Exemplar Care Appoints Dr. Michael Line as Head of Patient Care

Des Moines, Iowa (September 26,2023)

Exemplar Care announced that Michael Line, MD, MMM, will serve as the organization’s Head of Patient Care effective immediately. In this leadership role for Exemplar Care, Dr. Line will assume oversight for leading the medical staff and care process. Dr. Line’s previous leadership roles include Chief Medical Officer at Unity Point, Grinnell and Greene County, Jefferson and he has served as a pediatrician for over twenty years.

“Dr. Line is a highly regarded physician who has held numerous leadership positions on health-related boards and committees throughout Iowa and we are fortunate to have him join us,” said Jon Van Der Veer, DO, Exemplar Care Founder and CEO.

Dr. Line’s appointment to the Exemplar Care team marks a significant milestone in their journey to solve healthcare challenges. Dr. Line’s clinical and medical management experience will continue to propel Exemplar Care in delivering personalized, accessible, and high-quality healthcare to their valued members.

About Exemplar Care

Exemplar Care offers a wide range of medical services including Direct Primary Care and around-the-clock urgent care. Our primary goal is to address the existing challenges in the healthcare system.

For more information, visit https://www.exemplar.care/.

“Carve Out the Good Times” While Falling into Wellness

As the days grow shorter and the evenings cooler, we find ourselves at that bittersweet point in the year when we must bid farewell to the warmth and leisure of summer. As the leaves change and fall, it’s time to shift our focus towards embracing a season of self-care, ensuring we enter the winter months in the best health possible. Here are some insights on how to “carve out the good times” all while promoting your wellness this fall season. 

Harvest Season Nutrition

Autumn introduces an array of nutrient-rich foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that fortify our immune systems and protect against seasonal illnesses. In-season fruits and vegetables include pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, apples, and leafy greens. Additionally, indulging in warm fall foods like soups and stews that are often rich in seasonal vegetables and spices not only can help regulate appetite but can also provide a sense of warmth and comfort on chilly days, which can have a positive impact on your mental well-being.

Outdoor Activities

As the weather cools off, it can be easy to hibernate if we don’t have things to keep us busy. Whether it’s raking leaves in the yard, apple picking at an orchard, enjoying a pumpkin patch, hiking through trails, or simply strolling through the park to enjoy the fall foliage, engaging in outdoor activities during the fall season is a great way to keep active and connect with nature. 

Immune Support

Embracing the fall season means not only enjoying bonfires and pumpkin spice lattes, but also fortifying your immune system against seasonal illnesses. Here are some other ways to proactively support your immune system this fall season:

  • Wash your hands often: To avoid colds and flu, the most effective prevention method is frequent, thorough hand washing.
  • Get plenty of sleep: With clocks moving back an hour and decreased daylight, it’s common to find it difficult to wake up in the dark, leaving you feeling groggy throughout the day. It’s crucial that you get plenty of sleep this fall as it plays a huge factor in your health.
  • Vitamins: Consider taking vitamin supplements like vitamin C and D to fill any nutritional gaps and enhance immune function to keep you healthy and energized throughout fall and into winter.

Preparing for Winter Wellness

Fall is the perfect time to prepare your body for the winter ahead to combat seasonal challenges like colds or influenza. According to the CDC, anyone 6 months or older should consider getting a flu shot each fall by October. This proactive approach to winter wellness not only safeguards your own health but also contributes to community immunity to promote a healthier and more resilient population during the winter months. Remember, fall is a season of change and preparation. Make the most of it while nurturing your health and well-being. 

Achieve Fall Wellness with Exemplar Care

Our team of healthcare professionals is here to partner with you to achieve optimal health throughout the year, including fall. 

