Mahaska Health Partnership is pleased to welcome Melissa Gentry, PA-C, to its Medical Staff. Gentry is practicing in Behavioral Health Services at MHP; she most recently operated a private practice in Ottumwa.
“I’m excited to work as part of a team again,” Gentry said. “I feel my patients get better care because I can partner with other clinicians to coordinate treatment.”
Gentry found her passion for psychiatry by accident. “I started out in Family Practice and Emergency Medicine, but the organization where I worked really needed psychiatric providers. I observed for two days and fell in love,” Gentry described.
“I answered the call and completed a year-long psychiatric fellowship at the University of Iowa. I have found my personal perspective, derived from my own life experiences, has shaped my compassion and guidance for patients. I’m doing what I was meant to do.”
When asked what she enjoys most about her specialty, Gentry said connecting with patients, hearing their stories and helping them find the best version of themselves. “Few things in life give me more satisfaction than when a patient who has really been struggling responds to a treatment and the whole world opens up to them,” Gentry explained.
“Things that otherstake for granted every day become within reach,” Gentry continued. “A person can’t have health, happiness or success; they can’t accomplish anything without first caring for their mental well-being. It drives everything.”
Gentry received her Bachelor of Arts from Central College in Pella before attending Des Moines University for her Bachelor of Science and Physician Assistant Certificate. She completed her Masters of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Her first Physician Assistant position was with University of Iowa Family Care in Sigourney, IA.
“I really believe mental healthcare is for everyone: moms, dads, busy professionals, kids and adults,” Gentry stressed. “I treat anyone age four to 94 for short-term issues as well as people suffering from a severe mental health diagnoses.
“I try to be very open with my patients. I’m accepting and understanding of their needs while trying to educate on their disease, along with the expected outcomes of prescribed treatment. When my patients are well informed, they are able to take an active role in their recovery.”
Gentry is available by appointment at MHP Behavioral Health Services Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. For an appointment, call 641.672.3159.