Developing a Culture of Health in Camden

June 15, 2015
National Consumer Scholars sit thoughtfully around a table as one participant talks and gestures with his hand.
October 7, 2022
Understanding preferred language for ‘people with lived experience’
We surveyed fifteen participants in our consumer leadership programs to learn what language they liked — and disliked — to describe their role.
Evelyne Kane, Senior Program Manager, Community Engagement & Capacity Building
Renee talks to care team members in the Camden Coalition office
September 27, 2022
RELATE: Helping supervisors support their frontline staff — and prevent burnout
Learn about our new stand-alone training, designed specifically for supervisors of frontline complex care team members.
Paula Derrow, Freelance Writer
Marisol writes in a notebook after talking on the phone with a patient
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Building genuine patient relationships over the phone
The pandemic and a telephonic social needs navigation program showed how to build authentic healing relationships over the phone.
Marisol Caban, Associate Director of Care Management Initiatives
Author Avani Kashyap at the Camden waterfront
August 31, 2022
Good intentions aren’t enough: Escaping the mindset of poverty porn
A Camden Coalition summer intern reflects on the difference between idealism and solidarity.
Avani Kashyap, Student, Washington and Lee University
Camden Coalition staff members cheer with their hands raised at the end of a team huddle
August 23, 2022
Strengthening ecosystems of care is the future of the complex care field and the way to address social drivers of health
Care coordination on a person-by-person basis is only the first step — which is why ecosystems are at the center of our 2022-2025 strategic plan.
Kathleen Noonan, President and CEO
A patient holds her baby
July 27, 2022
Supporting pregnant and parenting people who use drugs: A new toolkit and webinar
Everyone deserves access to quality healthcare and social support without the fear of criminalization.
Emily Wasuna, Program Manager for Field Building and Resources; Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro, Content Manager, Overdose Prevention Program at Vital Strategies

Dr. Brenner Advocates for ‘An Outbreak of Health and Well-Being’

Camden community leaders, convened by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), shared their vision for a “Culture of Health” in the city at a forum on May 7. The event was part of a multi-city series of RWJF-sponsored events focused on envisioning and creating a Culture of Health across the United States.

During a moderated panel discussion, Jeffrey C. Brenner, MD, executive director of the Camden Coalition, described the Coalition’s efforts to move towards a Culture of Health in the city by reducing hospital visits by the most complex patients and re-aligning the health care system to better meet their needs.

“We are wasting a whole lot of money on disorganized care for the most complex and sickest patients,” Brenner said. “Ultimately, sustaining a Culture of Health is going to require thinking differently about how we spend our money. We hope to cause an ‘outbreak of health and well-being’ through better care coordination and engagement models for the sickest patients. Then we can take that money and free it up to work upstream.”

Camden Mayor Dana Redd spoke about her role in creating a Culture of Health as the city’s lead elected official. “Part of my job is to help break down silos, and make sure that everyone gets a spot around the table, collaborating with the city and with each other to help make healthy choices available.”

Brenner and Redd were joined by four other leaders helping develop a Culture of Health in Camden: Kim F. Fortunato, JD (director of Healthy Communities for Campbell Soup Company), Joseph Conway, EdD, MA (founder, Camden’s Charter School Network), Anthony J.  Perno, III, Esq. (CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership), and Donald F. Schwarz, MD, MPH, MBA, director, RWJF.

In addition to the moderated panel, the forum included presentations from a number of community stakeholders who are building a Culture of Health across numerous sectors, including health care, social services, transportation, public health, housing, and business development:

  • Patricia DeShields, CEO, Project HOPE
  • Paymon Rouhanifard, superintendent, Camden City School District
  • Ana Ramos, NJ food access coordinator, The Food Trust
  • Karen Talarico, executive director, Cathedral Kitchen
  • Valeria Galarza, co-director, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids – Camden
  • Pilar Hogan-Closkey, executive director, St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society
  • Raymond Lamboy, executive director, Latin American Economic Development Association, Inc.
  • Elsa Candelario, executive director, Hispanic Family Center of Southern NJ, Inc.
  • Matt Norris, South Jersey coordinator, Tri-State Transportation Campaign



More information on the event from RWJF

Additional resources on RWJF’s work in New Jersey

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