Care Plus NJ received notification from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), that it was selected to implement a four year project to provide Integrated Primary and Behavioral Health Care Services. The project will provide capacity for fully integrated primary care services in the organization’s behavioral healthcare setting. Bergen County adults with serious mental illness that are linked with the organization will have access to services that are intended to improve well being. Thirteen awards for this type of project were made nationally. Care Plus NJ is expected to receive $2,000,000 over the four years for the project.
The need for this capacity has been growing over recent years. “There is a distinct trend in our adult seriously mentally ill (SMI) population having more frequent and serious physical health care needs than the general public. Notably, this includes obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease,” states Joseph A. Masciandaro, President/CEO of Care Plus NJ. “This is compounded by accessibility issues (transportation, providers accepting Medicaid) in obtaining routine physical health care as well as specialty care. The consumer’s lifestyles, often identified with poor nutrition, lack of exercise, cigarette smoking, alcohol use and history of taking psychotropic medications have contributed to their physical health problems as well.”
The overarching purpose of Care Plus NJ’s project is to improve the physical well being of individuals with serious mental illness. Approximately 200 unduplicated individuals will be served over the entire project period. This will be accomplished through a team of medical and behavioral health professionals working on site to assure access to basic healthcare, improving care for people with chronic health conditions, and promoting healthy lifestyles.
The project will be located at Care Plus NJ’s main facility at 610 Valley Health Plaza in Paramus. The organization will begin implementing services after October 1st. For further information call Kathleen Bianco, Project Director at (201) 265-8200.