Published on October 08, 2018

Essentia Health now offering care in your home

Julie Jenson, Essentia Health Community Paramedic

Julie Jenson, a community paramedic, has joined Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Community paramedics are experienced Paramedics with additional, specialized training in primary and preventive care. A community paramedic has additional education above the traditional paramedic to help better manage chronic diseases, wounds, and provide a more comprehensive assessment to assist your primary care physician in providing high quality patient care. Trust them in being a resource to provide specialized care when you need it most, especially when you face difficulty travelling to your doctor’s office.

Jenson has worked as a paramedic for 12 years, and six of those years as a community paramedic. “The goal of this job is to fill in the gaps for patients, so that when they leave our hospital, they have all the things in place to ensure a proper recovery at home,” she explains. “This can include helping them find additional resources or completing a basic home safety assessment.”

Count on your community paramedic to assess your health and provide routine, non-emergency care in the comfort and privacy of your home. You may be eligible for community paramedic visits if your doctor is concerned you may be at risk of hospitalization or have had frequent visits to the emergency room. Depending on your needs, your community paramedic may assist with:

  • Chronic disease management
  • Collect samples for lab tests, such as blood tests and urinalysis
  • Comprehensive health assessments
  • Evaluate the safety of your home and detect fall hazards, non-working fire alarms, and other potential risks
  • Help you review and manage your medications
  • Monitor vital signs including blood pressure, weight, pulse, and lung sounds
  • Offer emotional support
  • Post discharge follow ups
  • Provide health education, such as nutrition information
  • Referrals/scheduling to health and community services

“I’m very passionate about this work and it means a great deal to me,” says Jenson. “My goal is to help people stay in their homes and assist them in being as independent as they can be.”

Community paramedic services are free to eligible Essentia Health patients. You will need a referral from your primary care provider or a specialist for this service.

To learn more about the community paramedic program at Essentia Health, visit EssentiaHealth.org and click on Community Paramedic under Services.