Treating Depression Without Medication
Trinitas/St. Joseph's Behavioral Health Network introduces new approach

Depression is a widespread and often debilitating anomaly. It goes beyond temporary sadness and can last indefinitely, robbing one of quality of life if not rendering people of all ages completely dysfunctional. In fact, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. People with depression often also suffer from anxiety disorders, which are different, but share similar symptoms like insomnia, the inability to concentrate, nervousness, and irritability.

If you’re one of the 15 million Americans with depression who either can’t tolerate, or don’t respond to medication, TMS therapy, a non-invasive treatment that uses magnetic fields to stimulate the brain, may be the antidote to your suffering.

FDA-cleared BrainsWay Deep TMS is a non-invasive treatment that stimulates the brain using magnetic fields similar to what is used for an MRI. The treatment has no systemic side effects and requires no hospitalization or anesthesia. To date, the therapy has been proven in more than 60 clinical trials worldwide.

The Trinitas-St. Joseph's Behavioral Health Network is partnering with HPR Treatment Centers (a division of TMS Centers of America) to offer TMS at two treatment facilities in Essex County by June, 2018, followed by another six sites throughout Northern NJ over the next year.

Despite being a newer treatment for depression, TMS is a proven option with impressive efficacy rates and research results.

"TMS is indicated for the treatment of adults with major depression who have not responded to at least one antidepressant," said Dr. Carlos Rueda, Chairman of Psychiatry for the Trinitas-St. Joseph's Behavioral Health Network. "We are excited to bring this therapy option to the residents of New Jersey, offering new hope for a complex condition."

"This partnership allows us to work with two of the leading medical institutions in the state to provide a comprehensive continuum of care to treat those suffering from depression," said Ben Klein, founder and CEO of HPR Treatment Centers. "We have been offering TMS to patients across the country and know firsthand the significant impact the treatment has on patients. We have seen people with depression who have lost hope regain it back when they achieve remission through TMS."

Half of the 15 million Americans with depression cannot tolerate or do not respond to antidepressant medication. And unlike medication, TMS has no systemic side effects and requires no hospitalization or anesthesia.

"Depression is believed to be caused by electrical dysfunction of one region of the brain, known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,” adds Dr. Rueda. “Through a highly focused and targeted magnetic stimulation, we’re able to boost the function of the brain in this region, allowing for a remission of the depression."

Because TMS is a non-drug, non-invasive treatment, patients are awake during the procedure and can get back to daily activities, including driving, immediately following the session.

"We are excited to work with HPR Treatment Centers to help Trinitas and St. Joseph's deliver optimal mental health solutions to their patients and partner with them in this initiative that will address a growing challenge in treating mental health patients," said Joe Perekupka, vice president at BrainsWay. "We are fortunate to partner with HPR Treatment Centers, as they have demonstrated true leadership in increasing access to Deep TMS for patients across the country. By providing the tools necessary to help these renowned facilities treat patients who are suffering from mental disorders, we are enabling better outcomes for patients."

For more information or to make an appointment, call 631-807-5759 - or visit the HPR Treatment Centers website at


Trinitas - St. Joseph's Behavioral Health Network

In response to the rapidly growing need for more coordinated mental health care services in New Jersey, Trinitas Regional Medical Center and St. Joseph's University Medical Center have launched the largest and most comprehensive Integrated Behavioral Health Network in Northern New Jersey. The new partnership will enhance access and continuity of care by ensuring patients receive services in the most appropriate setting for their complex behavioral health needs.

"One of the greatest challenges facing patients with mental health and substance health needs is getting into the right program -- that can offer them the greatest benefit," explains Dr. Carlos Rueda, Regional Chairman of Psychiatry/Behavioral Health of the new Trinitas-St. Joseph's Behavioral Health Network. "Both Trinitas and St. Joseph's offer a comprehensive array of behavioral health treatment centers, programs and services at dozens of outpatient and satellite facilities throughout the region. Now together, our newly combined network dramatically expands those access points and the opportunities for enhanced outcomes."

