In April 2021, the Camden Coalition’s National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs initiative convened representatives from five ecosystems of care from around the country to participate in an 18-month Ecosystems Learning Collaborative. The Ecosystems Learning Collaborative was an action-oriented opportunity for teams to learn from peers and technical experts about how to rapidly expand and sustain cross-sector partnerships to address the needs of individuals with complex health and social needs in their communities.

This is the story of how one ecosystem of care — in Camden, New Jersey — was developed.

Ecosystem participants

Community of focus

People with behavioral health needs accessing care in emergency departments.

Ecosystem aim

Increase access to outpatient behavioral healthcare for individuals entering Camden City emergency departments with a behavioral health driver, with a goal that anyone who wanted would be able to attend a first appointment within 7 and 30 days. The ultimate aim was to improve the mental health landscape in the Camden region and to link patients to resources appropriate to their individual goals.


View the case study to learn how this ecosystem started, its successes and challenges, advice for others looking to build an ecosystem, and next steps.


Explore the other ecosystem case studies

Learn more about building ecosystems of care

Putting Care at the Center attendees holding the COACH fact sheet
Camden Coalition staff laugh in front of white board covered with post-its
Adding post-it to poster labeled "complex care ecosystem"

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