Camden Coalition celebrates its 15th anniversary

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On our birthday, we announced the launch of four new Student Hotspotting Hubs in California, Utah, Illinois, and Pennsylvania


Health care providers, administrators, funders, and community members from across New Jersey gathered at the Camden County Boathouse on September 7 to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, founded in 2002 by MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Dr. Jeffrey Brenner.

“We’ve created a lasting and meaningful impact on the Camden community and the health of patients around the country,” interim CEO Jared Susco said in his remarks to the approximately 200 attendees. “Thanks to your hard work and dedication to the Camden Coalition’s cause, we have worked directly with hundreds of patients facing complex health and social needs and have broken down system-wide barriers in the city, state, and nation, improving the lives of countless others in the process.”


Training the next generation in the art of hotspotting

Jared also announced the launch of four new Student Hotspotting Hubs that will work to transform American health care by training the next generation of professionals working in the health care arena in the science and art of hotspotting. “The new Hotspotting Hubs are taking our model and what we learned in Camden, and bringing it across the U.S.,” said Jared. “We are excited about all that the future holds for the movement and the field.”

The launch of the new Hotspotting Hubs will more than double the number of students trained per year in our Student Hotspotting program. The four hubs will act as ambassadors of the Coalition’s care model, helping to propel the complex care movement in their communities. The four Hotspotting Hubs are in Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA; University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT; Southern Illinois University in Springfield, IL; and Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA.

In the US, five percent of the population accounts for about 50 percent of health care costs, and one percent of the population accounts for 20 percent of health care costs. Healthcare hotspotting is the identification and engagement of these most expensive patients, whose unmet complex health and social needs land them repeatedly in the emergency room and hospital. Student Hotspotting, pioneered by the Camden Coalition in 2014, trains the next generation of professionals to work in interdisciplinary teams to connect the most difficult patients to the care and support they need to stay healthy.

In addition to publicly announcing the launch of the new Student Hotspotting Hubs, Jared shared with the audience our newest achievement: We have reached our longtime goal of enrolling 850 patients in our first randomized control trial. The study, run in partnership with health economists at MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, evaluates the effect of our care management initiatives on participants’ hospital readmission rate, compared to that of a control group receiving routine care. Randomized evaluations are widely viewed as the most rigorous and unbiased method of testing the success of a program.


“Journey from brand new organization to complex care innovator”

The Camden Coalition was founded by Dr. Jeffrey Brenner in 2002 as a breakfast group for local health care providers, but quickly became focused on identifying and engaging the health care system’s sickest and most expensive patients, and creating new models of care to meet these patients’ complex needs. Since then, the Coalition has developed deep community partnerships and recruited 31 member organizations from across Camden. Eighty percent of primary care providers in Camden participate in our Medicaid Accountable Care Organization, and through the work of our care teams, we have been able to engage over 1,000 of the highest utilizing patients in Camden.

“It’s been an honor to work with the Camden Coalition during their journey from a brand new organization to a complex care innovator with a nationally-recognized model,” said Susan Mende, Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a key partner since 2007. “The work of the Coalition is truly impacting how care is delivered across the country.”

Together with our community partners, the Coalition used the anniversary celebration to honor the legacy of our founder, Dr. Brenner. Dr. Brenner, who was a family doctor in Camden when he founded the Coalition in 2002, pioneered the concept of healthcare hotspotting in Camden and received the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2013 for his work.

“This work is just so meaningful and full of lots of friends and colleagues over the years, and it means a lot to me that all of you are here,” said Dr. Brenner. “The folks who have funded us are friends, all of our different colleagues across New Jersey, the staff and folks who have been here a long time since the beginning, our hospital partners—there have been so many people who have come through along the way.”

Closing his remarks, Dr. Brenner added, “We’re fifteen years into this. There’s a lot of work left to do, not only in Camden but across the country. I don’t think we should rest until every patient who is complicated and sick gets the care they need, and that’s going to be a long, long time. It’s going to take lots of friends and allies in our efforts.”

The Camden Coalition’s growth hit an important milestone last year with the launch of the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs to bring the learnings from the Coalition and similar organizations across the country to a national audience. In November, the National Center will hold its second annual conference, “Putting Care at the Center,” in partnership with Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. As our national profile grows, the Coalition remains steadfast in our commitment to the city of Camden and the patients we serve.

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