Any time students can receive financial assistance to go into post-secondary education, they should take advantage of it, he said.
"With the increase in tuition rates and the increase in interest on student loans, any time foundations or organizations give back, it makes us want to pay it forward to others," he said.
Dr. Ted Haas, a local OB-GYN, spoke to the students about his career in medicine.
"To see the next generation of health care givers is really tremendous, particularly those of you in physical therapy to keep us movers moving," he said.
In his third year of medical school, Haas was torn between family medicine and OB-GYN. After working rotations in both during his fourth year, he knew delivering babies was his path in life. When he started his residency at the University of Iowa in 1976, they were delivering eight to 10 babies per day. During his first weekend on-call in Ottumwa four years later, he delivered 13 babies in 36 hours.
Haas has now lived and worked in Ottumwa for 33 years and has delivered more than 7,000 babies.
"We get a real special opportunity because we get to take care of people and work with them when they're at their most vulnerable," he said.
Caitlin Hainley, who works as a lactation consultant at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines and is studying to be a midwife, originally graduated alongside her husband with English degrees. They moved to China from 2006-11, where she did a lot of humanitarian work with pregnant women. After returning to the U.S., she decided to become a midwife.
"I think that women should have more options in birth," she said. "And I think it's important that women take care of other women. I want to be part of creating a holistic model of care for women."