Henry County Health Center’s Diabetes Education Center is here to help you reach your health goals. Our on-site staff includes a registered nurse and registered dietitian, and HCHC’s Diabetes Team is made up of several different healthcare professionals to help better serve our clients. Meet our Diabetes Education Advisory Team!
Katie Westphal, BSN, RN
Katie received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Iowa Wesleyan College in May of 2009. She was hired as an RN at Henry County Health Center after graduating college. She spent 7 years working as a floor nurse on the medical-surgical floor at HCHC.
In April of 2013, Katie had the opportunity to apply for a shared position with the Diabetes Education Center. She always knew she enjoyed teaching and was ready for a new challenge. She now spends all of her time in Diabetes Education and serve as the diabetes program coordinator.
Katie enjoys working with patients to help them in their diabetes care journey to prevent both short-term and long-term complications of diabetes. Knowledge is power and she believes it is so important to have accurate information received through a diabetes education program. She also really enjoys working with pregnant mothers who have gestational diabetes. She is presently working toward becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator. Outside of work, Katie enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children.
Elise Klopfenstein, RD, LD, CDE, MPH
Elise is a clinical dietitian with Henry County Health Center. She has been employed with HCHC since the summer of 2009. She received her Bachelors of Health Care Science from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. She completed her internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She received her credentials to be a Certified Diabetes Educator in 2009 and completed her Master’s in Public Health with the University of Iowa December 2011.
Elise’s role at Henry County Health Center includes being a diabetes educator for Henry County Health Center’s Diabetes Education Center. In addition, she provides individualized education in the outpatient setting for diabetes, heart disease, weight management, and food intolerances. She also works with Cardiac Rehab, Pulmonary Rehab, and Park Place Elder Living.
Elise is the mother of three boys. She works on a daily basis to serve, educate, inspire and expand health in our community.
Julie Wagner, D.O.
Dr. Julie Wagner D.O. grew up in Houghton, Iowa. She attended Augustana College where she minored in Psychology in addition to Pre-Medicine and Biology majors. She then attended medical school at Des Moines University and completed a Family Medicine Residency in Cedar Rapids.
A board-certified physician at Family Medicine of Mt. Pleasant P.C for the last 10 years, Dr. Wagner has a busy practice covering all ages from infants to elderly. Special interests include women’s health and chronic disease management – specifically diabetes and it’s associated complications. She has been Medical Director of the Diabetic Education Center since 2010. Teaching is a passion and she strives to educate her patients with knowledge to self-manage their conditions.
Dr Wagner understands the healthcare challenges facing rural communities today and she enjoys living and working alongside those whom she cares for. She remains active as a board member for Healthy Henry County Communities and the Hospice of Central Iowa Advisory Board. She attends church at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church.
Dr. Wagner strives to balance work and home where she is wife to Alan, (a science teacher at Mt. Pleasant High School) and mother to their three active children.
Tiffany Hauptman, DPM
Dr. Tiffany Hauptman received her DPM degree from the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines University in 1998. Following graduation, she completed a two-year surgical residency program at Trinity Regional Hospital in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Dr. Hauptman received the C.P.M.S. Leadership Award and the Timothy Holbrook Memorial Award for Excellence in Orthopedics. She is a member of the Iowa Podiatric Medical Society, American Podiatric Medical Association, and is on the Board of Directors of the Iowa Podiatric Medical Society. Dr. Hauptman is a provider at Great River Physicians and Clinics Orthopedic Specialists and has privileges at Henry County Health Center in Mt. Pleasant and Great River Medical Center in West Burlington.
Dr Hauptman loves being a part of the Diabetes Education Team and feels the information she gives to the clients is vital. She says, “the classes are very rewarding” and she just wishes more people in our area would avail themselves of the wonderful resources we have at HCHC!
Micki Gerdes-Boelens, DPM, CWS
Dr. Micki Gerdes-Boelens received her DPM degree from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland in 2003. Following graduation, she completed a three-year surgical residency program at Northwest Medical Center in Margate, Florida. Dr. Gerdes-Boelens is a Certified Wound Specialist by the American Academy of Wound Management. She received the Dr. Raymond K. Locke Award for Excellence in Rheumatologic Disease. She is a member of the Iowa Podiatric Medical Society and the American Podiatric Medical Association. Dr. Gerdes-Boelens has privileges at Henry County Health Center in Mt. Pleasant, Great River Medical Center in West Burlington and Fort Madison Community Hospital.
Dr Gerdes is married and has 2 wonderful children!
Dr. Gerdes says she looks forward to teaching about foot care to our patients and feels the diabetes classes are so necessary for anyone that has diabetes.
