Camden Coalition adds first “non-local” Trustee to Board

In December, the Camden Coalition Board of Trustees voted unanimously to extend an invitation to Toby Douglas to serve as a Trustee.

Jill Waldbieser

Strengthening ecosystems of care

In 2022, the Camden Coalition Board of Trustees changed our bylaws to open our Board to members living or working outside of South Jersey. The change reflects a priority of the Coalition’s 2022-2025 strategic plan to align our local and national work in order to maximize our impact and accelerate scaling of best practices.

In December, the Camden Coalition Board of Trustees voted unanimously to extend an invitation to Toby Douglas, Senior Vice President of Medicaid at Kaiser Permanente, to serve as a Trustee beginning in 2023. Kaiser Permanente is recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of its members and the communities it serves.

“Toby brings the right mix of nonprofit and government leadership, with both local and national experience, to fit right into the culture of the Camden Coalition board, and contribute significantly to our knowledge and strategy,” says Kathleen Noonan, President & CEO.

As our first non-local Board member, Toby offers a wealth of knowledge and experience in integrated healthcare and Medicaid policy that will help the Camden Coalition expand its reach and help provide access to diverse communities nationwide.

“I am looking forward to assisting the Camden Coalition in impacting more lives on a broader scale beyond the geographic reach of Camden,” says Toby.

“We are so pleased Toby accepted the appointment to our Board of Trustees. We intend to leverage his expertise in state policy and Medicaid to refine how we help design and advocate for systems change on behalf of those with complex health and social needs,” says Lou Bezich, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Cooper University Health Care and Chair of the Camden Coalition Board of Trustees. “We are also happy to strengthen our connection with our longtime partner and champion, Kaiser Permanente, in this way. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the organization on research, education, policy, and care delivery.”

An early national partner

Since its inception in 2002, the Camden Coalition has grown from a local breakfast group among providers and community organizers into an independent non-profit focused initially in Camden City, and eventually becoming the home of the National Center of Complex Health and Social Needs.

Kaiser Permanente has been a national partner of the Camden Coalition for many years — their leaders have served on the National Center’s advisory committee since it launched in 2016. Kaiser Permanente was also the first co-host of the National Center’s annual conference, Putting Care at the Center, which took place in Los Angeles in 2017. Our organizations regularly exchange ideas and collaborate on projects, including recent work on research methodology for complex care studies, curriculum development for the frontline complex care workforce, and policy and practice around integrating social needs.

Helping to expand our reach

In his role at Kaiser Permanente, Toby has been integral to his organization’s push to strengthen the safety net in California and help ensure the success of the state’s CalAIM program.

“Working at an integrated healthcare delivery system in this capacity has given me additional perspective into complex care,” says Toby. “Increasingly, top leaders of organizations are looking for guidance about how to best position themselves with respect to new opportunities within Medicaid, whether its new requirements for D-SNPs, providing truly person-centered, whole person care management, or integrating community-based organizations as partners to address social needs within their ecosystem. My goal is to help expose others in California and across the country to the Camden Coalition’s expertise through training, technical assistance, and thought leadership.”

Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Toby served as chief deputy director for the California Department of Health Care Services Medi-Cal (Medicaid, in California) program. He previously worked in the San Mateo County Health Services and hospital delivery system in California. Earlier in his career, Toby served in the AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America program as a community organizer and direct service provider, and he also spent time in southeastern Montana on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, where he helped start a food bank.

“There is a clear place for Camden Coalition to support the implementation of the massive system changes in Medicaid, like those in Cal-AIM and other states, to ensure that they are effective and meet the lives of the people they are intended to help,” says Toby. “Camden Coalition is a public good that understands the community and understands the best way to deliver that care.”