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.


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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.

Laura Delaney - Iowa PA of the year 2015

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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

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

Ben_PardiniBenet Pardini - Iowa PA of the Year 2009

Tony Brenneman awarded Margaret Pardini with Ben Pardini’s PA of the Year Award.
“It is with both a sense of great pride and great sadness that I am able to present this year’s Physician Assistant Award. Benet Pardini, or as most of us knew him, Ben, was a wonderful human being as well as a great PA. His life was full and overflowing with family, teaching, and dedication to his patients and his life ended too soon on October 6, 2008, just a few days after this conference was held last year.

Ben grew up in the Chicagoland area where he attended Loyola University as a doctoral candidate. In 1983, he came to the University of Iowa as a Postdoctoral fellow studying Neural Control of Circulation and Central Autonomic Regulation of the Cardiovascular System. Ben was an outstanding researcher, winning research awards from the National Institute of Health, Loyola University, University of Iowa and the Shock Society. He could have spent an extremely productive career working with colleagues in the cardiovascular research center, but he grew increasingly interested in providing care to children with heart problems. So, 15 years after receiving his doctorate in physiology, he entered training as a PA and completed the Masters of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Iowa PA Program in 1998.

As a clinician, Ben quickly gained a stellar reputation for his competence and his bedside manner. He linked his research experience with his clinical skills through his participation in Clinical Trials from 1999-present. He was often found checking on his patients over the weekends, holidays, and nights when he wasn’t scheduled to cover those units. His office reflected those connections with drawings from his small patients on the walls or tucked on his desk. Always present in his office were pictures of his daughters, Emma and Ruth and his wife Margaret, for which he had great pride and love. He was always ready with a story of what was happening in their lives and he reveled in each of their accomplishments.
All of these accomplishments would be enough for many people, but for Ben, “enough” was only the beginning. Early on, he discovered the joys of teaching and committed himself fully to working with students across the college. His teaching assignments ranged from basic science classes to clinical teaching, and he taught many health science students in other colleges. He was consistently nominated for Teacher of the Year award within the Carver College of Medicine and in 2006 he was named faculty director of the Rubin Flocks LearningCommunity in the College. He also held joint faculty appointments as a clinical associate professor of Pediatrics and in Physiology and Biophysics.
Outside of the University, he served as a member of the Solon Community School Board, and demonstrated a passion and desire for education at every age and level. He was elected to the Iowa Physician Assistant Board of Directors in 2007 and was serving as Immediate Past President at the time of his passing. He was instrumental in moving IPAS forward in building our relationship with the Iowa Medical Society and for spearheading the new website. He was excited and determined as a PA and always made sure everyone was aware of his profession.

Ben had a gregarious, outgoing, and infectious personality. You always wanted to be the best that you could be when you were around him. He loved the outdoors and was always planning the next trip that Margaret, Emma and Ruth would be taking with him. He was interested in photography, sailing, beekeeping and many other activities, but his first priority was always to the women in his life and to his patients. I personally miss him very much and valued our discussions on an always widening number of topics. He was truly an inspiring person which one never forgets, even after a very brief meeting.
I am very proud to award Ben Pardini the Physician Assistant of the Year.”

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