According to a report released in October 2016 by the New Jersey Hospital Association, patients with mental health and substance use disorders account for nearly half of the growth in hospital emergency room cases in New Jersey and are far outpacing the overall growth in emergency department use. The report goes on to note that treating individuals suffering from a mental health crisis in the emergency department can place stress on the patient and is not the best setting to handle their complex needs. At the same time, it places increased strain within the emergency department, adding to overcrowding, long waits and increased healthcare costs.

The Trinitas-St. Joseph's network includes primary medical care in the behavioral health continuum to engage patients at the onset of mental health and substance use issues, allowing for earlier diagnosis and referral in to the best possible treatment options.

An alarming report from the Centers for Disease Control contends that life expectancy for psychiatric patients is 25 years less than it is for non-psychiatric patients. "Mental health care has always been delivered in silos, with little regard to primary care," explained James McCreath, Vice President of Behavioral Health at Trinitas and Executive Director of the Network. "This dilemma is now being addressed by our two full-service hospitals, each with a broad range of medical specialties and behavioral health expertise." The lack of primary care among the mental health population has been recognized by the federal government, which recently awarded Trinitas a four-year, $1.6 million grant to operate a primary care clinic in their mental health center. "St. Joe's has also shown leadership in this arena, as evidenced by their new relationship with a major area primary care physicians’ practice," he added.

"By joining our two behavioral health programs, we now offer expanded access and treatment for patients that will move care away from emergency departments and into more appropriate settings," says Gary Horan, President and CEO, Trinitas Regional Medical Center. "The size and scope of the new behavioral health network will bring multiple benefits, including improved care coordination to ensure patients and their families are connected to the right programs for their unique needs."

"As two of the leaders in the State for behavioral health care, Trinitas and St. Joseph's are exceptionally positioned to respond to the growing mental health needs of New Jersey residents," says Kevin Slavin, President and CEO, St. Joseph's University Medical Center. "The strength of our new network will not only increase access to care in appropriate settings across three counties, it will result in better outcomes for patients as they move away from the current short-term acute care focus with independent services and programs, to a more patient-centered connected network designed to improve long-term health status."

Benefits of Trinitas-St. Joseph’s Behavioral Health:

• Connected services cover a larger geographic region (Union, Passaic & Essex Counties)

• Addresses the needs of all behavioral health groups - children, adolescents, adults and the elderly, as well as individuals with addiction or developmental disorders

• Reduces demands on emergency personnel and the cost of care

• Supports the shift to population health outcomes and value-based payment models

• Enhanced ability to partner with Health Plans/Insurers to improve access and care

• Expanded delivery and treatment approaches, such as telepsychiatry and medical homes

• One-Call patient access via Assessment Center and dedicated 800 Number

• Network services will be available to commercial, self-pay, Medicaid, and Medicare patients

• Multi-disciplinary treatment that includes medical, psychiatric, psychological, social work and related disciplines

For more information or to make an appointment, call 631-807-5759.


New Jersey Legislators Support St. Joseph’s ALTO® as National Opioid Solution

U.S. Senator Cory Booker, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. joined together for a press conference at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in April to address new legislation – The Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO®) in the Emergency Department Act – a bill that calls for setting national protocols for hospitals across the country in the fight against the opioid epidemic. The bill is based on our highly successful ALTO® program – implemented at St. Joseph’s in 2016.

“More often than not, it’s people in pain getting hooked on painkillers in their own medicine cabinets, prescribed by their own doctors that lead to addiction — Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin and others. Four out of five new heroin users started out initially misusing pain pills,” said Senator Bob Menendez.

“St. Joseph’s is providing emergency rooms across the country with a blueprint for preventing countless overdoses from happening in the first place,” added Congressman Bill Pascrell.

The Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO®) program uses targeted non-opioid medications, trigger point injections, nitrous oxide, and ultrasound guided nerve blocks to tailor its patients’ pain management needs and avoid opioids whenever possible, for example, in cases of kidney stones, acute low back pain, broken bones, acute headache and migraine pain. 

“Thousands of New Jersey patients and families have benefited from our Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO®) program since it launched in January 2016,” said Kevin J. Slavin, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health. “St. Joseph’s is proud to lead the way in providing a tangible solution to address the opioid epidemic here in New Jersey – and now across the country with this proposed legislation.”

