Camden Coalition named 1 of 10 national winners of SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Equity Challenge

Challenge highlights “exciting approaches” to outreach and engagement with underserved individuals 

Care management & redesign Strengthening ecosystems of care Behavioral health & addiction Quality improvement

August 16, 2023

Lisa Miller, Director of Communications and Content Development
[email protected]

CAMDEN, NJ – The Camden Coalition has been selected as a winner in The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Behavioral Health Equity Challenge for its Pledge to Connect program. The Camden Coalition is one of ten awardees chosen among 427 submissions and one of four winners in the category of “strategies that address mental health.”

The Behavioral Health Equity Challenge sought to identify and highlight outreach and engagement strategies that increase access to behavioral health services for racial and ethnic underserved communities. In addition to strategies that address mental health, SAMHSA recognized the work of organizations working in substance abuse prevention and treatment.

“We are grateful to SAMHSA for their recognition of our Pledge to Connect project,” said Camden Coalition President and CEO, Kathleen Noonan. “This project is a result of the strong partnerships we have with our ecosystem partners. We are proud of our work together and excited that Pledge to Connect’s innovative approach to mental health equity has been recognized in this way.”

Launched in the spring of 2021, the Camden Coalition’s Pledge to Connect program seeks to improve access to outpatient behavioral health services for individuals who are seeking care from an emergency department, with the longer-term goal of ensuring access is available before an emergency visit occurs. The project is a regional collaboration with four health systems, two Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, and multiple community-based behavioral health providers across South Jersey. For more information on Pledge to Connect, visit




About the Camden Coalition

We are a multidisciplinary nonprofit working to improve care for people with complex health and social needs in Camden, NJ, and across the country. The Camden Coalition works to advance the field of complex care by implementing person-centered programs and piloting new models that address chronic illness and social barriers to health and well-being. Supported by a robust data infrastructure, cross-sector convening, and shared learning, our community-based programs deliver better care to the most vulnerable individuals in Camden and regionally.

Through our National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs (National Center), an initiative of the Camden Coalition, we connect complex care practitioners with each other and support the field with tools and resources that move complex care forward. 

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