The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs
The National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs, launched in 2016 as an initiative of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, aims to improve outcomes for people with complex medical, psychological, and social needs. It works to coalesce the emerging field of complex care by bringing together a broad range of clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and consumers who are developing, testing, and scaling new models of team-based, integrated care.
Complex care is a person-centered approach to address the needs of people whose combinations of medical, behavioral health, and social challenges result in extreme patterns of healthcare utilization and cost. The field has long recognized that trusting relationships are key when working with individuals with complex health and social needs. Many of the people we serve have a deep and understandable distrust of healthcare, social services, government, and other institutions that have previously harmed them or their communities. They may have experienced prejudice, stigma, racism, limited access to care, and a lack of agency over their own care.
The COVID-19 pandemic, layered onto centuries of systemic racism in America, has exposed the long-existing fissures between the healthcare system and communities that have experienced historical trauma. This lack of trust only compounds the lack of access to services and poor health outcomes experienced by individuals with complex health and social needs. The National Center is proud to partner with the ABIM Foundation along with other healthcare specialties to share just a few examples of trust practices from our community to share with the broader healthcare field.