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Physician assistant joins GRHS staff

Certified physician assistant Abby Bennett recently joined the family medicine department at Glencoe Regional Health Services (GRHS). She sees patients of all ages for a wide variety of medical concerns, as well as routine check-ups and preventive care. Bennett works Monday through Friday at the Glencoe Clinic.
While her scope of practice at GRHS is broad, Bennett has special interests in preventive medicine, mental health and women’s health. For example, she provides gynecological care such as breast exams, cervical cancer screening, birth control counseling, care for menopause-related concerns and treatment for heavy or painful periods. However, Bennett does not provide pregnancy care nor attend births. She refers pregnant patients to an obstetrics provider.
Originally from Sartell, Bennett earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences and a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee.
“I loved every type of science, biology and health-related class in high school, so I knew I wanted a career in a related field,” she said.
Bennett considered medical school, but after shadowing several different providers, she found herself drawn toward a career as a physician assistant (PA).
“I was really drawn to how those PAs connected with their patients, the time they took with their patients, and the healthy balance they were able to maintain between their work and personal lives,” she said.
Before joining GRHS, Bennett worked as a physician assistant at an OB-gyn clinic in the Twin Cities, but decided to expand her practice to family medicine.
“My passion for caring for the patient as a whole led me to family medicine,” she said. “I want to partner with my patients and help them achieve their best health overall.”   
Bennett also brings proficiency in the Spanish language to her practice at GRHS. She studied Spanish at Marquette University and also studied abroad in El Salvador, where she worked at a government-run health clinic.
“I hope that my conversational Spanish will be a comfort to patients and serve as an adjunct to the translation services provided by the GRHS interpreter staff,” Bennett said.
Providing individualized care that considers the whole person is very important to Bennett.
“I may see a patient for a specific health issue, but I also want to know how that person is doing overall,” she said. She hopes patients feel comfortable talking with her about any health concern or stressor that could be affecting them.
“I love getting to know my patients,” she said, adding that her patients likely consider her empathetic, relatable and responsive. “My priority is the patient’s total health and wellness, and how we can optimize it by working together.”
Away from work, you may see Bennett practicing yoga at a community center class, cross-country skiing in winter, and canoeing or playing tennis in warmer months. She enjoys getting lost in a good book any time of the year. Bennett and her husband, who also is a physician assistant, enjoy spending time at her parents’ lake home in Cold Spring.
“We are both from smaller towns, so when we moved to the Twin Cities after PA school, we didn’t want to live in the metro area. We chose Waconia instead. It has a small-town feel, but is also convenient to our jobs and provides quick access to activities in the metro area,” Bennett said. That preference for a small-town lifestyle eventually led Bennett to work in Glencoe.
“I am so happy to be practicing at GRHS,” she said. “From my first day, I have observed a family environment and a strong commitment to the community, too.”
To schedule an appointment with Bennett, patients may call GRHS at 320-864-7816 or 1-888-869-3116. To watch a video interview, visit grhsonline.org/bennett.