managed care organizations (MCOs), and ACOs.


CarePlus Health Management Solutions is developing the capacity to ensure that any individual who may benefit from coordinated physical and behavioral healthcare will have access. These efforts will help to improve health outcomes and quality of life. Services include a professional team of medical and behavioral health experts that work together to best serve the individual and their recovery.


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

Development Committee
Moving Forward with Success


In the powerful wake of a wonderful Gala, the Development Committee is striving to continue to impress. In order to continue to raise the bar and grow as an organization, this year we will be focusing on building strong relationships with current and future donors.


If networking and creating connections for big sponsorship opportunities is in your skill set, please consider working with the Development Committee so that we may provide great support for the programs and services offered through CarePlus.


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. 


Golf Committee Meetings

Tuesday, July 14, 2015  9AM

Tuesday, July 28, 2015  9AM

Tuesday, August 18, 2015  TBD

Tuesday, September  1, 2015  9AM


News from Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program

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

Information Overload - 7/21/15
12 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time  

Review practical tips for managing your devices and applications to eliminate distraction and create more focus in your professional and personal lives.

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Bell in the Human Resources Department at or call 201-843-5218, extension 5211. 






Jessica Costa

 New Partial Care Director

"Jessica has been with CarePlus since
April of 2014 in the role of Program Manager for PCS. During her tenure, she has steered the program through many transitions and changes in its leadership and service expectations. Jessica has gone above and beyond to manage this program and meet the expectations of funders, staff and our consumers. I welcome Jessica to her new leadership role and look forward to continuing to provide high quality services."


-Kris Pendy


Larry Allotta

New ICMS Assistant Director


Larry has been has been a dedicated Care Plus employee for over 32 years.  Larry has spent the last 8 years working as a Clinical Manager for the ICMS program.  His compassion, clinical skill, and unwavering client support have been instrumental in helping the ICMS department meet our consumers' many needs. Larry is a team player who consistently goes the extra mile to support his colleagues. I'm confident that Larry will excel in his new leadership position."


-Sean Sundberg


Spread the Word!

 Socially Creative
Summer Camp

Due to the success of the Socially Creative Summer Camp last year, Care Plus NJ, Inc. (CarePlus) will be offering the program again this summer. This camp experience will benefit Bergen County families with children who are struggling with communication, impulse control, and peer relationships.


Socially Creative Summer Camp offers children ages 7-13 an opportunity to blend creative arts with social skills, while learning to build friendships and enhance communication. Children involved in the program will have a chance to express themselves through painting, music, yoga, and improvisational activities to develop a sense of self-esteem, individuality, and connection with their peers.


"The camp was created with the vision of integrating the many dimensions of health for overall wellness," said Tara Augustine, Senior Vice President of Children and Family Services at CarePlus. "Last summer we saw that by engaging the youth in this variety of activities, we were able to express the CarePlus philosophy of Healthy Minds, Health Bodies."


The program takes an evidence-based social skills curriculum and provides children with continued support and structure during the summer months in a positive, nurturing, and motivating environment. Creative arts are used in a way to help build self-esteem and foster communication skills, all while giving kids a chance to gain insight into their inner and outer worlds. Days at camp will consist of time spent working alone as well as working with a team to build both independence and interpersonal skills.


The summer program will feature sessions with Paul Kates, a Board-Certified Music Therapist who has worked with children and families at CarePlus for over 10 years; and Cory Chargo, a licensed clinician that will be implementing CarePlus' evidence-based social skills curriculum. Other CarePlus staff will engage campers in creative expression, improvisation,  social interaction, nutritional activities, yoga and movement.


Socially Creative Summer Camp is a four-week program that runs Monday-Friday from 9AM - 3PM, starting on July 20st and going through August 14th. Parents can sign their child up for just one week, or for the full four-week program. The cost is $495 for one week or $475 per week for multiple weeks, with $25 off per additional child. Registrations fees includes intake requirements.


Group size is limited to encourage the highest level of engagement; prompt registration is suggested. For more information or to register, please call Alexa Squire at 201-797-2660 x337, or Click Here to Learn More!

Staying Mindful at Work
Tips from a Yogi
Yoga is the fountain of youth. You're only as young as your spine is flexible. - Bob Harper

Yoga at Your Desk

When you practice Yoga, you accelerate the blood flow through your body and allow for cell renewal to occur more quickly - physiologically rejuvenating your body. The whole practice accelerates the purification of your entire being. This "new age" trend is truly an ancient science and can be used for healing and therapy.


