Dr. Dan Ostermiller joined Payette Lakes Medical Clinic in 1986 after completing his family medicine residency at the University of Washington in Spokane.
He retired at the end of 2018 after 32 years of practicing medicine in McCall and New Meadows.
Dr. Ostermiller spent most of his career practicing rural medicine, caring for patients in the clinic and hospital, delivering babies and spending many nights and weekends in the emergency room.
“Being a family medicine physician in McCall has been a dream job for me,” he said. “I’ve had the pleasure of being part of a growing and changing medical community. I marvel at what it has become.”
Dr. Ostermiller always had a passion for preventative medicine and the desire to help people and communities through health. In 2001, he decided he wanted to take the care he provided his patients to a new level.
He enrolled at the Helms Medical Institute in Berkeley, Calif., and began his studies in medical acupuncture for physicians. He became board-certified in 2004.
“At the time, I didn’t realize how much it would add to my understanding of all medicine,” he said.
The ability to offer acupuncture as a treatment was one of Ostermiller’s goals. The next was to transform his practice from treating patients’ symptoms and diseases to caring for the whole patient, with a focus on prevention and overall wellness and quality of life.
He enrolled in a two-year University of Arizona integrative medicine fellowship program created by Dr. Andrew Weil. The program has achieved international recognition.
In 2006, Ostermiller’s vision became a reality when he, along with a team of wellness providers, opened the McCall Memorial Hospital (now St. Luke’s McCall) Integrative Medicine Clinic, the first hospital provider-based integrative clinic in Idaho.
The team set out to be champions of wellness and coach patients to live healthy lifestyles. They developed a community program to support healthy life choices and long-term weight management through lifestyle modification. Many of the core concepts used to create the program are now used in employee wellness programs available to St. Luke’s employees today.
Over the decades, Dr. Ostermiller has served as chief of staff, continuing medical education director, chief of obstetrics and gynecology and medical director for McCall’s Rehabilitation and Care Center.
Closest to his heart, however, has been his work as the Center for Health Promotion (CHP) medical director, a position he has held since the center’s founder, the late Dr. Ed Hershgold, retired in 2003. In this role, he has made many community health presentations on a variety of topics and could always be counted on to volunteer for annual health screenings, including skin cancer. He was also a long-time volunteer ski instructor at CHP’s Nordic for Ladies.
Dr. Ostermiller will continue to be a fixture in the community as he continues to volunteer and participate in some of his favorite events, like the Ski Marathon and Mile High swim.
In retirement, Dr. Ostermiller is choosing a new path of wellness.
“I will be doing some ranching and gardening,” he said. “My wife, Lisa, has always said that I am a frustrated farmer.”
Laura Crawford works in the Communications and Marketing department at St. Luke's.