The Camden Coalition is a multidisciplinary, community-based nonprofit working to improve care for people with complex health and social needs in the city of Camden, across New Jersey, and around the country. We develop and test care management models and redesign systems in partnership with consumers, community members, health systems, community-based organizations, government agencies, payers, and more, with the goal of achieving person-centered, equitable care.
As one of New Jersey’s four Regional Health Hubs, we work with regional partners, New Jersey’s Medicaid office, and other state agencies to expand data-sharing and collaboration between organizations so that patients across South Jersey experience seamless, whole-person care.
Celebrating 20 years of improving care
Our mission and vision
The Camden Coalition’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of people with complex needs by demonstrating and advancing equitable ecosystems of care. Our vision is transformed health and social systems that ensure every individual receives person-centered care rooted in authentic healing relationships.
By implementing person-centered programs and piloting new models that address chronic illness and social barriers to health and well-being, we work to deliver better care to those negatively affected by social determinants of health. Supported by a robust data infrastructure, cross-sector convening, and shared learning, our community-based programs address the complex health and social needs of the most vulnerable individuals in Camden and South Jersey.
Our two decades of community-based work has made us a leader in the growing field of complex care. Through our National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs initiative, we share best practices and lessons learned from our work on the ground in Camden, and convene others doing similar work across the country with the goal of advancing complex care programs on a national scale.
The Camden Coalition began in 2002, initially as a monthly breakfast meeting for primary care providers from across Camden, New Jersey to discuss how to improve care for Camden residents. That meeting continues in the form of our monthly Camden Care Management Meetings.
Over time, we narrowed our focus to the small population that we were seeing cycle in and out of emergency departments and hospital inpatient units without lasting improvements to their health and well-being. We developed the practice of “healthcare hotspotting” to identify these individuals with complex health and social needs, and the COACH framework to engage them in taking control of their health. These practices form the foundation of what became our Camden Core Model. Our founder Dr. Jeffrey Brenner was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship in 2013 for his work.
In 2020, the results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of our Camden Core Model conducted in partnership with researchers from J-PAL North America were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The RCT findings reinforced for us that complex care cannot be accomplished alone, and accelerated our work advocating for, building, and strengthening interconnected complex care ecosystems in Camden and across the country.
The Camden Coalition has always worked at both the individual and system levels to improve care for people with complex health and social needs. Our work coordinating care for individuals informs our policy and clinical redesign work on the local and state levels. We have also always sought to connect with and learn from others doing similar work in programs across the country.
In 2016, we launched our National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs initiative to catalyze the development of a nationwide field of complex care, based on our work in Camden and that of our partners across the country.
In 2019, our CEO Kathleen Noonan worked with other health-based nonprofits in New Jersey and Governor Phil Murphy to create Regional Health Hubs to strengthen data infrastructure across New Jersey and replicate our regional complex care ecosystem model on a state level. The Regional Health Hub legislation proved critical to our ability to quickly meet the needs of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.