J.EarelJim Earel - Iowa PA of the Year 2019

James Earel Jr, PA-C of ORA Orthopedics in the Quad Cities has been honored as the Iowa PA Society's 2019 PA of the Year.

Jim's constant dedication to improving PA practice in the state of Iowa is at the heart of his nomination for PA of the Year.  He's been actively involved within IPAS board and committees for over 6 years. Over the course of that time, his passion for advocacy has grown, and he currently sits as the IPAS Legislative Committee Chair. 


Dedicated to his family and his Ortho specialty, Jim somehow also makes time to advocate for IPAS. He’s in contact daily with lobbyists, legislators, IPAS leaders, our national society, and IPAS members as well. He’s focused his energy into reviewing PA laws and rules and is working hard on finding ways to move Iowa forward as a better place to practice and looking to increase access to quality care.  He's strived to strengthen relationships with healthcare groups within the state, including the Medical Board and Medical Society, hoping that we can find common goals that can be improved by working together.


Congratulations to Jim and thank you for your involvement and your commitment to IPAS and your PA colleagues!


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

Jay Thomas, PA of the Year 2018Jay Thomas - Iowa PA of the Year 2018

Jay Thomas, PA-C of the General Surgery Dept., Mason City Clinic has been honored as the Iowa PA Society's 2018 PA of the Year.

Jay has practiced in Mason City for 40 years with the General Surgeons and during that time he has been a valuable asset for their department with daily cases, call, knowledge, training surgical residents from the University of Iowa for some 35 of those years and then also family practice residents, medical students and of course many physician assistant students. He has always welcomed the chance of teaching and letting physician assistant students in on little intricate details or nuances that would help in their future practices.

Congratulations to Jay on an amazing PA career and a giant thank you to the legacy he's left through his student outreach!


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

Dallas Sanders - Iowa PA of the Year 20172016 PA Of the Year Winner, Luan Montag with her family

October 11, 2017 – Dallas Sanders of Des Moines, IA has been named the 2017 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.

Dallas attended the Physician Assistant Program at Touro College, Manhatten Campus and has long been working in Internal Medicine. He shares his knowledge and experience as a PA preceptor for the Des Moines University PA program, taking several PA students throughout the year, and is also an active Diabetes educator. His colleagues see him as a hard-working professional with a, “positive outlook on every patient and scenario,” and his patients, “love him and trust his judgment in every matter.”

IPAS is proud to honor Dallas with the Physicians Assistant of the Year award.


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

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.

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