The ALTO® program has gained interest from other hospitals and healthcare systems across the United States and the world, including Turkey, Israel and Switzerland, who are interested in replicating the model program.

“The opioid crisis in our country is staggering and epic in its evil.  As a result, we are seeing families and communities destroyed,” said Senator Cory Booker. “Right here in New Jersey, we know that the opioid epidemic does not discriminate against Democrats or Republicans, or suburban or urban areas. The work being done here at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center is innovative, it is inspiring, and it is a shining light against the darkness.”

“We launched ALTO two years ago to offer a real solution to a rapidly growing opioid epidemic,” said Mark Rosenberg, DO, Chairman of Emergency Medicine and Chief Innovation Officer, St. Joseph’s Health. “Since then, we have witnessed tremendous success using the ALTO protocols. I’m very proud to report that we have reduced opioid prescriptions by 82 percent here in the St. Joseph’s Emergency Department. We are stopping addiction before it starts.”



The Foundations' of St. Joseph's 2018 1st Annual Golf Classic

The Foundations’ of St. Joseph’s 2018 1st Annual Golf Classic

The St. Joseph’s University Medical Center Foundation and St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center Foundation have joined forces to offer our 1st annual combined Golf Classic. This exciting new event is designed to raise funds to support the hospitals that make up St. Joseph’s Health. The event will be held on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at the prestigious Montclair Golf Club. This year, golfers will have a choice to play one of two great golf courses, the Montclair Course or their Rock Spring Course. To learn more please click on the link below or call 973.956.3304.

We thank you in advance for your support of St. Joseph’s and look forward to seeing you at this year’s golf outing.


April is National Donate Life Month!

Please join St. Joseph's Health in celebrating National Donate Life Month as we encourage you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor. To raise awareness for organ and tissue donation and celebrate the generosity of donors – St. Joseph’s is participating in the national campaign #SaveNJLives to encourage more people to register as donors.



Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Chairman, Emergency Medicine, St. Joseph’s Health, recently testified before Congress on a new bill introduced by Congressman Bill Pascrell based on the St. Joseph’s ALTO® (Alternatives to Opioids) program. If approved, the new bill would earmark funds for the expansion of the St. Joseph’s ALTO® program all across the country.

Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Chairman of Emergency Medicine and Chief Innovations Officer for St. Joseph’s Health, recently testified before Congress in support of new legislation based on the St. Joseph’s ALTO® (Alternatives to Opioids) program.

The Energy & Commerce Congressional Subcommittee - Combating the Opioid Crisis: Prevention and Public Health Solutions – convened a panel of experts from various fields to hear testimony on over 25 bills submitted for consideration as they look for answers and options in addressing the national opioid epidemic.

One of the new legislative bills is The Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO®) in the Emergency Department Act, introduced by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Congressman Bill Pascrell to help boost resources for hospitals in the fight against opioid addiction. The New Jersey legislators were joined by representatives from West Virginia and Colorado in the bill’s submission, which features the original protocols established at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in 2016. If approved, the new bill would earmark funds for the expansion of the St. Joseph’s ALTO(sm) program across the country.

“We’re looking for what works in the fight against the opioid crisis,” said Congressman Earl L. "Buddy" Carter of Georgia. “I applaud you Dr. Rosenberg for your efforts and I am very interested in learning more about the ALTO® program.”

In the two years the program has been operational, ALTO® has decreased opioid prescriptions in the St. Joseph’s University Medical Center Emergency Department by 82%.

“It was an honor to testify before the Congressional Subcommittee on our ALTO® program and report on the results we’ve witnessed in two short years,” says Dr. Rosenberg. “It’s exciting to share the program with every state in the country and I am proud they are considering us as the standard for Opioid prescription reduction.”

In forming the Subcommittee on Health, Congress noted that the Opioid Epidemic is in our hospitals, in our living rooms, and on our streets – in communities across America, individuals and families are suffering from addiction, overdose, and loss of loved ones.

“We are grateful to our elected representatives for bringing ALTO® forward on a national level,” said Kevin Slavin, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health. “If other hospitals and communities can experience the same benefits we are witnessing through the ALTO® program, it could have a major impact well beyond our original vision.”



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