Program bridges college and careers in medicine, public service

Every year, the Camden Coalition partners with the AmeriCorps Community Health Corps to connect the next generation of medical and public service professionals to patients in the Camden community. The experience provides valuable real-world experience for college graduates and teaches the Coalition’s care philosophies to future medical professionals and public servants.

Over the last year, ten AmeriCorps members served as health coaches. They coached frequently hospitalized Camden patients to health alongside nurses, social workers, and community health workers. They have also worked with partnering organizations CAMcare and Cooper University Hospital.

“By working directly with patients in their homes and the community, I have learned so much about the social barriers that often prevent patients from carrying out a physician’s orders. This experience has truly changed my perspective on patient care as I begin medical school,” Mark Morales, a 2014-15 health coach, said.

The AmeriCorps program is part of the Coalition’s efforts to educate and provide mentorship for the next generation of health care professionals in Camden (link to MA program) and beyond (link to PCP/AAMC project). Many of this year’s health coaches will continue building their careers in the Camden area, working and learning at CAMcare, Rowan University, Temple University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

A new cohort of 14 AmeriCorps members will begin their year of service in fall 2015.

Links:

More information on the Camden Coalition AmeriCorps program

Community Health Corps Overview

More information on AmeriCorps at the Corporation for National & Community Service

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