Gundersen Spring Grove Clinic is pleased to welcome Melissa Fuhrmann, DNP, to its staff of skilled and caring medical providers.
Fuhrmann treats patients of all kinds, providing care that includes annual physicals, primary care for teens, adults and older patients, women's healthcare needs and management of chronic diseases.
She's found herself at home, both personally and professionally, in the small towns in this corner of the country.
"My husband, Brian, and I are not from the area (she's from Sioux Falls, S.D.) but we love the Northeast Iowa/Southeast Minnesota area and all the friends and opportunities we have found here," says Fuhrmann.
Medicine was not her first career choice but it's been the best choice. "I started out with a degree in business but never felt I could find a job where I was making a meaningful difference for people," she says.
Her mother is a nurse, but it wasn't until she shadowed an RN aunt, after having graduated with a business degree, that things clicked into place for Fuhrmann. "Watching her work with the healthcare team in a small rural hospital, I had my 'aha' moment," she says.
She worked in Madison, Wis., on a cardiac step-down unit for many years, and was excited by the challenge. Yet, she understood that many of her patients might have avoided the care she was providing.
"I often saw patients for things that were preventable, and it was sad to see how stressful it was for families and patients, to be in the hospital when they would rather be at home," she says. "That helped me decide to return to school to become a nurse practitioner so I can work with patients on disease prevention and chronic disease management—to help patients stay as well and as healthy as possible whatever their age or health conditions."
And working in smaller communities has proven the most rewarding.
"I am struck by the close relationships between the healthcare team and our patients and how the community helps support each other," Fuhrmann says. "I also see the need for rural access to healthcare and the specific challenges people in our area face."
When not caring for her patients, she likes spending time with family and friends, especially in the great outdoors among the beauty and activities she, Brian and their dog, Koda, can literally find right outside their door.
"We love it here," she says.
To schedule with Fuhrmann or any Spring Grove Clinic provider, call (507) 498-3302.
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