Frank Ghinassi Named Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health and Addictions Service Line at RWJBarnabas Health

Frank A. Ghinassi, president and chief executive officer of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC), has been appointed as senior vice president of Behavioral Health and Addictions Service Line at RWJBarnabas Health.

Ghinassi will maintain a dual role and continue to serve in his position at UBHC, reporting to Brian L. Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. In his new role, he will report to Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and chief executive officer of RWJBarnabas Health. The assets and employees of the respective organizations will remain intact and independent, with UBHC maintaining its fiduciary and operational responsibilities to the State of New Jersey.

Ghinassi’s new role is part of the ongoing integration between RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health, the top academic health care center in New Jersey, and demonstrates the partnership’s commitment to providing exceptional mental health care.

“Dr. Ghinassi is one of the nation’s leaders in behavioral health,” said Strom. “We are delighted to have him as our leader for University Behavioral Health Care, and his new role at RWJBarnabas Health is another example of the synergies between our two organizations and our ability to bring a new level of care to the people of New Jersey, to the nation and to the world.”

Ghinassi is also a professor at Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, an adjunct professor of psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Medical School and a member of the core faculty at Rutgers Global Health Institute.

Ostrowsky said the Behavioral Health and Addictions Service Line for RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University will “benefit from singular executive leadership, streamlining our strategic direction and operational excellence across both organizations.”

Ghinassi’s leadership will further position RWJBarnabas Health’s Behavioral Health and Addictions Service Line as a premier, comprehensive behavioral health provider, serving as the preferred destination for patients, their families and clinicians who seek high-quality, fully integrated and interdisciplinary behavioral health care throughout New Jersey.

As a leader in mental health care in New Jersey, RWJBarnabas Health is focused on providing unparalleled expertise and stigma-free behavioral health services. Its high-quality, cost-effective behavioral health programs provide services that not only help individuals address the challenges they currently face, but also help them thrive and maintain good health throughout life.

Before joining Rutgers, Ghinassi was the vice president for quality, patient safety, regulatory compliance and health information management at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian Shadyside, where he was a member of the executive management group. He also served as an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he helped to train psychiatric residents and doctoral psychology interns.

As a licensed psychologist and board-certified executive coach, Ghinassi previously served as chief of adult psychiatric services at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic/University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, clinical director of the mental health division of the May Institute in Boston and director of mood and anxiety partial hospitalization and residential services at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Ghinassi, who frequently speaks at national professional meetings and conferences, has been a member on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration planning committees, served on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services–commissioned technical expert panels and acted as chairman of the Quality and Performance Measurement Committee for the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems.

Ghinassi received a B.A. from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. from Duquesne University and a Ph.D. from the University of Akron. His research interests include evidence-based treatments for mood disorders, quality of care and performance measurement metrics and models for data feedback in changing practices in behavioral health.