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Hospital names Care Management director

Hospital names Care Management director

Robin Jenkins will lead the team

The challenge, the opportunities to use critical thinking skills, and having the honor of helping another human being when they need it most is what has kept Robin Jenkins tied to hospital care management over the years.

Jenkins recently was named Director of Care Management at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County. As department director, Jenkins will lead a team of seven, including five case managers, a care transition nurse and a social worker with Sweetwater Dialysis Center.

What is care management? Jenkins said it’s a collaboration of the entire multidisciplinary team within the hospital. The care management team evaluates and coordinates services and resources for a patient so they can be safely discharged back into their home or to another facility.

“All the while, we’re advocating for the patient,” Jenkins said. “We help them manage their healthcare. Patients have a right to self-determination in their care. We have to be an advocate for that patient, particularly when people have different ideas of what might be best. In the end, it’s what the patient wants.”

MHSC Chief Nursing Officer Ann Clevenger said she could not be more pleased to have Jenkins at the helm.

“Robin brings a wealth of experience to the role of Director of Care Management,” Clevenger said. “Robin has worked for MHSC in multiple roles for over 34 years. Her experience includes surgical unit nursing, utilization review analyst, pediatric and surgery clinic nursing, and over 20 years in case management. Robin’s attention to detail, compassion, and expertise in assisting patients in their care needs has and will benefit our patients and the community. We look forward to Robin’s innovative ideas and positive impact on patient care services.”

Jenkins has worked at the hospital since 1987, starting as a surgical floor nurse. In 1989, she helped work on the “utilization review” that was initiated, a requirement by Medicare and insurance companies outlining criteria for keeping a patient in the hospital and a discharge review. Case management came on board a few years later.

“I’ve been here on the ground floor for the evolution of case management,” Jenkins said. “It was so new and exciting. Being involved when utilization review and care management were combined, and seeing the growth over the years has been rewarding.”

Those personal rewards and the relationships with patients are what keep her going.

“I’ve worked since I was 14,” she said. “I’ve never not had a job. I realized early on that I loved to work at something that challenged me, made me think, and made me use my brain.”

Along the way, Jenkins said she happened to secure a job as a dentist’s assistant. “I had no experience, but he took a chance on me,” she said. “It opened up a whole new world for me. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a nurse.”

Nursing, as well as care management, offered a variety of skills and opportunities she thrives on – responsibility, accountability, critical thinking, and most of all, building relationships with patients.

“I wanted it all,” she said. “I could feel that it would fulfill me at all levels. I could help people with empathy and care for them, as well as use critical thinking skills.”

That’s not to say it’s not difficult.

“Some days are so hard,” Jenkins said. “Care management in itself can be so difficult and so challenging. Something always happens: you solve a problem, help a patient and then move on to another set of circumstances. Somehow, you’re able to contribute along the way. You put all of this work and effort into it and then you realize it was all worth it.”

Jenkins received her License of Practical Nursing Degree, Registered Nurse Degree and Associate’s Degree from Western Wyoming Community College. She earned a Bachelor of Nursing Degree in 2015 from the University of Wyoming. She also has earned Accredited Case Manager Certification.