February 11, 2010
For Immediate Release

Contact: Julia Bey Ahmet
973-463-9600 (x303)


Gladstone TavernParsippany, NJ – J. Michael Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer of Community Hope, has been named one of six of the nation’s Behavioral Health Champions by Behavioral Healthcare Magazine.  With more than 35 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare and addiction fields, Armstrong was selected from dozens of nominations received for the awards, which will be presented at the SECAD conference in Nashville, Tennessee on February 22, 2010. 
“What’s surprising about our Champions . . . is not their heartfelt passion for the work, but the fact that they, in their own gentle ways, are remarkably tenacious, entrepreneurial and determined,” said Dennis Grantham, Senior Editor of Behavioral Healthcare Magazine.  “They have invested patient decades, urging and helping their respective organizations to grow.  They have taken risks, championing investment in once-unproven ideas.”

          Armstrong joined Community Hope in 1999, expanding the agency’s programs from serving 52 individuals with mental illness to today serving 300.  Among a handful of initiatives he successfully developed is the Hope for Veterans Program. In 2004, he led the opening of the largest program in New Jersey for veterans homeless as a result of mental illness and substance abuse.  Community Hope’s 95-bed transitional housing program won national acclaim from the Mutual of America Foundation with its Community Partnership Award as a model to be replicated across the country to address widespread homelessness among veterans.

          Prior to joining Community Hope, Armstrong served as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of SERV Centers of New Jersey, Inc.  Previously, he was SERV’s Vice President of Addiction Services and held various positions at Elizabeth General Medical Center (now Trinitas Hospital) in Elizabeth and the former Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield.  He holds an MBA degree from Rutgers University and an MA in Counseling and a BA in Psychology from Appalachian State University in his home state of North Carolina.

          Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Community Hope was formed as a private nonprofit organization in 1985 under the name Project Hope by family members and mental health professionals seeking a safe haven in the community where young adults could continue their recovery from chronic mental illness.