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Posted by on in News

140716helpinghand smEugene Pediatrics and Thrive Behavioral Health are excited to add a fantastic new member to our integrated team of primary care providers and behavioral specialists — Jordan Burbee, our new case manager. Welcome, Jordan!

But what is a case manager?

  • Someone who steps in when medically fragile children need help coordinating their care.
  • Someone who reaches out when children and families are touched by challenges such as drug addiction, domestic violence, mental health issues, homelessness and legal problems.
  • An advocate who helps families coordinate their care at Eugene Pediatrics, Thrive Behavioral Health, the school system and other community services.
  • A liaison with the Department of Human Services when our patients are being watched over by the state.
  • A professional who can assess the needs of a struggling family by visiting a home or school, and who can become part of the lives of family members as they find their bearings.
  • A friendly voice when parents need extra support.

And who is Jordan Burbee?

Jordan received a degree in Family and Human Services at the University of Oregon. She has subsequently worked for more than a decade with children and families at Jasper Mountain, Safe Center, Lane Education Service District and, most recently, DHS Child Welfare.

Jordan is a mother of two young children, and most importantly, she is a human being with a huge heart for taking care of others. When I met Jordan, I was struck immediately by her passion to help — to be a part of positive change for kids. She spoke of the importance of her work at DHS, and of her desire to become involved in a team of people seeking to prevent children from suffering.

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Posted by on in News

140708EPA DrBblog final2To my beloved patient families,

Every day I am aware I am not doing enough for all of you. I want to see every one of your beautiful children every time they need me, and I work tirelessly to try and do so. I come early, stay late, work kids in, work on my “days off,” and do rounds early and late in the hospital.

And yet, I still fall short.

And it drives me crazy.

I want you all to know that it is one of the greatest worries in my life because I adore every single child in my practice.

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Posted by on in News

140701 EPABlogImageThrive1A traditional pediatric practice helps lots of kids, but I am convinced it barely scratches the surface of what many children need. The physical health of a child is only a portion of wellness. The other key aspect is mental and behavioral/developmental health.

Eugene-Springfield has many wonderful mental and behavioral health caregivers and agencies for kids, but coordinating care with pediatricians is always a challenge. After nearly 15 years in practice here, I became frustrated with the limitations in my traditional practice to meet the needs of the children we serve.

So, one sunny autumn afternoon last year, I asked my favorite child psychologist, Dr. Jenny Mauro, to have coffee and talk about the exciting possibilities of pediatricians working side by side with child psychologists, developmental pediatricians and child psychiatrists.

If that happened, I could step out of my exam room and grab a specialist in child mental health and development to get a “curbside consult.” My families could meet a behavioral health care provider for a momentary “hello” and know whom they would meet during an upcoming visit. And scheduling the behavioral health visit at the same location would be a breeze.

Coordination of care would be so easy and even fun. Brown bag lunches with my doctors sitting around the same table with psychologists and other behavioral specialists would make it easy to discuss children in need of our team approach.

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140611EPAadultdocs FINALSaturday, I volunteered to sit in a boardroom on a sunny day with 30 other people from various professions talking about the crisis we face in our community: inadequate access to good-quality primary care for adults in our area.

At this point, we have a huge victory: 15,000 adults have been assigned a primary care provider (PCP) since last November. Many of these individuals have had no access to healthcare for decades. The stories are compelling:

  • A woman in her fifties who has never had a mammogram.
  • A gentleman who has smoked for many years, has a chronic, worsening cough, but was never seen by a doctor.
  • A diabetic woman without a blood sugar meter.

Now, they have hope for better care.

But there are 10,000 more adults in our area who have signed up for primary care and are yet unassigned to a PCP due to an inadequate numbers of medical providers.

Our provider workforce is aging quickly — the average age of adult primary care providers in Lane County is 55 years. And if we don’t soon address the need to inject new, young blood in our medical community, there will be only a few providers left here in a few years to take care of all of us.

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140515EPA poverty1I was sitting in my car at a red light recently, when a driver moving through the intersection rolled his window down and screamed an obscenity at a rumpled man holding a cardboard sign: “Get a job, you — !”

That man and the people who, forced by life’s circumstances, stand by the side of the road begging for food and spare change are frequent reminders of something we confront every day at Eugene Pediatrics — poverty.

It’s not only seeing children living and coping with poverty that upsets me. It’s a feeling that they will grow up without a key component for success — a vision of another possibility for themselves. I have a growing rage that I can do so little to help change the fate of these children and families.

This week, a little boy came to see me, and it had been too long. I saw him the day he was born, just like his siblings. Three darling kids. Their mother has struggled for all the years I’ve known her. I have seen her beaten, filthy, exhausted, frightened and assaulted by her boyfriend (but afraid to report him). I have also seen her happy, in love with her babies and hoping for a positive change in life.

We have laughed together, talked about her kids and discussed options for her. I know she struggles with drugs, alcohol and depression — they are her demons.

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