Jolene Roberts
Jolene Roberts

Editor’s Note: The McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Daily Update and McKnight’s Senior Living Daily Briefing e-newsletters are profiling each of the McKnight’s 2019 Women of Distinction in July. For more coverage, visit the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living websites and read the July print edition of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and August print edition of McKnight’s Senior Living

Jolene Roberts was a 28-year-old social worker when she bought a nursing home from a retiring owner. That facility became one of the largest in Nebraska and one of the first to provide post-acute rehab in the mid-1990s. 

But she didn’t stop there, opening Sarpy County’s first assisted living residence (Mable Rose Estates, named for her grandmothers, Mable and Rose) and Sarpy’s first adult day services program. 

Next, Roberts oversaw the development of Nebraska’s first cottage model nursing home, creating 104 beds in eight freestanding cottages. Eventually, she built the county’s first continuing care retirement community. 

Roberts launched Hillcrest Home Care and Hillcrest Hospice Care, and developed Hillcrest Physical Therapy, a freestanding outpatient rehab center. Today Hillcrest Health Services, which began with a small nursing home, features seven campuses, a large therapy agency, and robust home- and community-based services offerings with almost 1,400 employees serving more than 1,300 older adults each day. 

Roberts completed her Master of Social Work degree with a gerontology specialization at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and worked for four years as a social worker early in her career.

Jolene Roberts receiving Hall of Honor award
Photo courtesy Social Snacks

In addition to raising a daughter, now in college, Roberts served on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors for two years and on the Child Savings Institute Board for two years. She also has been active in the Nebraska Health Care Association and Nebraska Home Care and Hospice Association.

McKnight’s Women of Distinction is a joint program of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program’s exclusive Platinum sponsor is PointClickCare.