Renee Murray Explains Camden Coalition's Flexible Team Structure

The Camden Coalition has hospital-based, community-based, and social work teams that work together to build relationships with patients, said Renee Murray, associate clinical director of Care Management Initiatives at Camden Coalition. Although each team member has a specialized role, they all pick up skills and learn from one another.

The Camden Coalition has hospital-based, community-based, and social work teams that work together to build relationships with patients, said Renee Murray, associate clinical director of Care Management Initiatives at Camden Coalition. Although each team member has a specialized role, they all pick up skills and learn from one another.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What teams does the Camden Coalition utilize and what work do they each do?

Our community-based intervention is a multidisciplinary team. We’re made up of registered nurses, program managers, program assistants, social workers, psychologists, community health workers, a whole myriad of people. We need all hands on deck when we’re doing this work.

So the team, we have a hospital-based team that goes out and meets the patient at the bedside. Enduring this catalytic moment, they’re laying in the hospital for an event that just happened to them, very vulnerable but maybe very open to change at this moment. And we deploy our hospital-based team, which is made up of a social worker and 2 enrollment specialists, and that’s the team that’s really building relationships, starting to build that foundational relationship that we feel is so crucial with moving any intervention forward in our work.

Then we have our community-based team, which is made up of RNs [registered nurses], LPNs [licensed practical nurses], and community health workers [CHWs]. So each person, it’s a dyad. So an RN is paired up with a community health worker, an LPN is paired up with a community health worker, and we have 4 teams structured that way. That’s the team that’s going out into the community, whether that’s the patient’s home, or to the shelter, or to the public library, wherever it is that the patient asks us to meet them, that’s that team structure.

And they’re really just working off of one another. So obviously the RN or the LPN is taking more of that clinical approach, and the community health worker is doing more of tracking and helping to do appointments and stuff like that, but also engaging with the patient. But they’re really playing off of each other. Each has their own roles and responsibilities, but each one flexes both ways as well. You have to be very flexible when you’re working in a dyad. You know what’s expected of you but you can also cross over. So that’s what they’re doing, in addition to both people, the RN, the LPN, or the CHW. They’re really just maintaining that relationship and really getting to know the patient and be the patient advocate.

Then we have the whole social work ops team, which is a social work manager, 2 social workers, and the behavioral health specialist, and they act as consultants for the community-based team. So they can come in when we’re having issues, maybe something that’s a little bit extra socially heavy that we might need their expertise for. They’re sitting in on our care planning with our RNs, our LPNs, and our community health workers. They’re going out into the community, meeting the patients, predominantly for housing issues, addiction, mental health.

So, that’s the structure of the team, but everyone is pretty well cross-trained, and you have to be when you’re working out in the community with this population. Everyone is kind of picking up the skills from one another. So I’m a nurse by training, but being in this role and this position with this job, I have learned from my colleagues who are social workers that I feel that I’m somewhat, I’m a social worker by adoption at this point because we all have to really be able to flex in and out of different roles.