Iowa Physician Assistant Society 2016 Physician Assistant of the Year

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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