The Camden Coalition has grown dramatically over the last five years, from a small, Camden-based organization of about five people to a 90-person organization with national reach. In March 2016, we launched the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs and began the work of coalescing the field of complex care nationwide. This past month, we announced our strategic partnership with UnitedHealthcare that will enhance our local efforts in Camden. To better reflect the broadening scope of our work, we’re introducing new vision and mission statements for the organization.

Our new vision for the Camden Coalition’s work is more expansive than simply bending the cost curve in Camden. We are working toward a transformed healthcare system that ensures every individual receives whole-person care rooted in authentic healing relationships.

The idea of an “authentic healing relationship” was first written about in a qualitative research paper on the Camden Coalition’s care management model. We found that the most important thing that our care teams provide to our patients is not any particular service, but the relationship itself. The key elements of an authentic healing relationship are security, genuineness, and continuity. Authentic healing relationships are what help motivate patients to actively manage their health.

“I am so inspired by our vision and mission,” says Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, Executive Director of the Camden Coalition. “It’s rooted in so many of our core values and the long, hard lessons learned from spending fifteen years doing this work on the ground.”

Our mission has also been updated to include our growing national presence. In our new mission, we are aiming to spark a field and movement that unites communities of caregivers in Camden and across the nation to improve the wellbeing of individuals with complex health and social needs.

The word “caregivers” in our new mission is intentionally broad. Caregivers include traditional health care providers, social service providers, family members, community members, peer counselors, spiritual leaders, and more. Advancing care for patients with complex health and social needs will require caregivers of all kinds to work together in new and innovative ways.

The goal of improving the “wellbeing” of individuals with complex health and social needs, rather than improving their care, is also intentional. The data that will tell us if we have succeeded are not quality metrics of the care we’re providing, but whether our patients are well and thriving.

We are looking forward to working with our patients and our partners in Camden, throughout New Jersey, and across the country to make this ambitious vision and mission a reality.

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