Exemplar Care emphasizes a personalized, patient-centered approach, allowing individuals comprehensive wellness check-ups tailored to your seasonal health considerations, including flu vaccinations. Additionally, we understand that leaving the cozy atmosphere of your home coupled with the desire to avoid potential exposure to seasonal illnesses can be difficult. Luckily, we offer in-person, or virtual visits to provide you with a seamless way to integrate healthcare into your day. This proactive engagement is what sets Exemplar Care apart from other primary care providers and supports individuals in managing their wellness, promoting a healthy transition into the autumn months.

Fall into wellness with Exemplar Care by your side!

Contact us to learn more about membership at Exemplar Care.

Bike Safety

We applaud everyone who is embarking on RAGBRAI this year! Even if you are not up for the full event, riding a bicycle is a great form of exercise with many health benefits.

Here are 6 tips for safe and responsible biking:

Bicycle Safety Equipment

Use the following safety equipment on your bicycle and yourself to stay safe while riding your bike:

  • Bicycle helmet
  • High visibility clothing
  • White front reflector
  • White front light
  • Red rear reflector
  • Red rear light
  • Side reflectors on the wheels and pedals (white or yellow)

In addition to bike safety, check out our tips for healthy outdoor summer activities.

Doing Healthcare Right with Dr. Jon Van Der Veer: Makers Podcast

Leisa Fox is joined by Dr. Jon Van Der Veer, who is the founder of Exemplar Care in Des Moines. Dr. Van Der Veer talks about why he founded Exemplar Care, how it works, and why it could be a great tool for employers and employees. Transparency is lacking in many parts of the healthcare world, especially when it comes to the cost. Dr. Van Der Veer has made it his goal to ensure clarity for the patients that utilize Exemplar Care. 

In this episode of the Makers Podcast, Dr. Van Der Veer discusses the various insurance plans and how they are utilized today, but the lack of clarity on cost has continued to hinder patients. He lays out the various simple processes and where they’re able to cut your health care costs both as employers and employees with their model of cutting the red tape from administrative processes and removing the insurance roadblocks placed by so many in the industry.

What you’ll learn:

  • Reference-based pricing
  • Insurance options as an employer
  • Savings through Exemplar Care

Listen on Apple Podcasts >


Want to know more?
If you are interested in learning more about Exemplar Care or Aplos Health Plans, Contact Us.

Exemplar Care Announces Carl Behne, President and Chief Strategy Officer Onsite Full-time

Des Moines, Iowa (June 19, 2023)

Exemplar Care’s President and Chief Strategy Officer Carl Behne, FACHE, will no longer be balancing multiple organizations, rather he will focus solely on solving healthcare challenges with the rest of the Exemplar Care team.

“We are thrilled to now have Carl full-time at Exemplar Care” said Jon Van Der Veer DO, Exemplar Care Founder and CEO. “His strategic insights and extensive expertise in the healthcare industry will be critical as we continue to increase locations and services to bring innovative healthcare solutions to employers and their employees across central Iowa and beyond.” 

Behne comes to Exemplar Care with significant executive healthcare experience. He recently served as CEO for Burgess Health Center, Monona County, Iowa where he led the hospital and area communities through the Covid-19 pandemic. While there he steered the $18.1 million expansion and renovation of the health center and clinics.  Prior to that, he was CEO at Greene County Medical Center in Jefferson, Iowa where Behne and Van Der Veer first began working together over 9 years ago and began their dream of doing healthcare differently. 

Behne was named 2013 Iowa Hospital Association Young Executive of the Year, steered culture improvement which led to being named one of Iowa’s Best 150 Places to Work multiple successive years, oversaw the construction of a $22.5 million expansion and renovation project that improved access to emergency care, developed and led the philanthropic achievement of a $4 million capital campaign goal, and most recently was awarded 2022 IHA Grassroots Advocacy Award, to name a few other accomplishments.

“I’ve been supporting Exemplar Care since its inception and I’m excited to bring convenient, personalized healthcare to patients, and cost savings to patients and employers. Far too long I have seen the opportunities to remove barriers for patients go unmet and I look forward to helping to drive disruptive and systemic change.”

