Super-Utilizer Fellows Reflect on a Year of Service with the Coalition

May 14, 2013
April 1, 2021
New brief: Lessons from our maternal health care management pilot
In this newly published brief, two Camden Coalition care team members share lessons from Camden Delivers, our maternal health care management pilot.
Michelle Adyniec, RN, BSN, and Jessica Cordero, MA, CHW
March 25, 2021
How can state officials help dismantle structural racism? Lessons from New Jersey
Read the adapted welcome remarks by our CEO Kathleen Noonan for “Dismantling Systemic Racism in Pennsylvania State Agencies".
Kathleen Noonan
March 10, 2021
Addressing concerns about COVID-19 variant strains
Dr. Jubril Oyeyemi addresses concerns about the new variant strains of the COVID-19 virus in this short video.
Jubril Oyeyemi
February 19, 2021
Using the complex care core competencies to support treatment for substance use disorders
Our National Center and Clinical Redesign teams worked together to adapt the complex care core competencies for two NJ SUD navigation programs.
Dayna Fondell, Shelby Kehoe, Rebecca Koppel, Mouy Pan
February 8, 2021
Camden Promise Neighborhood’s School Based Health Center fosters health and learning
Camden Promise Neighborhood operates a health clinic within a local school to address the health needs of its students.
Evelyne Kane and Aaron Truchil of the Camden Coalition; Candice Dias and Louis Klein of Camden Promise Neighborhood at Center For Family Services
January 27, 2021
Addressing COVID-19 vaccine concerns
Dr. Jubril Oyeyemi addresses concerns he is hearing about the COVID vaccine in this short video!
Jubril Oyeyemi

By Drs. Steve Sluck and Stephanie Watkins

Our year with Camden Healthcare Coalition and Abigail House hasn’t just made us better doctors, it’s made us better people.

Care systems and the health care professionals within them too often forced to approach patients as problems to be solved: the day is busy, discharges are made quickly, and little high level tactical solutions can be applied to high risk and high user patient groups. Symptoms lead to a diagnosis and then a treatment. But patients are more than textbook problems: sometimes treatment works better or worse than expected. Sometimes a patient doesn’t take their prescribed medication as directed; sometimes they take the wrong one or too much. All too often the same patients are readmitted numerous times for the same ailments without any in-depth exploration of why.

Our fellowship at Abigail House has allowed us to take in the 5000-foot view on a patient as a whole person. We investigate high use patients in the context of their entire lives, how they feel about their health care experience and how it affects their personal health choices. To see how the real source of illness might be something a blood test can’t identify: difficulty of communication, emotional isolation, poverty, or discouragement with the possibility of actually getting better.

One patient we interacted with at Abigail House had never been to the hospital before. And then in a six-month period, they went into the hospital, back home, into rehab, home again, and into rehab a second time. Six different care settings in six months. Naturally this person was confused and discouraged. It’s a common situation and one that highlights the breakdown in coordination between care-giving organizations.

We’ve had the great fortune of working with a dedicated and immensely talented network at both Abigail House and the Camden Coalition, including a behaviorist, pharmacist, psychologist, social work student, pharmacy student, risk care manager, data scientists, lawyers, and passionate, hard-working care teams and nurses.  However, perhaps the most valuable factor in patient’s health is a caring, supportive family. Particularly for patients with cognitive deficits, the difference family support can make is enormous.

We have learned a great deal in our fellowship activities so far, but even more exciting is the work yet to be done. We both know this perspective altering experience will enrich our medical work throughout our careers. We also hope that fellows at Abigail House in future years can create and execute specific intervention approaches based on our research.

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