The National Center is a place where experts come together, share their learning, redesign systems of care and develop practices and tools to support those who need it most, said Mavis Asiedu-Frimpong, director for national initiatives at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers.
The National Center is a place where experts come together, share their learning, redesign systems of care and develop practices and tools to support those who need it most, says Mavis Asiedu-Frimpong, director for national initiatives at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers.
What is the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs?
The National Center was conceived of a couple of years ago, and it’s really building upon the foundation of the work that we have done in Camden [New Jersey]. So, over and over again in Camden we were seeing that we were serving people who had medical needs, behavioral health needs, and social needs that were not being served adequately by the systems.
And it came to our attention that we weren’t the only ones dealing with this issue; that there were pockets of places across the country that were doing this work, that were centering individuals with lived experience within the programs that they were designing. And that we could really benefit—we, the community of complex care advocates and stakeholders could really benefit from a place where experts come together and share their learning where we develop practices and tools to support the field, as we call it now.
And so, the National Center is really a place where all of that comes together, where people who are across the different communities that we work with from individuals’ lived experience to social work to healthcare to behavioral health can come together and really redesign systems of care around people that need it most.
How does the National Center work with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers to test new models of team-based care?
So, the National Center itself doesn’t test models. We fall underneath the Camden Coalition, which tests models all the time. And so, we have a fantastic patient-facing staff that works with individuals with learned experience every day to assist them in really developing plans that reflect what they mean when they say being healthy. And so, that is happening on the ground every day with our patient-facing staff.
They also have programs here that target specific areas that we found to be pain points for the individuals that we serve and the systems that they are served by. So, we have a housing first program that focuses on housing. We have a reset program that really supports jail-involved individuals, as well. And so, those pilot programs and the work that we’re doing out in Camden every day is really where a lot of that testing happens in terms of team-based integrated care.
But we also have staff that are out in the field and working with systems to help them think about their data and what it’s telling them about the individuals that they serve, looking around in their communities to resources that are yet untapped and designing and codesigning complex care ecosystems and services and practices and programs that will work better for the people that they’re serving.
And so, I wanted to make sure to couple the work that the Camden Coalition is doing locally with the work some of our other subject matter experts are doing out in the field to really work with systems to do things better and then also extract the generalizable principles and teaching and training tools from that and really disseminate those more lively.