Glanton: An Event for Change 18th Anniversary

An event for change

Join DMU and other community leaders as we change health care education. The Glanton event is your opportunity to show your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Together, we can have a greater impact.

Robert and Loretta Sieman

Meet the 2020 Glanton Honorees

Robert Sieman, D.O.’73, and Loretta Sieman, M.S.E.

The lives and careers of Robert Sieman, a 1973 DMU graduate, and Loretta Sieman share the Glanton Fund’s goal of making the world a better place.

Dr. Sieman is an obstetrician/gynecologist and medical director of New Leaf Wellness in West Des Moines, Iowa. Loretta is a retired teacher, the first woman to serve on the West Des Moines City Council and a tireless volunteer for a wide range of causes.

Meet the 2020 Glanton Honorees: Robert Sieman, D.O.’73, and Loretta Sieman, M.S.E.

On a recent late-spring day, the entryway of the Clive, IA, home of Robert Sieman, D.O.’73, and Loretta Sieman, M.S.E., was lined with goodie bags that Loretta assembled for her fellow volunteers in the Iowa Mask Brigade. The group of 35 women and men over the age of 70 are working toward their goal of producing and distributing more than 7,000 medically approved face masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus. So far, they’ve sent masks to hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices and police departments across Iowa and around the country.

This effort exemplifies the lives and careers of the Siemans – Robert, who has devoted his practice to serving families, expecting mothers and menopausal and post-menopausal women and men, and Loretta, a retired teacher and West Des Moines City Council member whose list of volunteer activities runs four pages, single-spaced.

“He brings them into the world, I make sure they’re happy,” she says of her spouse. Adds Robert: “’No’ is not in her vocabulary.”

The couple will be celebrated as the 2020 Glanton honorees in conjunction with a virtual event on Thursday, Oct. 8. This annual fundraiser raises money for the University’s Glanton Fund, which supports scholarships for minority students under-represented in the health professions and programs that foster the cultural competency of all DMU students.

Robert and Loretta met at Drake University, where he earned his pharmacy degree and she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and education and secondary school administration, respectively. After they began their careers, Robert decided to pursue a different path.

“I wanted and needed more in my life and I decided to make a career change,” he says. He was among the last classes to attend the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, now DMU, at its downtown Des Moines campus. The college moved to its current location, 3200 Grand Ave., in 1972, one year before he graduated.

“By that time, I was on clinical rotations, so I wasn’t on campus much,” he says. His class’s commencement was held on the new campus lawn, which wasn’t unfamiliar territory to Loretta; she had graduated from St. Joseph Academy, the Catholic girls’ high school that previously occupied the Grand Avenue location.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have attended DMU, allowing me the ability to continue my education and become an ob/gyn physician for many years in central Iowa,” he says. “While at the University, I went through much soul-searching under the leadership of Dr. Leonard Azneer, as the school was also challenging its future.”

“As the Student Wives Club president, I traveled with President Azneer to conventions, where I learned about the needs of people in our country,” she says. “Bob and I, along with our sons, Brian and Keith, had a good life. It was important to us that others should have the same.”

Robert went on to a family medicine residency and an obstetrics/gynecology residency at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. He then became board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Loretta had already launched her teaching career, including at Des Moines’ Washington Irving Junior High at 14th and Forest.

“I loved my kids. They were very straightforward – if you’re straight with them, the were straight with you,” she says.

Loretta was a member of the West Des Moines Community School District Board – which she served as vice president and president – when she was asked to run for the West Des Moines City Council. She was the first woman elected to the council, which she served on for 17 years, through six mayors, significant development in the city and a population increase of more than 50 percent.

“All the council members were younger than me. I was the mom,” she recalls.

While Loretta’s decades of civic service and volunteerism encompass practically every charitable organization and board in central Iowa, it’s the roles that benefit youth that have been most meaningful to her. She recalls a fundraising event for Variety Club, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children who are at-risk, underprivileged, critically ill or living with special needs. She served as chair of its annual auction and as president, treasurer and secretary of its board.

“A little boy climbed on my lap and asked, ‘Are you Miss Variety?’ I told him no, but that I work for them,” she said. “He then told me, ‘I never had a bike before.’ My parents taught me that if you help people, life would be better for you.”

Robert served in leadership roles in health care, including as chair of the obstetrics and gynecology departments at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and Mercy Hospital; a member and chair of the continuing quality improvement committee at The Iowa Clinic PC; and a member of the utilization review board for Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa and South Dakota. He now is medical director of New Leaf Wellness in West Des Moines and in Oklahoma.

Loretta also worked for Business Publications Corp. as vice president for community relations; she now has her own business, LJS Consulting.

Both Robert and Loretta praise the leadership of DMU President and CEO Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D., including in DMU’s becoming the nation’s first medical school to partner with the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), the nation’s leading advocacy group for mental illness, to offer its provider education program to third-year osteopathic medical students. All medical schools train students how to diagnose mental illness, but DMU takes that further by requiring its D.O. students to learn to recognize mental illness among their patients and then treat them or refer them to appropriate care givers.

