Strengthening capacity for delivering better care

Staff of Providence St. Joseph Health interact at training session with Camden Coalition staff
April 11, 2019
Camden Coalition staff and Community Advisory Committee members participate at the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey’s Annual Legislative Day at New Jersey State House
July 18, 2019
Camden Coalition joins the call to fully fund the Affordable Housing Trust Fund
To help secure FY2020 funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, CAC members took part in HCDNNJ's Annual Legislative Day at the NJ State House.
Whitney Buchmann
July 16, 2019
From siloed systems to ecosystem: The evolution of the Camden Coalition’s complex care model
In this four-part series, we describe the phases of our care model as we addressed challenges and tested new solutions.
Kathleen Noonan and Kelly Craig
July 15, 2019
Graduates of Interfaith Homeless Outreach Council program reflect on their fresh start
Now in its 28th year, the Interfaith Homeless Outreach Council — or IHOC — has transformed countless lives.
Bill Nice
Camden Coalition care team member helps patient fill medication box.
July 11, 2019
Bringing it home: The shift in where healthcare is delivered
In this blog post for JAMA Forum, Lauran Hardin and Diana Mason write about two new opportunities to incentivize innovative complex care models.
Lauran Hardin and Diana Mason
Patient gives Camden Coalition care team member a hug during a home visit
July 3, 2019
New Jersey FY 2020 budget renews support for Camden Coalition’s Housing First program and officially recognizes organization as Regional Health Hub
New Jersey leaders have taken an important step toward better health outcomes across the state.
Kathleen Noonan
Kathleen Noonan speaking to graduates in caps and gowns
June 11, 2019
Bridging the public health-healthcare divide for better outcomes
The public health field has an opportunity right now to influence the traditional healthcare model in ways it has not in a very long time.
Kathleen Noonan

Camden Coalition partners with Providence St. Joseph Health to train staff in complex care techniques

By Gayle Christiansen

Last fall, I traveled to Seattle with my colleagues Renee Murray and Jeneen Skinner to train over 60 caregivers from Providence St. Joseph Health in COACH, the Camden Coalition’s framework for building authentic healing relationships with patients and empowering them to take control of their health. The two-day training marked the beginning of our new partnership with Providence St. Joseph Health, a nonprofit health system serving low-income  and vulnerable residents in Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. One of the nation’s largest healthcare providers, Providence St. Joseph Health is pivoting to delivering consumer-driven services that facilitate whole person care, including addressing the social and behavioral health needs of their patients.

In addition to teaching caregivers about the COACH model, we trained 16 supervisors in RELATE, the Coalition’s reflective method for supervising caregivers who work directly with patients with complex needs. RELATE helps managers build staff resilience so that staff can cope with the emotional impact of working with patients who have complex needs. The training helps supervisors think creatively about how to address challenges — in effect, reducing staff frustration and burnout.

“While our care managers are all well-qualified, many have said that they are less comfortable with addressing social determinants and behavioral health needs than they are with addressing medical needs,” said Bayley Raiz, Executive Director of Mental Health and Social Care Management at Providence St. Joseph Health. “This is where the COACH and RELATE models have played a pivotal role.”

Since the training began, we’ve held monthly case conference calls with Providence St. Joseph Health caregivers and regular virtual coaching sessions with their supervisors. On a recent case conference, a care manager asked Renee and Jeneen for guidance on how to help their patient stay on track with his goals. “We touched on connecting the patient’s long-term goals to daily tasks, understanding what he has found helpful in the past, and what has derailed him from meeting his goals,” said Jeneen. “We also talked about the networks and resources in his life that can help him succeed and overcome the challenges he faces, given his history of PTSD and his recent loss of a family member to the opioid crisis.”

Case conferencing calls help participants take what they learned in the training and implement those learnings into interactions with patients, said Renee. “The calls carve out a safe space for collaborative discussion and reflective processing. They highlight how COACH and RELATE come to life between the caregivers and patient, or between the caregiver and supervisor.”

She added, “By sharing patient stories in our case conferences and having regular check-ins with leadership, we’ve been able to better understand the common barriers that many patients face in healthcare and discuss how improvements can be made.”

Participant feedback in post-training surveys was overwhelmingly positive, with 88% reporting that they would recommend the COACH training to others. “Using the COACH model, our caregivers now have additional tools to better meet their patients’ needs holistically,” said Bayley. “Meanwhile, supervisors now have a way to help caregivers through difficult patient situations — stressful situations that can take a toll on caregivers. Offering both COACH and RELATE has enabled our care managers to show up each and every day and make a real difference.”

It can often be challenging to get executive buy-in for organizational culture change, but the system leaders at Providence St. Joseph Health are embracing the shift. “They are really interested in incorporating a patient-centered approach,” said Renee. “They also care deeply about building a resilient workforce who know how to problem solve and build strong relationships with their patients to address the root causes of health challenges.”

As we partner with organizations across the country that serve people with complex needs in their communities, we’re finding that vulnerable populations face strikingly similar barriers to good health, whether they’re in Spokane, Anchorage, or Camden. We look forward to working with future cohorts from Providence St. Joseph Health and sharing our models to help their staff deliver the best care possible.  

To learn more about how your organization can access coaching, expert advising, and training through the Camden Coalition, visit

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