Whether she’s treating her patients or raising money for medical research, Gretchen Hong knows teamwork is the foundation of success.

Hong, a nurse practitioner at UnityPoint Clinic Women’s Health in Dubuque, looks for partnerships in just about everything she does.

“I believe that you can be most successful if you whole-heartedly pursue your passion, work hard and are kindhearted to others,” she said. “I value teamwork with my patients and my co-workers. Through collaboration, you have a better understanding of the whole picture and can create an action plan to achieve the best results.”

A native Dubuquer, Hong earned undergraduate degrees in biology and Spanish at the University of Iowa. She then moved to New York City to obtain a master’s degree in nursing at Columbia University.

Hong spent several years working as a nurse practitioner on the East Coast before ultimately deciding “there’s no place like home,” she said.

Hong’s family, which includes her 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, returned to Dubuque in 2015. And she’s been providing health care services to her hometown ever since.

Community is important to Hong. For the past decade, she’s raised funds for cystic fibrosis research — inspired to do so after a family member was diagnosed with the disease.

“Supporting his family through their journey has sparked my desire to support my community and raise awareness about other devastating health conditions,” Hong said.

She also runs in most health-related 5K races in the tri-state area.

“I think it is important for health care providers to model healthy lifestyles, and I enjoy supporting my patients this way,” she said. “I especially love seeing my patients participate at these events, because it feels like we are all in this together.”

Hong teaches community-focused values to the next generation through her role as co-leader of her son’s Cub Scouts den. She uses the opportunity to teach children how to build friendships, think critically and serve their community.

She’s pursuing a doctoral degree in nursing at Clarke University. Her goal: Expand her practice to include children and make an impact on health care outcomes on a community level.

“I am most passionate about creating a trusting partnership with my patients, sharing my knowledge and experience in a way they can understand, removing their fear and empowering them to make the best health care decisions they can,” she said. “As my practice grows, I will continue to partner with my patients to provide the best care possible for years to come.”

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