Luan Montag - Iowa PA of the year 20162016 PA Of the Year Winner, Luan Montag with her family

During the past 16 years, PA Luan Montag has served as the only source of medical care in the small North Iowa town of West Bend. In addition to being the sole medical care provider at the West Bend federally certified Rural Health Clinic Luan lives in West Bend, covers their 35 resident nursing home and makes house calls.  Eighteen years ago, after West Bend was having difficulties keeping a medical practitioner in town, Luan enrolled in the Des Moines University PA school. She graduated in 2000 and returned to provide medical care for her home town ever since.  Prior to that she had worked at the West Bend clinic as a medical assistant and practice manager, and served as an EMT-1 for the community.  

West Bend has a population of 785. It is the home of the Grotto of the Redemption.

Her primary supervising physician, Thomas Getta, MD, is a University of Iowa medical school graduate. He is available via telecommunication and visits the clinic 2-3 days per month.  Her closest hospital is Algona 20 miles away.  On her own time she provides medical coverage for local sports teams.

Luan especially enjoys mentoring young people in the health care professions, particularly PA students.  A dedicated teacher she precepts PA students from Des Moines University, University of North Dakota and Rocky Mountain College and will take nurse practitioner students too.

A winner of many awards, Luan was the outstanding graduate in the Medical Assistant program at the Omaha College of Health Careers, on the Dean’s List at Iowa Lakes Community College, earned the highest GPA in nutrition at the DMU PA Program and the Golden Hands award from Mercy Northwest Iowa.

As a community leader, Luan has served as President of the Ambulance Service, President of the Motel Board, member of the school renovation team, President of the West Bend - Mallard Achievement Foundation, President of the West Bend Economic Development, and President of the West Bend Chamber of Commerce. To promote health and well-being in her town Luan initiated a free 5K run-walk for the annual town celebration.  Furthermore, she serves as a church leader, instructor and organist.

In addition Luan publishes a weekly article “Montag on Health” on the hospital website and in the local paper promoting healthy lifestyles and addressing current health topics.  She has been a speaker and educator at multiple school and community functions.  Yet she finds time to be the mother to two sons who live and work in West Bend with their father and a grandmother to 14 grandchildren.

Luan is an exemplary PA who is a treasure to her community and an inspiration to us all. She richly deserves our recognition as Iowa PA of the year.

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Laura Delaney - Iowa PA of the year 2015Delaney Laura 54746 240x300

For the past 15 years plus, Laura has provided effective and quality health care as a PA in the state of Iowa for the adults in emergency medicine and the pediatric and adolescent population in the clinic setting.  She is the only PA in the Bilgi Pediatrics and Adolescence clinic in Ankeny, Iowa.  Since 2009, Laura has been on faculty at Des Moines University, DMU, as a clinical coordinator for the Physician Assistant program.

Promotion of IPAS, Volunteering and Mission Work
Outside of DMU, Laura has served on the Iowa Physician Assistant Board of Directors, been an elected President and Past President of IPAS, committee member and chairperson for the Spring IPAS Conference and an advocate for many legislative initiatives for PA scope of practice issues.

The list of awards and honors that Laura has been granted is exhaustive to include the 2009 Governor’s Volunteer Award for her continuing service to the State of Iowa for volunteer work with the American Lung Association of Iowa 2009 inductee to the Pi Alpha Honors Society for PA education, 2011 Des Moines University recognition by the faculty for the Service Award.  Each year Laura takes a group of DMU PA and medical students to global health mission trips that include several countries in Africa and St. Lucia.

Laura annually supervises students in community health events that range the lifespan to include school sports physicals at rural communities across Iowa and economically challenged population in Des Moines, events coordinator for the DMU Senior Health Fair each November providing bone density/COPD screening at different health fair events, the Iowa State Fair and Iowa Caregivers’ Conference each August.

Community Involvement
Laura provides the students of DMU an opportunity to attend and practice skills at the annual “flu shot” clinics at Bilgi’s Children’s Clinic.  Being an asthma patient herself, she supports the Iowa Lung Association walk and stair climb by participating in the stair climb and challenges her PA students to join her each year.

In her hometown Iowa communities of Ankeny and Saydel, Laura assists with her church youth group. Those that know Laura, realize her excitement for the PA profession and the provision of quality healthcare both locally and internationally.  Laura is excited and determined as a PA to always make sure everyone is aware of the profession she loves.

Dr. Roberta J. Baldus

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Robyn Nebergall - Iowa PA of the year 2014Robyn PA of the year

Tipton, IA – October 7, 2014 – Robyn Nebergall of Tipton, IA has been named the 2014 Physician Assistant of the Year by the Iowa Physician Assistant Society (IPAS). Requirements for consideration of this award include promoting the Physician Association, volunteering or mission work and being involved in the community.

