Granite Falls Health is welcoming Kate Scheffler as a new Physician Assistant. Scheffler will focus on everything from pediatrics to geriatrics, in addition to her professional interest in women’s health in her practice. “Really, I am excited to see everyone and everything that walks through the door,” said Scheffler jokingly. Scheffler will begin taking patients on January 2, but residents can schedule their appointments starting now.

Scheffler was born and raised in Granite Falls, and says that she is excited to return to her hometown. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota-Rochester with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, after which, she worked for a year at the Center for Innovation at the Mayo Clinic where she researched patient centered care. Recently, Scheffler graduated from PA school at Concordia University in Mequon, WI, just outside of Milwaukee.

During her second year of PA school, Scheffler gained hands on experience through various clinical rotations. Most of her clinical hours were spent in Wisconsin, but she was also got to work in Granite Falls (where she focused on family practice and women’s health) and at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis (where she did a surgical rotation).

Scheffler first became interested in pursuing medicine as a career in high school after completing the Summer Health Internship at Granite Falls Health. “It really gave me a good foundation,” said Scheffler, “I knew right away that I wanted to do something in the medical field.”

This experience inspired her to get her EMT license when she was a senior in high school. This allowed her to work with the Granite Falls Ambulance. “They taught me so much,” Scheffler remembered. “They were such great teachers. They really got me involved in emergency medicine and encouraged me to go to school to pursue a career in the medical field,” she said, adding, “that was something I really appreciated as a new student.”

Although she is still settling in, Scheffler is already looking forward to starting her medical career. “I’m excited to have my own patient base and to see patients throughout their lifespan,” she said. “That’s the interesting thing about family care, you can start with pediatrics and follow them throughout their whole lives.” Scheffler also hopes to work in the emergency room, explaining that this workplace flexibility “is unique to rural areas.”

Scheffler is recently engaged and says that the couple is “happy to be back in Granite Falls.” In her free time, she enjoys walking her golden retriever, Nora (which keeps the couple “very busy”) and spending times outdoors. “We’re excited to check out the Upper Sioux Agency state park,” she said, adding that she looks forward to hiking the area trails. They also hope to get kayaks to travel the Minnesota River.

This will be Scheffler’s first permanent full-time job working in a clinic. “It’s always a little daunting transitioning from being a student to being a provider,” she said. She explained that this was “especially true in family practice, which is so broad. You are not a specialist, but you have to know a little bit about everything.” Still, Scheffler says that the support she has received from Granite Falls Health leaves her feeling confident come January. “It’s been nerve wracking, but they have done a great job preparing me.”

For more information about scheduling an appointment with Scheffler, please contact the Granite Falls Health Clinic at 320-564-6200.