PARAMUS, N.J. — Joe Marsciandaro, CEO and president of CarePlus, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Council for Behavioral Health — the voice of America’s Healthcare organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services to more than 10 million people. 

Marsciandaro was recognized for his tireless efforts, far-reaching impact, and commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable Americans living with mental illnesses and addictions. During his 42-year career as president and CEO of CarePlus, he helmed one of the most comprehensive community mental healthcare systems in the region. 

“Throughout his career, Joe has remained true to CarePlus’ mission, maintaining the organization’s roots as a community provider and increasing access to care to ensure that integrated treatment options and critical support services are available to all, regardless of ability to pay,” said Laura Siclari, Esq., Chair of the Care Plus NJ Board of Trustees. “He has been a driving force in creating a national model for community-based integrated behavioral healthcare, ensuring our most vulnerable populations are able to receive the care they need. He is a true pioneer, an innovator and a compassionate leader and advocate. I am proud to call him my friend. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award and recognition.”

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Under his leadership, CarePlus has prided itself on carrying out its signature four pillars of behavior healthcare — primary and mental health care, substance abuse treatment and access to social support services — providing integrated treatment options and over 70 programs designed to address each pillar. Namely, via advocacy, community education, and a complete continuum of care. 

“Joe is deserving of this recognition because he is a tireless advocate who has worked throughout his career to form community partnerships that ensure vital care and support services to those in need,” National Council for Behavioral Health President and CEO, Chuck Ingoglia said. “Joe also remains focused on the future of health care, and he has worked hard to promote the delivery of integrated care through the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic model. We’re proud to recognize Joe and his many contributions.”

Apart from championing numerous initiatives to ensure that those with mental illness and substance use disorders receive the treatment and services they need, Masciandaro’s unwavering dedication to the organization positioned CarePlus to craft the winning bid to take over management of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in October 2017 and enhanced the scope of services and continuum of care, increasing the effectiveness of discharge to address recidivism — the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior — especially in the ER.

In the last four decades, CarePlus was one of only seven state agencies selected as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic when the federal demonstration launched in New Jersey in 2017. Through the demonstration, CarePlus is able to help expand access to mental health care and addiction treatment to thousands of residents in north Jersey. Through his membership in the National Council for Behavioral Health, Masciandaro has advocated for continued funding and expansion of the clinic’s model nationwide. Lobbying for increased access to care, he has been vocal about engaging and educating both legislators and the public on the benefits and successes of the clinic’s model.

During the current Covid-19 pandemic, Masciandaro has led CarePlus’s efforts to implement telehealth and telephonic services to rapidly transition care to adhere to social distancing guidelines. As a result of his work, Masciandaro has been called upon by Governor Murphy to advise on the Healthcare Subcommittee of New Jersey’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council. In this capacity, he’ll represent community behavioral health providers and serve as an advisor to state leadership on economic matters impacted by the virus.