Aside from working at a Tipton clinic for the past 20 years as a Physician Assistant, Nebergall is a highly visible and active servant within her community. She has volunteered as both a medical advisor and coach on the sidelines of numerous youth sporting events. She attends and participates in a variety of school events, and, on top of it all, has raised a family in the same community.

Nebergall’s dedication to her work as a PA and her time, effort, value, love and servanthood for her community, all while being a busy mother, represent the spirit of the Physicians Assistant profession and have made her an obvious choice for the 2014 Physician Assistant of the Year award.

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Theresa Hegmann - Iowa PA of the year 2013

IMG 4336This year's PA of the year is Theresa Hegmann and it is a great pleasure to present her with this award. She is a colleague and a mentor. Theresa has been an actively practicing PA for 22 years. Her primary role for 12 years is as a faculty member at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicines, Department of Physician Assistant Studies and Services where she is a professor and Director of the Didactic curriculum. Her accomplishments are many and are diverse. She has devoted her most of her time in clinical practice to rural and underserved areas including a remote clinic in the mountains of California, several different underserved populations in Iowa including one with a predominately Hispanic population. She currently works in an urgent care in the greater Iowa City and Muscatine area. Her Supervising physician is Dr. Harriet Echternacht. It is no small task to balance her duties with her role as a PA educator with her clinic duties. She has a strong dedication to promoting and teaching evidence based medicine, this is evident is her practice as well as the education she provided to students.  She teaches Clinical decision making to up and coming PA to provide a strong background and promote lifelong learning. She has received 6 grants for her scholarly work and has had over 20 publications to date including a review articles, journal articles and posters.


She is active participant in PA association's including being fellow member of the AAPA, member of Physician Assistant Education Association, as well as al long time IPAS fellow member. She has received multiple awards including AAFP Recognition for Teaching in Family Practice Medicine, Teaching Scholar, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and the Rising star award from PAEA. She has served the PA profession by serving on the state PA regulatory board as a member and then as the chair of the board. She has pursued her passion for research and evidence based medicine by serving on the PAEA's Research committee and data research sub-committee. She has been as an editor for JAAPA and the Journal of Physician Assistant Education, and participated in multiple review panels. She has been a strong advocate for PA legislation in the state of Iowa and has written, emailed and spoken to many of her legislators to present the issue Pa's in Iowa face and has been a role model for many Pa students.


In short she has provide leadership and service in every aspect of the PA profession, going above and beyond to promote, provide support and educate PA's, increase access to healthcare,  improve legislation for practicing PA's and is very deserving of this award.

If you're interested in nominating someone for PA of the Year, please complete this form.

Frankie Winegardner - Iowa PA of the year 2012


Frankie Winegardner is an outstanding PA who has been a long time pioneer of the profession in many medical settings. Among the many aspects of her life she has served most notably as a PA medical practitioner, educator, leader, writer and effective advocate for patients and PAs. Frankie is a 1978 graduate of the University of Iowa PA program who practices Integrative Medicine at her clinic in Clear Lake, Iowa.

 Always willing to help she is an exceptional leader who was instrumental in virtually all of the Iowa PA Society legislative successes in Iowa. These advancements include increasing the number of PAs a physician may supervise at one time from 2 to 5, clarifying PA authority to order and perform respiratory therapy, allowing PAs to form and join professional corporations and prescribing schedule II stimulants (Ritalin, amphetamines). Frankie persuaded her state representative and neighboring state senator, key legislators, to guide these bills through the legislature. Additionally, Frankie was a leader in the successful IPAS efforts to pass third party reimbursement, prescribing and the PA regulatory board.

Frankie has been singularly effective in educating legislators about PAs, and physicians about PA training and skills. Each time of the many times Frankie was asked she successfully organized Mason City area PAs to work on legislative issues. Frankie has served the PA profession in many capacities including IPAS president, chair of the Iowa PA regulatory board, AAPA House of Delegates representative for Iowa, IPAS newsletter editor and columnist for 7 years, preceptor for PA student and PA presenter on a variety of medical topics. Frankie has worked as a PA in many different settings from surgery to remote sites, to radiation oncology, to setting up her own clinic to care for patients with challenging medical problems. And she publishes her own quarterly wellness medical newsletter.

Among many her many educational projects Frankie has served as a teacher of ACLS, smoking cessation and Complementary and Alternative Medicine varying from healing touch to hypnosis. These skills are especially helpful for her difficult to manage patients. To develop these abilities she completed the University of Arizona fellowship in Integrative Medicine. Frankie is also a published author and serves as a volunteer at the Mason City free clinic.

For her crucial role in the education of legislators alone Frankie richly deserves recognition as Iowa's PA of the year. Throughout her career she has demonstrated very well the variety and flexibility a PA can offer a practice.  And she has done it all extremely well reflecting most favorably on our PA profession. Most importantly, she has helped innumerable patients have a better life.