Montag named Iowa PA of the Year
The West Bend community knows it is fortunate with its medical providers — and now the rest of Iowa knows it too.
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, the Iowa Physician Assistant Society at its annual conference honored Luan Montag as the Physician Assistant of the Year.
“I’m very honored by this award,” said Montag. “I’m not sure I’m doing anything different than any other physician assistant.”
Montag began her career as a medical assistant for Drs. Kellenberger and Banwart in the 1980s, and watched a string of mid-level medical providers come through the clinic.
“We saw such a variety of procedures and patients that they would come and stay a couple of years to get experience,” said Montag.
It was one of those mid-level providers who encouraged Montag, who was also an intermediate emergency medical technician for the West Bend Ambulance service.
She enrolled in the Des Moines University Physician Assistant School, graduating in 2000. She then returned to West Bend, and serves as the primary medical provider for the Family Practice Clinic in West Bend.
“Sometimes being 30 miles away from my system’s hospital can be challenging,” said Montag. “But we have a very good emergency medical service here in West Bend, and they are always willing to help us when we need it.”
Along with providing medical care through the clinic in West Bend, Montage teaches and precepts physician assistant and nurse practitioner students from Des Moines University, the University of North Dakota and the Rocky Mountain College.
She has also served on the boards for the West Bend Ambulance Service, West Bend Motel Board, West Bend-Mallard Achievement Foundation, West Bend Economic Development and the West Bend Chamber of Commerce.
She initiated a free 5K fun run-walk for West Bend’s annual Fourth of July celebration and writes a weekly column for the West Bend Journal and the Palo Alto County Health System’s website. Additionally, Montag has led an Alzheimer’s Support Group, a weight loss clinic and volunteers as a speaker for school and community functions.
“I really enjoy working with Luan,” said Desiree Einsweiler, administrator and CEO at Palo Alto County Health System. “In addition to being a wonderful advocate for her patients, she is a positive-minded member of our medical team who can always be counted on.”
This is just one of a string of awards Montag has earned, including being named outstanding graduate in the medical assistant program at the Omaha College of Health Careers and earning the Golden Hands award from Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa for her work in mentoring and educating others.
“I love what I do,” said Montag. “I love establishing a bond with my patients. I’ll see them, their children — and now even their children’s children. It’s very rewarding.”