Dr. Hoffmann chooses new medical path

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Beginning in February, Dr. Jeffrey Hoffmann will be part of a family practice for over 11 months at a small rural clinic in Kaitaia, New Zealand through Global Health. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

After 32 years, dedicated Cornerstone Family Practice and Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics (GMHC) primary care physician Dr. Jeffrey Hoffmann, DO, of Guttenberg will step away from his longtime medical practice to embark on a new journey as a physician in a small rural clinic in Kaitaia, New Zealand.

Dr. Hoffmann, one of 11 children, graduated from the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in 1984. He completed his residency at Broadlawn’s Medical Center in Des Moines, and after four years fulfilling his Public Health commitment in Rock Rapids, Iowa, joined Cornerstone Family Practice in 1991. 

The longtime physician is a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians; past President of Iowa Academy of Family Physicians; Affiliate Faculty member of the University of Iowa Medical School, and on the board of the Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association. 

New Zealand clinic

"I will be done at the clinic on August 31, but will continue in the hospital until the end of the year," he assured. "Beginning in February my wife, Carolyn, and I will relocate to New Zealand where I will be part of a family  practice for 11-and-a-half months, and Carolyn will volunteer, both of us working with the indigenous population and New Zealand residents in a small rural clinic, similar in size to Guttenberg through Global Health." 

The Hoffmanns will live in Ahipara, which is about 15 kilometers from the clinic in Kaitaia. "We always wanted to do international work but were tied to the community," he noted. "We have heard good things about New Zealand, and are excited to take advantage of this opportunity."

The clinic and hospital are set up similar to GMHC. "The New Zealand Medical system is quite advanced," Hoffmann told The Press. "Their primary care physicians encourage healthy lifestyle choices which are in alignment with my own approach to health and wellness." 

Dr. Hoffmann has learned through the years that the best thing he can do for a patient is to listen. Often that simple act of showing you care will lead to the diagnosis and appropriate treatment options. 

"I may not agree with all of my patients' lifestyle choices, but we can understand that we are both here to help them better themselves – a partnership," he commented. "I am not going to save or cure everybody, but I can guide them to live their best life."

Dr. Hoffmann is very appreciative of the Guttenberg community, GMHC hospital administration and staff for the support they have given him throughout the years. "I truly would not be the physician I am without that support." 

Lifetime achievements

Hoffmann has earned the IAFP (Iowa Academy of Family Physicians) Family Physician of the Year, 2022; IAFP Lifetime Achievement Award 2015; Iowa High School Athletic Association Sports Medicine Award 2013; Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association Sports Medicine Award 2016; and Clayton Ridge School District Friend of Education in 1994. 

He was also the Board Chair for the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians from 2012 through 2013, and is currently a delegate for the IAFP for the American Academy of Family Physicians.  

"As you can see, I have been active in the IAFP for years advocating for family physicians and our patients.  I also enjoyed being on the Clayton Ridge school board for two terms, being on the sidelines for Clayton Ridge athletics, and coaching Little League baseball, youth soccer, and youth wrestling when my sons were growing up," he listed. 

Dr. Hoffmann was also involved with Cub Scouts and was the Cubmaster for 10 years when his sons were young. He continues to be a lector for St. Mary's Church and also enjoys attending services at St. John's with his wife.

The Hoffmanns, who have traveled to every continent except Antarctica, are looking forward to living, volunteering and working in New Zealand, but say, "Guttenberg will always be our home." 

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