A Timeline of Our Work

At the Camden Coalition, we’re celebrating 15 years of work toward better health at lower cost in Camden and beyond. Take a look back at how far we’ve come.


— January: Camden Healthcare Providers Breakfast Planning Meetings begin, hosted by Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, then a family physician in a private practice in Camden, and Carol Wolff, Executive Director of Camden Area Health Education Center (AHEC). The Breakfast Meetings were envisioned as a way for frustrated primary care providers from across the city to meet and discuss how to improve care for Camden residents.

— August: The Breakfast Planning Meeting group launches a lead testing initiative: a pilot project to increase the lead screening of Medicaid enrolled children under the age of six in Camden.

— Dr. Brenner begins working with CamConnect, a nonprofit that was working to democratize access to data in Camden, in order to analyze hospital claims data to try to pinpoint which patients in Camden were receiving the costliest, most inefficient care.

— July: Dr. Brenner and Sue Liu, an administrator at Cooper Hospital, incorporate the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers as part of Cooper University Health Care in order to apply for grant funding.


— The Camden Coalition receives initial grant funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

— The first Camden Care Management Meeting is held.

— With the RWJF funding, the first care team members are hired and start picking up patients.

— May: Dr. Brenner closes his family practice to focus full-time on the work of the Camden Coalition.

— Two residential buildings in Camden, low-income housing tower Northgate II and nursing home Abigail House, were identified through data analysis as the first “hotspots.” As reported in the New Yorker, “nine hundred people in the two buildings accounted for more than four thousand hospital visits and about two hundred million dollars in health-care bills.”

— The Camden Coalition receives a major grant from the Merck Foundation to work towards better care for patients with diabetes in Camden.


— October: The Camden Coalition launches the city’s first Health Information Exchange (HIE), which allows the city’s primary care providers to instantly see when their patients are hospitalized or visit the emergency room. Dr. Brenner, quoted in the NJ Spotlight, said: “Sick people are getting better care. You don’t have to repeat tests that have already been done, and you can make quicker decisions because you know what has happened recently, especially with patients who can’t articulate the care they have gotten.”


— January: “The Hot-Spotters,” a landmark article by Atul Gawande, is published in the New Yorker.

— March: A medical clinic opens at Northgate II, one of the original “hotspots” identified through hospital claims data.

— May: Atul Gawande interviews Dr. Brenner for a PBS Frontline episode.

— The Coalition care team model switches from a nurse practitioner (NP)-led model to a registered nurse (RN)-led model. This shift was made because having an NP who could prescribe medications on the team made patients too dependent on the care team and reluctant to transition to long-term primary care.

— July: The Camden Coalition begins its Americorps health coach program.

— August: A bill that enables the creation of Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in New Jersey is signed into law by Governor Christie. The new law is the result of advocacy by the Camden Coalition and state partners.


— July: The Camden Coalition receives a six million dollar Healthcare Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to expand and refine our Care Management Initiatives.

— The Coalition enrollment model changes from community outreach to enrollment at the hospital bedside.

— December: The Camden Coalition moves to its current home in the Bridgeview building at 800 Cooper Street.


— The Camden Coalition receives approval as a 501(c)(3).

— April: The Camden Coalition launches the Good Care Collaborative (GCC), a statewide coalition to advocate for sensible Medicaid reform and models of good care.

— September: Dr. Brenner is named a MacArthur Fellow in recognition of his healthcare hotspotting work.

— December: The Camden Coalition finalizes its first shared savings agreement with UnitedHealthcare in preparation for its designation as a Medicaid ACO.


— January: The 7-Day Pledge, now the cornerstone of the work of the Camden Coalition ACO, launches as an AmeriCorps service project.

— March: A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) is launched in partnership with MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) as a rigorous evaluation of our care management intervention.

— March: The first meeting of the Camden Coalition’s Community Advisory Council is held.

— July: The Camden Coalition splits off from Cooper University Health to become an independent nonprofit organization.

— The Camden Coalition defines its initial five core values: Compassion and Respect, Innovation, Communication and Collaboration, Servant Leadership, and Data Driven.

— July: The underlying principles of the Camden Coalition’s care model are formalized into the COACH framework. COACH stands for:
Connect task with vision and priorities
Observe the normal routine
Assume a coaching style
Create a backwards plan
Highlight progress with data

— July: In partnership with Primary Care Progress and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Camden Coalition launches the Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Learning Collaborative, a program for health professional students to form interdisciplinary teams and practice healthcare hotspotting in their communities.

— October- The Camden Coalition launches Faith in Prevention, an initiative to improve community health by harnessing existing faith-based networks.


— January: Camden ARISE, the Camden Coalition’s integrated data program, partners with the Camden County Police to combine and analyze healthcare and criminal justice data in order to get a fuller picture of the challenges facing Camden residents.

— February: The Camden Coalition launches a Medical Assistant training program for Camden high school students, in partnership with the Rowan-Rutgers Board of Governors. The first cohort of trainees is inducted into the program.

— July: The Camden Coalition is one of three New Jersey healthcare organizations certified as the state’s first Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

— November: Camden ARISE partners with the Camden school system to add school attendance data to its integrated data system.

— November: The Camden Coalition launches its Housing First pilot program with 50 state-supplied housing vouchers for patients experiencing homelessness. Eligible patients begin to be housed in November and December of 2015. As Dr. Brenner has noted, “Housing is the best pill, the best scan, more powerful than surgery.”

— December: Following years of hard work by the Camden Coalition advocacy and data teams and our community partners, the state of New Jersey releases an improved RFP for Medicaid transportation, the first step towards improving a broken system for patients who need assistance getting to and from medical appointments.


— March: The Camden Coalition announces the launch of the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs, funded by 8.7 million dollars from the Atlantic Philanthropies, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and AARP.

— April: The South Jersey Behavioral Health Innovation Collaborative (SJBHIC), a joint initiative of five South Jersey hospital systems to improve care for patients with unmet behavioral health needs, releases its year one findings in a report authored by the Camden Coalition.

— May: The Camden Coalition partners with social service search platform Aunt Bertha to launch a customized, comprehensive social services search tool for the Camden region.

— July: The Camden Coalition finalizes its sixth core value, Diversity and Inclusion.

— December: The Camden Coalition Health Information Exchange (HIE) begins receiving data from major regional HIE NJSHINE.

— December: The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs is formally launched with its first national conference, Putting Care at the Center, which gathered close to 500 attendees from across the country to begin creating a shared national agenda for the field of complex care.


 January: The Camden Coalition launches a new Vision and Mission for the organization that encompasses our local and national work, and grounds the organization’s philosophy in the idea of authentic healing relationships.
Camden Coalition Vision: A transformed healthcare system that ensures every individual receives whole-person care rooted in authentic healing relationships.
Camden Coalition Mission: 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.

— January: The Camden Coalition announces a $15M strategic partnership with UnitedHealthcare, and Coalition founder Dr. Jeffrey Brenner’s departure from the Camden Coalition to join UnitedHealthcare to head their new myConnections program.