Camden County August 2023


County Seat

Median Income

Population Density Designation

Camden County represents the paradox of progress in North Carolina: Growth requires infrastructure investment, but investing in infrastructure is difficult without growth. Fortunately, Camden County has all the right ingredients to solve the riddles of economic development.

The Extra Miles Tour brought leaders from Blue Cross NC to Camden County to talk about the challenges and opportunities facing the area, and infrastructure improvements are at the top of both of those lists. The large and small farms that power the local and state economies can’t simply be developed for housing, utilities and office complexes. Elected leaders and business owners need to be creative in accommodating a range of interests as they execute a strategy for growth.

In the heart of Northeastern North Carolina, Camden County is an attractive place to live – a fact confirmed by the number of new residents looking to move to the area. And those new residents expect the same services and attractions that are available in other areas, things like movie theaters, restaurants, good schools and grocery stores. Camden County boasts discount department stores and produce stands, but it doesn’t have a full-service grocery store.

There are significant implications for health to consider. On a practical level, reliable broadband internet access is essential for 21st century health care. A lot of medical technologies like on-demand access to digital health records and direct communication with providers require comprehensive internet coverage, which is still being developed. Parts of Camden County don’t have cell phone service, which makes telehealth consultations difficult.

And like much of the state and beyond, Camden County needs more health care professionals, particularly emergency medical services workers. The COVID-19 pandemic only added to the strain on the health care system in Camden. County elected officials are currently screening candidates for the open EMS director position, an important step forward in expanding the health care workforce. Along with a beefed-up EMS contingent, the county is shopping for ambulances to serve the growing health needs of the area.

Community health workers will play a crucial role in Camden County’s health care system, serving as a link between community members and health and social services, facilitating access and improving the cultural competence and quality of service delivery. Community health worker roles are a gateway to other health care jobs, a pipeline that feeds health care careers. Competition to hire instructors, however, is intense, presenting another challenge to local officials.

Education is a primary area of focus for investment. But without internet service, online learning for school children is impossible. The same is true for college-level instruction, for which demand is growing as enrollment at College of the Albemarle continues to increase on all its campuses.

Camden County officials, health and business leaders, and educators are working together to meet these challenges and propel their communities to more growth. Blue Cross NC will continue the dialogue in Camden County to continue our collaboration toward better health for all.

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U39702, 9/23