News & Stories


Urban Health Institute Receives $1M Nicholson Foundation Grant

The Nicholson Foundation officially awarded the Urban Health Institute a $1 million grant, which started on March 1, 2013. This grant funds a talented innovation team of 10 new operational and clinical staff to redesign the way outpatient care is delivered in Camden. Receiving this grant is a good reminder that designing an institute around the needs of the underserved not only has value to patients but also is compelling to outside funders who are focused on healthcare innovation. The funding is expected to total $2.5 million over three years.

The Urban Health Institute innovation team is already hard at work preparing for the launch of the Cooper Advanced Care Center on June 19. The Advanced Care Center, Cooper University Health Care’s newest innovative service, will provide the local underserved population with unprecedented access to a collaborative practice of 19 medical and surgical specialties under one roof at 3 Cooper Plaza. The center will incorporate traditional provider visits with innovative models of care including group visits, open access scheduling, care management and enhanced access to support services. The Advanced Care Center’s goal is to improve treatment and care by designing care around the unique needs of its patients.

The newly formed Urban Health Institute innovation team brings a strong combination of healthcare and business experience to Cooper.

Jeffrey Brenner, MD, Medical Director
Dr. Brenner is a family physician who has provided full-spectrum family health services to the underserved population in Camden for the past 12 years. Recognizing the need for a new way for hospitals, providers and community residents to collaborate, he founded and has served as the Executive Director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers since 2003. Through the Camden Coalition, local stakeholders are working to build an integrated health delivery model to provide better care for Camden City residents.

Kathleen Stillo, MBA, Executive Director
Kathy has 15 years of experience in strategy and operations leadership in the healthcare and media industries. She previously worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she led an internal consulting team responsible for continuous improvement and performance measurement across clinical development. Earlier in her career, Kathy owned a media consulting firm, leading a team of 15 consultants and working for the president of Reuters Media. Kathy has a BA from Bowdoin College and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Steve Kaufman, MD, Assistant Medical Director
Dr. Kaufman is the Assistant Chief of Endocrinology of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Assistant Professor of Medicine for CMSRU and Medical Director of the Cooper Diabetes Center. He is also the staff endocrinologist for the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, where he focuses on decreasing disparities in diabetes care in underserved communities and transforming primary care practices into patient-centered medical homes.

Edward D. Viner, MD, Head of Education and Training
Dr. Viner brings with him years of experience serving as a leader, clinician and educator. He served as Chief of the Department of Medicine at Cooper since 1987, after which he served as the Senior Vice President for Affiliations and Clinical Development. Dr. Viner has broad-based training and experience in serving patients with complex internal medical and diagnostic problems, as well as patients with cancer and blood diseases.

Liz Powell, Assoc. Director, Clinical Administration
Liz has more than 30 years of experience across healthcare. Most recently she was the Director of Strategic Operations at Virtua, where she managed the start-up of multiple retail businesses. In addition, Liz spent 12 years as a labor and delivery nurse. Liz holds a bachelor of science in nursing from Rutgers University and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jeff Ross, JD, MBA, Assoc. Director, Process Redesign and Innovation
Most recently, Jeff owned and operated a restaurant franchise where he focused on improving operations, most notably customer service and employee productivity. Prior to this, Jeff spent 10 years working on Wall Street including operations, trading and investing positions at Goldman Sachs, UBS’ Principal Finance Group and ING Capital’s Global Investment Strategies Group. Jeff is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a BA in Spanish. He received his JD from Emory University School of Law and his MBA from the Wharton School of Business, where he was a Joseph Wharton Scholar.

Jonathan Vogan, MBA, Assoc. Director, Finance and Performance Measurement
Jonathan is responsible for the financial goals of the Institute as well as the effective use of operational data. His prior work experience includes international banking, financial regulation and IT services. Jonathan has also worked for Doctors Without Borders, serving as the country-level administrator, supporting first one of the largest rural HIV treatment projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and then multiple surgical and vaccination activities in Nigeria. He has worked in 10 countries, speaks four languages and has master’s degrees in business administration, financial economics and international relations.

Kerianne Guth, MSW, LSW, Program Manager
Kerianne’s commitment to improving health care systems accessed by historically underserved populations comes from direct care experience in diverse institutions of social service, research, mental health care and health education. Most recently, Kerianne provided home-based education and case management to high-risk pregnant and parenting mothers in West Philadelphia. In addition, she brings knowledge of trauma-informed care, data reporting and team building to support the process redesign and innovation and finance and performance measurement efforts. Kerianne received her BS degree in psychology from Illinois State University and MSW in social work from the University of Pennsylvania.

Evan Gaston, Esq., Program Manager
While studying law, Evan served as a law clerk for the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and as an intern for the Vermont Environmental Court. As an attorney, Evan provided litigation and negotiation services to clients in a variety of contexts including civil, criminal and environmental law. Evan graduated from Harvard University with a BA in biological anthropology and a certificate in French. He earned his law degree at The George Washington University Law School.

Julia Childers, Program Assistant
Julia discovered her passion for the underserved and a commitment to improve their quality of life through many hours of participating in and coordinating service trips to Peru, Ecuador, New Orleans and locally with Special Olympics. Julia initially made her way to Camden from Roanoke, VA, as an AmeriCorps member at Project H.O.P.E., a health center for the homeless. During her service year, she spent time improving utilization of the center’s electronic medical record, providing health education and improving access to both social and medical resources for complex patients. Julia is a graduate of James Madison University, where she received her BS in health sciences with a minor in humanitarian affairs.

Sara Grossman, Program Assistant
Sara has four years of clinical experience as an emergency department scribe and research coordinator. She has worked on program development and support at reputable non-profits including Genetic Alliance and GlobeMed. Sara’s accomplishments include establishing a maternal health education program in rural Rwanda. Sara is a recent graduate of The George Washington University, where she studied international affairs and public health. She looks forward to continuing her education this fall in the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Public Health program.