Meet Bobbi Jensen, Care Integration Coordinator

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If you ask Bobbi Jensen, the Care Integration Coordinator at Bluestem Health, what she loves most about her job, she'll say it's the people. From the different cultural populations she interacts with on a daily basis to the community health workers that she collaborates with to provide various services, she continues to learn so much from all of them. "I have the best job and I meet some of the most fascinating people," Bobbi says with joyfulness in her voice.

Since joining Bluestem Health in 2017, Bobbi's responsibilities are focused on community outreach, engaging with people through all of the cultural centers in Lincoln. Her background - she is a Licensed Practical Nurse and has a degree in Human Services - has given her the tools and skills to build a bridge between Bluestem Health and the centers so that current patients, and those well into the future, can feel connected to the healthcare services that are available in the Lincoln area. "When I go to one of the centers, and the people see me interacting with the community health workers there, then those people begin to develop a sense of trust with me," Bobbi notes.  

Prior to taking this role at Bluestem Health, Bobbi had worked in human services jobs, and in nursing in a physical rehabilitation facility. What she discovered was how much she loved cheering people on, supporting them, and helping them be the best they could be. In this role, she is using those skills and knowledge as she performs home visits, monitoring homebound patients who are living with chronic illnesses, and doing case management between the centers, clients and Bluestem Health. Because many of the people she serves don't speak English, it can be challenging when trying to explain illnesses, chronic diseases, and medications to them. So education is a key component of the care, making sure they understand how and when to take their medications, and that by doing so they will begin to feel better. She is currently working with about 400 people that have various medical needs. She also performs blood pressure checks, BMI, and weight monitoring to keep them on track to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Bobbi also develops programs that bring different cultures together, like having booths at health fairs and being involved in various community events. One unique program she's helped to establish involves healthy cooking classes hosted at the cultural centers. She notes that changing eating habits because of a disease can be difficult. For example, many of the cultures use a lot of soy in their cooking, which has high levels of sodium. Bluestem Health partners with nutritionists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension to teach classes on nutrition, healthy eating on a budget, and food safety, and Bobbi covers topics like chronic diseases, bacterial and viral infections, and when to see a doctor. The classes are two hours long and the menu is set by the UNL nutritionists. Each center hosts five sessions. "At the end of each class, I'm always moved by the attendees who bring ethnic foods too share so everyone learns about foods from different cultures," Bobbi remarks. In addition to working with the cultural centers and UNL extension office, she has worked with the Community Endowment for 2020 Health, City Impact, and Friendship Home.

For Bobbi, every interaction with the people impacts her. There is one thing she feels is a common thread among all of them, though, and that is their generosity. "You become part of their family," Bobbi says with a sense of gratefulness. "When they invite you into their home and offer you something to eat or drink, they consider you to be family. You can see it in their faces -- how much they appreciate the visit -- because you connected with them and they trust you. That has made this job so amazing."

In her free time, Bobbi spends time with friends and family, rescues dogs and anything to do with helping animals, loves to paint and draw for friends, and enjoys cooking because it brings people together. Her favorite type of cooking involves smoking and barbecuing meats. She even makes her own seasonings. She also works part time a few weekends a month as a charge nurse at a rehabilitation/long-term care/hospice facility.

"When you do your work with a good heart, love what you do, and expect nothing in return, you will never be disappointed," Bobbi adds.

Bobbi Jensen, Care Integration Coordinator, enjoys working with many diverse cultures, providing them with a wide range of services to help them feel part of the Lincoln community.