With so many diverse experiences in medicine, and so many different roles that I’ve filled, I still can’t get past the idea that health care in America isn’t what it should be. The system is driven by words such as “productivity” and “market share.” And many seem to think that bigger is better. But lost in that approach is the importance of primary care, and particularly the relationship between the patient and physician.
There is a different style of practice that has developed called a “micro-practice” or “ideal medical practice.” This model of care is based upon low overhead through an efficient practice design and use of technology. Because of low overhead, there are fewer patients seen per day, more time to spend with each one, and greater continuity of care. As Dr. L. Gordon Moore, the leader of the ideal medical practice movement, puts it,
When you redesign a practice around these principles, you can step off the productivity treadmill and focus on excellent patient care.
That’s what my practice is about, because above all else there is no substitute for time spent with patients. Time spent diagnosing and treating, but so much more. Time for listening. Time for explaining. Time helping them navigate the health care system. Time getting to know them. Time to share and invest in the lives of my patients.
I was born in Des Moines and raised in Center Point, Iowa. There is nowhere I’d rather live and raise my family than Iowa. I had a wonderful family doctor as a role model during my childhood who really influenced my decision to follow that path.
I earned a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Iowa and went on to receive my medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine. I completed my residency training in Evansville, Indiana and was eager to return to Iowa to practice.
During my early career I had the opportunity to experience many different facets of medicine. I enjoyed practicing medicine in rural Iowa, with its unique challenges and rewards. While serving the Toledo, Iowa community I was a member of the Tama County Board of Health and the medical director for both long term care facilities there. I had the privilege of working in the community health center setting, with its incredible diversity of patients. I was blessed with the opportunity to participate in medical resident education. I was humbled by serving in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. And I worked in the urgent care setting, honing the skills to treat acute illness and injuries.
Since 2012 I have had the joy and challenges of operating my own private practice. I am the medical director at a long term care facility, Belle Plaine Specialty Care. And I am the medical director for Hospice Compassus in Iowa, a role which not only provides fulfillment, but helps me keep perspective in life. My varied experiences have shaped my philosophy about health care.
I am grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all of the many blessings He has given me. The greatest joy in my personal life is spending time with my family. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful wife and five incredible children, and being a father is easily my favorite thing to do in the world. I also enjoy music (especially jazz), sports, and computers. And I would be remiss if I failed to mention that I bleed black and gold for the Hawkeyes.
I am a lifelong Iowan. I was born in Des Moines and have lived most of my life in the Cedar Rapids area. My Great Grandfather, one of only two family physicians in Decorah, Iowa at the time, inspired my decision to become a healthcare provider.
I earned my B.A. from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, majoring in Biology. I went on to attain my MSN degree from the University of Iowa, followed by my Family Nurse Practitioner certificate and my Doctorate (DNP) from Allen College in Waterloo. I am a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner. I consider myself a lifelong learner, devoted to the continuous pursuit of improved patient care.
My desire to pursue a career in the medical profession developed as a little girl. As a high school student, I volunteered in the emergency room at a local hospital. During my first year in college I became a certified nursing assistant (CNA), enabling me to work for an agency that staffed nursing homes across Eastern Iowa. After earning my B.A. from Luther College, my goals to pursue medical school took a different direction with my diagnosis of thyroid cancer. During the treatment and recovery period I worked in a local medical billing office. After my full recovery, I again returned to school in pursuit of my Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Iowa. During this time, I worked in a Microbiology lab, processing patient specimens. I remained at the U of I for another 4 years as a Registered Nurse (RN) caring for the needs of patients with head and neck cancer and gynecological surgeries. While there I continued my studies to obtain my post-Master’s certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Most recently, I worked for 5 1/2 years in pain medicine at a local pain clinic. There my focus was on helping patients live more fulfilling lives free of debilitating pain related to musculoskeletal injury, headaches, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, osteoarthritis, etc. I bring that expertise with me into family practice. 20+ years of diverse medical experiences have helped to shape the way that I care for my patients while remaining mindful of the complexity of healthcare. My goal is to provide empathetic care, collaborating with and empowering my patients along the way.
First and foremost, I am so grateful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He has richly blessed me with a loving family, including my husband and daughter, and a passionate personality. My priorities are my husband and daughter. I love hiking, camping, biking, gardening, and simply enjoying God’s creation with my family. I also enjoy reading, learning, and doing crafts and home improvement projects. On the weekends I am often serving on my local church’s safety team.
Dayna Piper, RN, BSN
Tammy Gutwiler, CMA