Genuine Compassion, Genius Innovation in Camden

Genuine Compassion, Genius Innovation in Camden

CMSRU clinical faculty member Dr. Jeffrey Brenner named a MacArthur Fellow.

Camden, NJ -- Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., a member of the clinical faculty at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) and medical director of the Urban Health Institute at Cooper University Health Care, has been named a MacArthur Fellow by the James D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The five-year fellowship, popularly known as a “genius grant,” comes with a $625,000 unrestricted stipend.

Brenner was selected for his work in creating a comprehensive health care delivery model that addresses the medical and social service needs of high-risk patients in poor communities. This work began – and continues – in the City of Camden, where Brenner has worked for most of his career. Through Brenner’s non-profit organization, the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, he has expanded his work from Camden into distressed urban and rural communities throughout the United States.   

Upon learning he was named 2013 MacArthur Fellow, Brenner noted that he was stunned. “All of us in this building work incredibly hard,” he said, referring to his team at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. “It’s really exciting to get this vote of confidence,” he added.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Dr. Brenner and I’m so pleased to see him recognized for the pioneering work he has done, and continues to do – work that is having a real impact not only on the cost of medical care, but on the actual health of Camden residents and residents of other needy communities around the country,” said Paul Katz, MD, Dean of CMSRU. “He is an excellent role model for our medical students, and we are proud to have him as a member of our faculty.”

Brenner’s Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers brings together doctors in community-based private practices, frontline hospital staff, and social workers across the city to participate in a strategy of comprehensive preventive and primary care. He designed a system that delivers daily information about hospitalizations to the Coalition and members of Care Management Teams who work together to coordinate care for patients with complex medical, and often social, issues.

Brenner has demonstrated that using this model of cooperative care – identifying and visiting high-risk patients, earning their trust, offering access to clinical services, heading off medical complications before they occur, addressing social needs before they become medical problems – can reduce repeated emergency room visits and hospitalizations and lower health care costs. Currently working with ten communities across the country, including Allentown, Pennsylvania; Aurora, Colorado; Kansas City, Missouri; and San Diego, California, on developing sustainable and accountable care systems based on the Camden model, Brenner’s collaborative approach to health care delivery is an important contribution to the national conversation on health care reform.

Brenner received a B.S. from Vassar College and an M.D. from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Camden, and he completed his residency in family medicine at the Swedish Health Center in Seattle, Washington.

Cooper Medical School opened in summer 2012. It is the first new medical school in New Jersey in over 35 years and only four-year MD-granting medical school in South Jersey. Rowan University and The Cooper Health System partnered in June 2009 to establish CMSRU. Located in Camden, NJ, CMSRU will help address the physician shortage locally and nationally, and improve healthcare throughout the region. CMSRU received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in June 2011.

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