The Cooper Foundation was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, to expand a program that addresses societal barriers to health care access.
The program deploys community health workers (CHWs) in Camden and surrounding counties to improve health care access, reduce inpatient hospital stays and emergency department visits, and increase behavioral and specialty care visits by addressing social barriers to health.
“This crucial funding will enable us to extend our reach and make a meaningful difference in the lives of even more residents in Camden and surrounding counties. Together, we can continue to build healthier, more resilient communities for generations to come,” said Philip A. Norcross, Esq., chairman of The Cooper Foundation Board.
“Community health workers are trusted members of their community who serve as liaisons between community members and the health care system. They identify social determinants of health needs that affect health, such as employment, food, transportation, and education, and provide necessary community resources while setting and achieving patient-centered goals to help guide their patients toward self-efficacy and overall wellness,” said Danielle Santiago-Roach, manager of Cooper’s Community Health Worker Program.
The Community Health Worker Program reaches Camden, Burlington, Atlantic, Gloucester, and Salem counties and also provides education on navigating health insurance benefits, improving self-support and advocacy skills, and techniques for improving overall health and well-being.
“In recent years, there has been an increase in both socio-economic and mental health stressors for many people. By identifying these needs, and connecting patients to resources within the community, my patients are better able to manage their chronic medical problems. The Community Health Worker Program has been instrumental in facilitating those connections to much-needed resources,” said Frank P. Aliganga, MD, a primary care doctor with Cooper Family Medicine.
“I have been so grateful to have access to this CHW program. As providers, we see how much social determinants of health can affect our patients’ ability to take care of their health and their families and children. Previously, I have been so frustrated about my lack of time and resources to help these patients. I feel a sense of relief when I walk into an exam room, and the CHW is there with my patient. It means that someone is helping my patients take charge and navigate an often opaque social services system,” said Camille A. Henry, MD, a primary care physician with Cooper Family Medicine.
“The Community Health Worker Program has been instrumental in providing access to necessary care for our patients. This team has made a great difference in how we take care of our patients and has given us the opportunity to offer them more resources,” said Ashley Michael, DO, a primary care physician with Cooper Internal Medicine.
About Cooper University Health Care
Cooper University Health Care, with its MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and affiliation with Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, is a leading academic health system. Cooper has nearly 10,000 team members including 1,600 nurses, and more than 900 employed physicians and 450 advanced practice providers. Cooper University Hospital has been recognized as a top-performing regional hospital by U.S. News & World Report’s 2023-2024 Best Hospitals annual survey and has an “A” Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit upholding the standard of patient safety in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers.
Cooper has revenues of more than $2 billion and has an “A-” rating from S&P Global Ratings and “A3” rating from Moody’s Investors Service. Cooper University Hospital is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in South Jersey and the busiest in the region. Nearly two million patients are served annually at Cooper’s 663-bed flagship hospital, outpatient surgery center, three urgent care centers, and more than 100 ambulatory offices throughout the community. Cooper has been named as one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes for three consecutive years.
The Cooper Health Sciences campus in Camden, New Jersey, is home to Cooper University Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Visit CooperHealth.org to learn more.
Learn about Cooper’s charitable arm at foundation.cooperhealth.org.