James McCreath, PhD, LCSW, Vice President of Behavioral Health at Trinitas Regional Medical Center, will receive the distinct honor of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Hospital-Based Services by the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc. at the upcoming Zoom-based Annual Membership meeting on June 17, 2020.

Born and raised in Paterson, McCreath has enjoyed 44 years in the field of behavioral health. “I continue to love every aspect of this field,” he says, “and I am thrilled to work with such a wonderful team at Trinitas.  We have an excellent array of integrated services and serve a very broad range of clients.”

The Association’s President and CEO, Debra L. Wentz, wrote in a letter to McCreath, “Looking back over the years, I continue to be greatly impressed and inspired by all that you have contributed to New Jersey’s mental healthcare and substance use disorder system and the NJ Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies. In both times of crisis --- most notably in the aftermath of 9/11, as well as the current pandemic --- and in more normal times, you have proven to be an exemplary leader and advocate.”

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Long before joining Trinitas five years ago, McCreath put himself through college working in a machine shop. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University, a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and a doctorate from New York University.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is an expression of gratitude for McCreath’s leadership role in launching the Hospital Community Integration Council, according to Wentz, “and for providing input for the development of programs that have inspired partnerships such as those through which Trinitas and Bayonne Community Mental Health Center, and other organizations are achieving a tremendous impact on individuals with multiple healthcare needs.” 

McCreath has two children, a step-daughter who is a respiratory therapist by training and works for a medical supply company and a son in his fourth year at Drexel Medical School.   

As a Center of Excellence, the Trinitas Department of Behavioral Health and Psychiatry offers a wide range of treatments for those facing the stress of daily living, the challenges of aging, building a health foundation for children, and finding alternatives to chemical dependency.

Over the past five decades, the department has grown into one of the largest hospital-based mental health centers in New Jersey offering the full continuum of care for adults, children, adolescents, and families alike. In addition to a 98-bed inpatient facility, Trinitas has a one-of-a-kind unit for mentally ill/developmentally disabled individuals.

The Trinitas Institute for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Allied Treatments is dedicated to providing clinical services, supervision, and training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and the allied therapies. Overall, Trinitas provides services to almost 200,000 behavioral health outpatient visits per year.