Kendrick Family Care provider Jennifer Rouse makes it her mission to ensure rural residents of all ages have consistent access to a primary care provider close to home.
Jennifer Rouse describes it as healthcare across the lifespan.
Whether she’s ensuring children are up to date on their vaccines or assisting adults with their annual wellness exams, the Family Practice Nurse Practitioner treats every patient who walks through the door of Gritman’s Kendrick Family Care Clinic with compassion and expertise.
Small-town medicine – treating women’s health issues alongside broken bones from the Kendrick-based clinic – is in many ways what Rouse was born to do.
It helps that Kendrick’s newest clinic provider is firmly planted in the region she calls home. A graduate of Orofino High School, she and her family have resided near the banks of the Clearwater River for 25 years. She and husband Stewart are raising their four children to enjoy the abundant fishing, hiking and hunting available at their doorstep – and passed down through their families for generations.
“I honestly still can’t believe I get to practice medicine here,” Rouse said.
Rouse makes it her mission to ensure rural residents of all ages have consistent access to a primary care provider close to home. That’s why she lives by the mantra to treat every patient as if they were a loved one, stressing the need to build a relationship with a local clinician.
“The importance of routine visits with your healthcare provider can both be preventative in nature but also result in early detection and in better management of chronic illnesses over time,” she said.
A local clinician provides the beneficial one-on-one care that’s unique to small-town healthcare available through Gritman’s clinics. The Kendrick office also includes appointments with Dr. Debra McKinnon on Fridays and internal medicine consultations twice a month with Dr. Musa Modad. Together, they form a healthcare team for Kendrick-Juliaetta residents who benefit from the conversations about integrated care throughout the hospital system.
Rouse is no stranger to the Gritman family. She started working in hospitals at age 19 and began her career with Gritman as an Emergency Room nurse in 2012. She’s since nurtured relationships with patients and providers as a Registered Nurse and Gritman’s Clinical Educator. Such broad experience allows Rouse to access a deep knowledge of all the services Gritman offers in Kendrick-Juliaetta, Moscow and throughout Latah County. This includes hospital services critical to better patient outcomes like laboratory, diagnostic imaging, therapy and surgical services.
“I have professional relationships with the specialty providers,” she said. “For that reason, it just creates a more cohesive plan of care for the patient. If the patient is in need of more specialized healthcare, we have internal medicine, we have pulmonology. I know Gritman, I know how it works, we have nearly all primary care and specialized areas.”
Life can get complicated – and Rouse has seen firsthand just how valuable care coordination can be. Rouse’s mother continues to rely on Gritman Family and Internal Medicine for follow-up visits following a 2009 head-on collision that crushed both her feet. Proper coordination of care, and keeping that care close to home whenever possible, is exactly what Rouse is looking to provide with her own patients.
“I am a provider, but I’m also a granddaughter, a daughter and a mother,” Rouse said. “I understand what it’s like to be both the recipient of care and to help take care of those around you.”