Eugene Pediatrics Associates has a new kind of caregiver. We’ve never had one like her before, in fact, most clinics don’t, but she has single-handedly revolutionized what we do.
Her name is Jordan Burbee, and she’s our new case manager. Jordan’s changing the lives of children and families every day, and she is my new hero.
Her background is in social services, and she has extensive knowledge of the local resources available to help families. Just as important, Jordan has a big heart; the way she listens and cares for our patients is immeasurable. Now, when a family has needs that are beyond what we as medical professionals can provide, Jordan is there to help.
Here are a few examples of the people Jordan cares for every day:
- A teen recently released from inpatient psychiatric care after attempting suicide.
During a medication-recheck visit with her doctor, this teen talked with Jordan for almost an hour. During their conversation, the girl shared about her love of books, showing Jordan a list of the ones she wants to read. So, on her lunch hour, Jordan bought one of those books and gave it to her. Jordan also visits the teen’s school regularly to be sure this teen stays connected with her counselor, psychiatrist and our office.
- A mother who shares with her pediatrician that she is suffering from postpartum depression.
It is not uncommon for this to come up in conversation at the office or on our screening questionnaires that we send to all new moms. Jordan reached out to this mom, let her know she is not alone and connected her with a resource for support.
- A teen who is flunking out of school, using drugs and hanging out with sketchy friends.
With the parents in full panic mode, Jordan sat and listened to their concerns, then connected the family to the help it needs.
- Medically fragile children with diverse and often overwhelming care needs that leave the family reeling.
Jordan helps coordinate care and follows up after doctor visits, here and at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
- Parents who are struggling with parenting.
Jordan offers assistance and checks in often, before things escalate.
- Children involved with the Department of Human Services.
Jordan and DHS caseworkers are in frequent contact to help protect these vulnerable kids.
- A baby with complex heart disease who is not gaining weight.
After repeated, costly hospitalizations for failure to thrive, which were thought to be heart-related, Jordan made visits to the home and found a family living in unsatisfactory conditions, without enough food to feed themselves or their baby. Jordan brought the family the needed resources to get them back on track. The baby is now gaining weight nicely.
Of all the situations I have seen Jordan participate in, perhaps none so clearly emphasizes the value of case management as this: One of our doctors was seeing a child with anger outbursts, poor school performance, sleep problems, bedwetting and chronic bowel problems and became concerned that the child wasn’t making progress. The pediatrician asked Jordan to get involved and, after looking into the child’s home situation, she discovered the nighttime caregiver in this child’s life was a sex offender. With Jordan’s help and through therapy provided by our fantastic Thrive Behavioral Health child psychologist Dr. Katie Ravitch (and therapy dog McNulty), this brave little girl was able to articulate the terrible secrets she’d been warned never to share. Years of sexual abuse came to an end, and the child’s recovery is beginning.
Without Jordan and Dr. Ravitch at our clinic, we doctors alone could not have known or intervened to help this little girl.
This model of caring for the entire child – the medical AND behavioral/social needs – is the only way we can hope to make a lasting difference in the lives of our patients and families.
I give thanks every day for the additional ways we’re able to help children and their families by pointing them to resources that extend beyond the walls of Eugene Pediatrics.
Jordan’s work has truly changed the way we’re caring for kids.