Attitudes In Reverse® (AIR™) Honors Joseph Masciandaro as Champion of Hope
CarePlus New Jersey Is a Faith Sponsor of AIR’s October 4th Taste of Hope Event
PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (September 14, 2017) – Attitudes In Reverse® (AIR™), a Princeton-based nonprofit organization, will honor Joseph Masciandaro, MA, Chief Executive Officer of CarePlus New Jersey, Inc., with the Champion of Hope award during its second annual Taste of Hope fundraising event on October 4, 2017 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Princeton Marriott at Forrestal, 100 College Road East, Princeton, NJ. In addition to honoring Masciandaro for his leadership and tremendous impact in New Jersey’s community behavioral healthcare system, the affair is designed to build awareness of AIR and support its mission of saving lives through mental-health and suicide-prevention education.
“We are so grateful to Debra Wentz, our first Partner in Hope honoree, for nominating Joe to be honored this year. When we met Joe, we gained a strong sense of the compassion and dedication he has for individuals with mental health or substance use disorders and their families,” said Tricia and Kurt Baker, Co-Founders of AIR. “We also admire and thank Joe for the innovations he has developed and championed throughout his career.”
Debra L. Wentz, PhD, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA), a trade association representing CarePlus New Jersey and 160 other community providers throughout the state. Masciandaro is a Past President of the NJAMHAA Board of Directors and is President of NJAMHAA’s charitable subsidiary, the New Jersey Mental Health Institute: two additional testaments to his dedication to and leadership in the mental health community.
“The award from AIR is especially meaningful to me, as it acknowledges the importance of prevention in public health education through the compassionate experiences of survivors of suicides,” Masciandaro said.
CarePlus New Jersey was originally established on January 5, 1978 as Mid-Bergen Community Mental Health Center, Inc. with a goal of providing “high quality, low cost” mental health services. Today, CarePlus serves the entire Northern New Jersey quadrant with a complete care continuum focusing on “healthy minds, healthy bodies”. In 2009, CarePlus was one of 13 organizations nationwide selected to receive a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA), which paved the way for four years of funding for integrated primary and behavioral healthcare services. This year, CarePlus received a second grant from SAMHSA, which is funding a 19-year collaboration of a new nonprofit corporation that Masciandaro established, CarePlus Bergen, with Integrity House, a NJAMHAA member substance use treatment provider, and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
The Taste of Hope event is also sponsored by Princeton Brain and Spine (AIR Sponsor): CarePlus NJ Inc. (Faith Sponsor); Leary Bride Tinker and Moran (Dignity Sponsor); Love Sponsors Comprehensive Behavioral Health Care/CBHCare Foundation, Carrier Clinic, Creative Capital, Devang Patel, Fly High Coby, Guy J. Renzi and Associates, Inc., HealthMark Enterprise, Hinkle Fingles & Prior, Merlin Industries, NJAMHAA, Szaferman Lakind Bumstein & Blader, P.C. and US-1 Express Inc. Courier Services.
To register to attend the October 4th Taste of Hope event, please visit www.airtoh.org. For more information about this event, please contact Dennis Dias, Antares Event Planning & Consulting, LLC, at 908-208-2696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
# # #
Attitudes In Reverse® (AIR™) was established by Tricia, Kurt and Katelyn Baker of Plainsboro, NJ, in 2010, soon after their son/brother Kenny died by suicide following a long battle against severe depression and anxiety. Their mission is to save lives by educating students about mental health, related disorders and suicide prevention. Since January 2011, they have presented to more than 60,000 students in middle and high schools and colleges in New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Missouri, Texas and Arizona. AIR also offers Youth Mental Health First Aid instruction and includes the AIR Dogs: Paws for Minds™ program, bringing dogs into schools to help students de-stress and engage in the conversation about mental health. In addition, AIR trains and certifies Emotional Support Animals and offers a lunch-and-learn program for businesses. For more information about AIR™, please visit www.attitudesinreverse.org or call 609-945-3200.