30th Celebration Profiles and Reflections – Gwen Wagner
Editor’s Note: In celebration of 30 years of providing quality, affordable and accessible health care, we are profiling three individuals who have graciously shared their story about their connection with the clinic.
GWEN WAGNER, DNP, APRN, ANP-C
Health Partnership Clinic
Adult Nurse Practitioner, Diabetes Clinic
As Health Partnership Clinic’s (HPC) longest-tenured provider, Gwenyth Wagner, DNP, APRN, ANP-C, has observed an evolution at HPC that mirrors her own career. From very focused origins, both she and HPC have changed with the times to be of greater benefit to the community.
Like many, Dr. Wagner first served HPC as a volunteer.
An accomplished Registered Nurse in her early career, she worked at local hospitals and university health centers prior to completing her Master of Science in Nursing in 2009 at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. Seeking to serve those who lacked the medical care opportunities she had seen in her native Toronto, Ontario, she began volunteering at HPC in 2010 — before HPC received its designations as a Medical Home and Federal Qualified Health Center.
For patients who struggled to leave their daytime jobs to receive needed health care, Dr. Wagner helped begin an evening clinic at HPC. And from 2014-2018, she took on an expanded provider role by working daytime hours several days weekly.
Balancing her teaching and practitioner interests — and having received a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Kansas in 2014 — she now directs the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program full-time at Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan. She also leads HPC’s High-Risk Diabetes Clinic, where she performs necessary physical assessments, orders tests and helps patients access appropriate medications. Her team, which serves patients with uncontrollable diabetes, also provides education and behavioral health services.
Helping to expand HPC’s reach, she also serves as Nurse Practitioner Coordinator, connecting area school students with internship-like roles where they gain valuable clinical experience working with HPC providers to coordinate patient care. “Students get a really great experience and a really good sense that this place has a purpose…that it’s fulfilling a community need,” Dr. Wagner says.
She believes that HPC will continue to have a strong community presence for as long as basic medical care is inhibited by financial and accessibility limitations. She quickly adds that HPC has risen to such challenges over the years by adding providers in growth areas, emphasizing quality-focused initiatives and sustaining a positive work environment.
Dr. Wagner has been married to her childhood sweetheart for 36 years. They have four adult sons, two daughters-in-law and six grandchildren. In her “spare time,” she likes to walk, crotchet, knit, arrange family events and play with her grandchildren.
As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, HPC recognizes and appreciates Dr. Wagner, not only for her dedication to the HPC mission of serving patients regardless of their ability to pay, but for fostering a culture of care among the staff and the providers of tomorrow.