Learn more about WHY you should be integrating these practices into your daily life:

Health Benefits 


"Office Pose of the Month"


This pose is helps to wake up the spine and create space between the vertebrae.

  1. Bring both feet flat on the floor.

  2. Bring your hands onto your knees.

  3. On an inhale, arch the back and look up toward the ceiling (Cow Pose).

  4. On the exhale, round the spine and let your head drop forward (Cat Pose). 

While in Cow Pose, extend your spine by pushing your hips down as your open your chest and drop your shoulders on an inhale. With your exhale, move into Cat Pose by arching your spine in the opposite direction. Continue these movements with each inhale and exhale.


See more poses here: Desk Stretches 


Just Keep Breathing...

Breathing is an involuntary function,
so many people do not think about it too much. However, those who practice Yoga know the power of each inhale and each exhale.
  1. Keep it simple: count to five as you inhale, and count to five as your exhale. Use these breaths with intention, for example: inhale strength, exhale peace. Inhale patience, exhale productivity.
  2. Be mindful: inhale for five counts, retain the inhale for five counts, exhale for five counts, and retain the exhale for five counts. Become aware of the air moving into your body, feel the expansiveness as you retain your breath, slowly exhale with control and notice how your body reacts when your lungs are empty.

For an extra challenge, work your way up to a "one-minute breath" by counting to 15 with each part of the breath: inhale 15, sustain 15, exhale 15, and sustain 15.

Bergen County: Stigma-Free Zone
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

Ridgefield Park


River Edge

River Vale

Saddle River





Woodcliff Lake


Strides in Breaking Stigma

Assemblyman Eustace created a resolution urging counties and municipalities to enact "Stigma-Free Zone" resolutions to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Several task-force members from various municipalities went to testify and support these efforts.


Read more here!


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!

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 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 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 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 and clients that go above and beyond. If you have anything you would like to submit for the InsideLine you can email your information to Caitlyn Yerves.

 "Golfers Give Back" Charity Outing Promotes Mental Health Awareness 


The Care Plus Foundation, Inc. ("CarePlus Foundation") will be holding its fourth annual "Golfers Give Back" charitable Golf Outing on Monday, September 21st at the Edgewood Country Club in River Vale, NJ. 

The "Golfers Give Back" outing was conceived to bring together individuals and groups who can help the CarePlus Foundation spread awareness of the daily challenges of those living with severe mental illness. The generosity of supporters ensures that the Foundation can continue to promote public education on mental health issues and awareness training for communities. 

Last year the event raised over $85,000. Every dollar raised by the Foundation goes directly into increasing access to care by providing shelter, medication, and services that many individuals and families might not otherwise be able to afford. 

"Over the past three years this event has grown to encompass the entire North Jersey community," said Alexis Fatigati, Development Associate at CarePlus. "It's a fun day of golf, food, and prizes."

The day includes a buffet breakfast before the shotgun start, an 18 hole event on a 27 hole course, golf cart access, and a barbeque lunch. The event continues into the evening with a cocktail party, dinner, awards, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle.

The Foundation has announced that the event already has four Gold sponsors: Columbia Bank, the Fatigati Family, Inserra Supermarkets and Roy W. Walters & Associates. Robert Bodnar, CFO at CarePlus, and Michael Fatigati, Chair of the CarePlus Foundation Board of Trustees, will be co-chairing the event. The event committee has expressed much excitement in the hope to make this year's event the most successful golf outing to date.

There are many ways to become involved and support the Foundation. The event offers a variety of sponsorship opportunities including Platinum and Gold sponsors, as well as breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktail party, putting green, driving range, hole sponsors and more.

"Our goal is not only to raise money, but also to create new levels of awareness around mental health and the services offered at CarePlus," Fatigati continued. "We want our guests to leave knowing that they contributed to an excellent cause and had a great time doing it."

In addition to sponsorship, participation opportunities include individual golfers, foursomes, dinner guests, and 50/50 ticket purchases. The Foundation is also accepting general donations as well as item donations for the silent auction and goodie bags.

Any requests for sponsorship or questions about the event should be directed to the Foundation office at 201-986-5070. 



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.
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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 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.