A Closer Look: Sarah Iverson
A Closer Look is a new newsletter feature that will give you a chance to get to know a Clinic Sofia staff member, patient or community member. It’s like a coffee or tea date where you can learn a little more and get inspired. This month, we are thrilled to feature our Physician Assistant Sarah Iverson.
After graduating from Concordia College in Moorhead, Sarah Iverson took a life-changing detour before she went on to earn her master’s in Physician Assistant Studies: She spent a year in Rwanda volunteering for Young Adults in Global Mission.
While in Rwanda, she helped start a science lab at a local high school, turning a recent donation of equipment into a lab where students could learn more about the world around them: “It was a lot of hands-on learning on everything from how to use and care for a microscope to how to safely dispose of chemical reagents after a chemistry experiment.”
Sarah, who continues to sponsor a student at the school in Rwanda each year, loved being able to “focus on being in a community and going beyond my day-job description. I was also learning a new language and culture, meeting neighbors and getting involved in the local community.”
She brings that global perspective to her work as a Physician Assistant at Clinic Sofia. “As a PA, my role is primarily in the clinic. I’m not at the hospital doing surgery or delivering babies, so I often have more flexibility to add patients for same-day appointments, to see patients for the doctors when they are called to the hospital and to spend a little more time with each patient, which I really enjoy,” she shared. ““I enjoy practicing in women’s health because I get to empower women through education about their bodies and their health. Unfortunately, a lot of women haven’t received enough education or completely accurate education about their bodies and topics such as periods, menopause and fertility. Education is power and I’m grateful I get to be an advocate for women in this way.”
With the vast amount of non-evidence-based information available on social media today, many girls and women struggle to figure out what’s true.
She also appreciates working for a private practice “alongside the people in charge. In larger health systems, those in charge rarely spend time in clinics or see patients, so it’s very powerful to work with colleagues in this way.” Sarah can’t rave enough about the Clinic Sofia team: In fact, Dr. Jewelia Wagner delivered her nephew last spring!
Her passion for volunteering and connecting with others continues through her work with Global Health Ministries, where she serves as a board member. The Minneapolis-based nonprofit partners in 13 countries worldwide to share resources and improve access to health by redistributing surplus medical supplies, offering training and consulting to improve health outcomes.
Sarah is also working with the Augsburg University’s Riverside Innovation Hub to co-author a chapter on Mental Health in the Church for an upcoming book. She blogged throughout her time in Rwanda and worked in fundraising and development when she returned, sparking a “love for storytelling.” The chapter will examine the effects of anxiety on both the human body and the church body.