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SHAW hires Physician’s Assistant Kasey Herbers

New SHAW Physicians Assistant Kasey Herbers will be able to provide prescriptive services. Photo by Ohana Savortha.

Student Health and Wellness (SHAW) has hired Kasey Herbers, PA-C, as the college’s acting physician’s assistant. In this position, Herbers combines administrative and medical responsibilities to provide students with increased accessibility to prescriptions, examinations and other similar medical provisions. 

Growing up on a farm near Grinnell, Herbers attended Iowa State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science and biology. After graduating from the University of South Dakota’s physician assistant program, she proceeded to primarily work in family practice and rural clinics. She’s been steadily working with staff members and interim director Lisa Peters to adjust to her new position.

“I wanted to not give up seeing patients all the time,” Herbers said. “This job will be partially working as a PA and then partially as an administrator, which I think is an interesting combination and something I haven’t done before and so I was excited about that.”

Her new role as the college’s physician assistant places Herbers in an administrative position as well as general medical practice. Currently, any Grinnell student seeking medical assistance that extends past nursing or counseling is required to find a local provider. Physicians assistants can prescribe medication and diagnose illness, neither of which can be performed by a nurse.

“My goal is to really make it more convenient so that every time you need to do something you don’t have to have a ride to town to go to someplace else.” Herbers said. “I think it’ll get you back to your life sooner than having to spend a whole day trying to just get a service.”

Herbers hasn’t taken any patients yet as a result of technical issues with electronic medical records, although she hopes to start seeing students soon.

My biggest wish would be that all the students would feel super comfortable at Shaw and have this to be a place where you can just be who you are and to get really top-notch health care and to feel comfortable while doing so. – Kasey Herbers, PA

In an effort to support Herbers in her new position, SHAW has made efforts to expand their medical facilities. SHAW currently doesn’t have a designated lab area with nurses running point of care in their offices, leading to potential difficulties with flu tests, shots and other operations. They notably intend to renovate the exam rooms and expand the laboratory space in the near future.

“We’re going to redo a couple of the exam rooms to make them more adequate for me because, currently, they don’t have water.” Herbers said. “It’s definitely going to be an improvement to make the space a little bit more adequate.”

Herbers enters her new position with an extensive list of administrative goals; one of her short-term goals is working with Sexual Health Information Center (SHIC) to expand student access to sexual health resources. 

“Sexual health is definitely on my radar. I feel it’s a service that a college like this needs,” Herbers said. “I need to do things slowly so I can learn the climate and learn what’s currently going on before I can come in and add a bunch of stuff. Feeling it out and going slow is going to be important.”

Herbers expressed an especially solid commitment to working steadily in creating programs and services that meet student needs based on priority. 

“SHAW could become a model of integrated healthcare with the medical and counseling services becoming a really well-functioning team.” Herbers said. “I think it’ll really benefit students to have that and to be able to bring in new services that haven’t been done before because there’s never been a provider here.”

She continued, “My biggest wish would be that all the students would feel super comfortable at Shaw and have this to be a place where you can just be who you are and to get really top-notch health care and to feel comfortable while doing so.”

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