Michele Birdsell, RPh
Michele has been a pharmacist for 24 years with the last 21 years at HCHC. She graduated from the University of Iowa, College of Pharmacy. She is currently a preceptor for the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and Drake University College of Pharmacy. She has been on the Diabetes Team since 2009. She enjoys the patients the most and educating them about medications to treat diabetes and what over the counter products are best for them. She loves visiting with them and also learning from them on how to treat diabetes. She believes her pharmacy students benefit from going with her as she presents to patients about their medications. The students are used to a very formal lecture environment and with the diabetes class she tries to bring it to the patient’s level and inform them on how to take the best care of themselves. She loves being a part of this team and finds it very rewarding!
Andy Youngquist, MPT-Director of Rehabilitation Services
Andy really enjoys being a part of the diabetes team. He is the director of the HCHC Rehabilitation Services Department and he takes care of many patients that have diabetes. He finds that it is definitely rewarding to teach patients about the importance of exercise and taking control of their diabetes. The patients that attend the classes are very motivated to take care of their diabetes and keep their A1C level below 7%. Andy is very pleased that our health center offers this service to our patients, and he appreciates the opportunity to help give them the tools and motivation to reach their goals.
Sylvia Graber, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC
Sylvia has been a family nurse practitioner for over 15 years. She has her own practice in New London, taking care of patients of all ages. She believes that diabetes education is very important, allowing the patient to be in better control of their diabetes and to have an improved quality of life. Sylvia graduated from the University of Iowa in 2002. She lives in Mount Pleasant with her husband and three children.
Sarah Ledger, D.O.
Dr. Ledger enjoys being part of the diabetes team at HCHC because she believes that it is vital for her patients to understand the disease so that their treatment plans can be maximized. A large portion of the treatment plan revolves around lifestyle changes, which can be difficult to make without help. She is proud of the team that at HCHC and what they do for the patients. She has many patients that have benefited greatly from attending the diabetes education classes!
Dr. Ledger has been working in Mount Pleasant for 7 years and joined the diabetes team shortly after she started working here.
Please let Dr. Ledger know if she can facilitate a referral to our wonderful diabetic team!
Katie Steffensmier,MSN, ARNP, CDE
Katie joined the team of talented professionals at Henry County Health Center in 2014. She works as hospitalist nurse practitioner, simply meaning she sees individuals while they are hospitalized. Her previous experience includes working at the University of Iowa on the Inpatient Diabetes Management Team for 2 years. This is where she developed a love for working with those who live with diabetes. Working closely with those who live with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes has given her some perspective on the challenges faced every day from having to test blood glucose multiple times daily to trying to remember complicated medication regimens to dealing with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Her hope is that we can educate those in our community how to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes or the progression from prediabetes to diabetes by making small, manageable lifestyle changes and to set realistic goals. This could be as simple as increasing our physical activity or practicing portion control. She hopes to help people realize that diabetes does not define them, that testing, medications, etc. are just a part of their daily routine.
Laura Miller, PA-C
Laura is a physician assistant at Family Medicine and has been with the Diabetes Education Program since the fall of 2012. She has a passion for working with her patients to better understand their health. She enjoys using a preventative approach to avoid complications as well as treating present underlying illnesses to improve patient’s quality of life. She has the benefit of both teaching and working with patients to help them understand how to manage their diabetes, rather than diabetes, itself, defining them.
She is so glad she can be a part of this great team, and she really feels like they make a difference in the lives of the people that attend the classes!
Katie Gratz, PA-C
Katie grew up near Houghton, IA and attended Simpson College in Indianola, IA majoring in Biology with a minor in psychology. After undergrad, she worked at a hospice house for a year before starting PA school at Des Moines University. She completed PA school in 2011 and worked for 3 years at a community health clinic in Oquawka, IL prior to starting at FMMP in October 2014. She is married with 2 young children.
Katie believes diabetic education is important because diet and exercise play a huge role in controlling diabetes. There can also be a lot of complications from uncontrolled diabetes and it is important for patients to be well informed of these so that they may do what they can to prevent these complications.
Jessi Richmond, MSN, ARNP, FNP-C
Jessi Richmond is a a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She graduated with her Nurse Practitioner degree in 2014, and immediately started working in the Hematology/Oncology office at Great River Medical Center. She truly enjoyed that position, but in May 2017 she left the hospital setting and began working in family practice at the New London Family Health clinic. She takes pride in providing high quality care to a small community, and enjoys getting the chance to utilize her ARNP-FNP degree to its full potential each day. She is able to treat patients of all ages in this position, which offers her the chance to provide education and treatment for a wide variety of conditions. One of the more common conditions that she sees in the clinic is diabetes. Diabetes is a very prevalent illness in our area, and it has the potential to lead to many serious health complications. Fortunately many times this can be prevented with specific lifestyle interventions and medications, and this is what she strives to educate her patients on when they see her for a visit in the clinic.
When she is not working at the clinic, she is spending time at home with her family, reading books, or doing crossword and Sudoku puzzles. She has been married to her husband Justin for over 10 years, and they have 4 children ages 10, 6, and twins that are 2 years old. They live in the country with a very large German Shepherd who thinks he is still a puppy, and several outdoor cats that like to torment the dog.