Sadly, the Siemans’ son Kevin died from complications of diabetes while also experiencing the trauma of mental illness.

“DMU has again stepped in and partnered with us and NAMI to give a great deal of help, training their medical students about mental health and sponsoring NAMI’s Beautiful Minds event,” Loretta said, referring to the organization’s annual event that raises awareness and financial support by having local actors portraying famous thinkers who had mental illnesses. “We will always be grateful to Dr. Franklin for knowing the importance of the issue and stepping to the forefront.”

Adds Robert: “Dr. Franklin has challenged the University, the students, our community and beyond about the needs we have and how we can be a leader in making medicine better.”
Russell Dixon, PA-C'11

Featured Speaker

Russell Dixon, PA-C'11
A 2011 DMU graduate, past Glanton Scholarship recipient and current member of the DMU Alumni Board, Russell Dixon is a physician assistant in the emergency department of the Veterans Administration Central Iowa Health Care System and at the Iowa Clinic P.C.

This is how we change health care

As our nation continues to grapple with longstanding racial injustice and disparities, Des Moines University is working to be part of the solution in health care. The Glanton Fund represents our response to persistent poor health outcomes related to race. Established in 2004, the W. Stevenson and Luther T. Glanton Fund generates scholarships for minority students, who are under-represented in the health care professions, and supports programs that foster the cultural humility of all DMU students.

When you support the Glanton Fund, you stand with DMU for the right of all people to live safely and to be treated with respect and dignity. You show your solidarity with the University for a more compassionate and just health care system. You share our urgency for change for a better society.

The impact of the Glanton Fund

The Glanton Fund supports Des Moines University’s three-pronged approach in tackling race-related disparities:

  1. Increase the number of minorities in the health care workforce
  2. Prepare all students to provide culturally competent care
  3. Provide students with opportunities to work directly with underserved populations

Visionary Sponsors

Bankers Trust logo

Doug & Mary Bruce


Shahbaz Ahmed Merchant

John & Mary Pappajohn

Mary A. Radia, D.O. '81 & Suku Radia

RDG Planning and Design

Champion Sponsors

Angela & Thaddeus Franklin

Piper Sandler 9.23.20
Principal 8.27.20

Robert Sieman, D.O.’73 & Loretta Sieman

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa

Advocate Sponsors


American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company

AVI Systems

Mark J. Becker & Associates, LLC

Bradley & Riley PC

Bruce & Terri Boland

Ambassador Terry & Chris Branstad

Broadlawns Medical Center

City of West Des Moines

EMC Insurance Companies

Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines

Bernard M. Feldman, D.O.'80 & Ava R. Feldman, D.O.'83

Formation Group, Inc.

Renee Hardman

Dr. John and Becky Hines

The Iowa Clinic, P.C.

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

Iowa Medical Society Foundation

Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association

Dave & Mary Ann Kapaska

Dr. Mark Menadue - ACUTE CARE, INC.

MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

Meredith Corporation

R&R Realty Group

John Ruan Foundation Trust


Drs. Rebecca and Robert Shaw

UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

The Waldinger Corporation

Willis Automotive

Workspace, Inc.

Wright Outdoor Solutions

Individual Supporters

Ahlers & Cooney, PC | Lori & Larry J. Baker, D.O. | TShiela M. Benda | Philip & Jennifer Blumberg | Dr. Kimberly Brown & Robert Koutek | Traci Bush | Hijinio Carreon | Linda M. Carter-Lewis | Martin Diamond, D.O.'62 | The Doll Family | EFCO Corp. | Nick & Stephanie Greiner | Marcia & Gary Hammers | Vickie B. Harris, D.O.'92 & Paul D. Harris | W. Hal Hatchett, D.P.M.'00 / Coastal Carolina Podiatry, Inc. | Victoria Herring | Harlan & Dorothy Hockenberg | Mike & Debbie Hubbell | Mike & Susan Huppert | Iowa Realty Foundation | Dr. Troy and Grace Ivey | Gabe and Jess Jefferson | Dr. Stephen & Martha Kaiser | Knapp Properties | Narayana Rao Kosuri, D.O. '76 | Erika Linden & Randy Thompson | Molly Moeller | Erna & Steve Morain | Amy Morris | Mark & Karla Peiffer | Claudia Peterson, D.O.'86 | Richard T. Pitts, D.O., Ph.D. & Colleen O'Connor, CRNA | The Rasmussen Group, Inc. | Richard Rawson | Mark & Janet Rosenbury | Rich A. Salas, Ph.D. | Louis E. Schneider, D.O.'79 & Patricia Schneider | Seth & Katie Stevenson | Tri-City Electric Co. | Walsh Door & Security | Carolyn Weaver | West Bank | Michael & Linda Witte | Sue & Art Wittmack | Adrian L. Woolley, D.O.'95 | Bill & Maribeth Wright | Tim & Donna Yoho

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