Lt. Col. Mark Davis Honored Published June 3, 2008 By By Capt. Kevin Heineman, PAO 09/01/07 -- Lt. Col. Mark Davis, a Physicians Assistant (PA) with the 185th Air Refueling Wing and resident of Algona, Iowa, was recently honored as Iowa Physician Assistant of the Year by the Iowa Physician Assistant Society (IPAS) at the annual Physician Assistant (PA) conference in Iowa City, Iowa. Davis is both the first Iowa PA to be appointed a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) in the Iowa National Guard and first PA to become a Medical Group Commander. Davis is also being considered for promotion to full Colonel, a first for an Iowa PA. As Medical Group Commander of the 185th ARW in Sioux City, he oversees a medical staff of 50 professionals. 185th ARW Vice Commander, Col. Mark Foreman, said Davis is an outstanding citizen soldier and leader most deserving of this award. Davis voluntarily served two tours in Iraq. His outstanding performance in Iraq included seeing 350 military patients in 60 days with 94% return to duty rate, and volunteering to provide medical care to Iraqi civilians on his days off. He also provided stress counseling for his fellow service men and women who worked in the Baghdad morgue. His most challenging duty in Iraq was to medically care for some of the most dangerous and ruthless terrorists who were being held in prison. One of his supervising physicians in Algona, Kenton Moss, M.D., said "We are very proud of Mark for the fine medical care he provides in Algona and his willingness to serve our country. He is a colleague who has his own following of patients. We refer people to him because of his special skills in caring for patients who are going through stressful times." In accepting the award Davis thanked his wife, Laurie, and his colleagues and his staff at the Algona Mercy Clinic and in the National Guard for their support, especially while he was overseas on duty in Iraq. He said the award was a great honor but his achievements were made possible only with the understanding and support provided by his family and colleagues in Algona and in the National Guard. Davis challenged his PA colleagues at the conference to be prepared to care for the needs of the veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially the psychological stress caused by service for our country on those fronts. In addition to his work on many local service committees, Davis served on the Iowa State Board of PA Examiners, including two years as chairman. After gaining his Associates Degree from Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, Davis graduated with high honors from Kirkwood Community Colleges Orthopedic PA program, and later obtained his Physician Assistant degree from the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Des Moines, Iowa.