About Exemplar Care

Exemplar Care offers a wide range of medical services including Direct Primary Care and around-the-clock urgent care. Our primary goal is to address the existing challenges in the healthcare system.

For more information, visit https://www.exemplar.care/.

Discover the Power of Self-Care for a Thriving Workplace

Embrace Direct Primary Care for Accessible, Quality, and Affordable Preventative Health Care

We all know that the past couple of years have been tough. With the roller coaster of the COVID-19 pandemic, skyrocketing inflation, and soaring healthcare expenses, it’s no wonder that stress levels among employees hit an all-time high in 2023.

In fact, women in the United States have experienced some of the highest stress levels globally. Depression rates of U.S. adults have more than tripled since the pandemic, now affecting 1 in every 3 U.S. adults. Due to these factors, among others, it has become increasingly difficult for employees to present as their best selves at work. Self-care is part of the answer as to how we can move forward and support the American workforce.

So, what exactly is self-care?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), self-care is all about “individuals, families, and communities taking charge of their own health, preventing illnesses, and coping with disabilities, with or without the support of healthcare professionals.” It’s about empowering ourselves to be the best versions of ourselves, both personally and professionally. 

Now, you might be wondering, why is self-care so important, and how does it impact the workplace?

Well, here’s an eye-opening fact: a recent study of Americans aged 25 and older engage in an average of 15 minutes of health-related self-care daily. That’s a startlingly low number! Embracing self-care around the clock is the key to creating a thriving workplace. When we prioritize our well-being, we can bring our best selves to every aspect of our lives, including our work. By empowering employees to take control of their healthcare journey, we unlock the door to the accessible, quality care they need and deserve. 

At the heart of self-care lies the foundation of primary care, which plays a crucial role in preventative health. Regular check-ups, screenings, and health education provided by primary care physicians are fundamental in maintaining overall well-being. That’s why Exemplar Care, with our innovative Direct Primary Care (DPC) model, is dedicated to delivering accessible, quality care to our members.

Imagine having direct access to your primary care provider and 24/7 urgent care, where you receive prompt treatment and get back to work quickly. That’s what Exemplar Care offers! We believe that by promoting a culture of preventative health, including self-care, and providing seamless communication channels to providers, we can encourage more employees to embrace direct primary care and experience the transformative benefits it brings.

Our goal is to ensure that every individual has access to affordable, personalized care when they need it, allowing them to get back to work quickly and confidently. 

Did you know that self-care in the workplace has a direct impact on employee well-being and productivity?

Numerous surveys show that over 50 percent of workers state that workplace stress has caused difficulties for them and more than 10 percent describe these as having major effects. For many, workplace stress culminates in difficulty sleeping, stressed out eyes, neck pain, hurting hands and more than 12 percent have called in sick due to lack of self-care in the workplace.

Research has shown that organizations that prioritize and promote self-care experience several benefits, including:

  • Reduced Stress: High levels of workplace stress can have detrimental effects on employees and organizations. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 83% of employees reported that work-related stress negatively affects their well-being. By promoting self-care practices, such as encouraging breaks, providing stress-management resources, and fostering a supportive work environment, employers can help reduce stress levels and create a healthier workplace.
  • Improved Mental Health: Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being. Studies have shown that employees who engage in self-care activities, such as exercise, mindfulness, and seeking support when needed, experience improved mental health outcomes. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that employees who engage in regular physical activity experience reduced levels of depression and anxiety.
  • Engaged Productivity: Engaging in self-care practices can significantly enhance productivity in the workplace. According to a study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, taking short breaks throughout the day improves focus, cognitive function, and overall productivity. Additionally, setting realistic goals, practicing time management techniques, and encouraging work-life balance can help employees maintain focus, prevent burnout, and accomplish tasks more efficiently.
  • Reduced Absenteeism: Prioritizing self-care can lead to reduced absenteeism rates in the workplace. When employees take care of their physical and mental well-being, they are less likely to experience chronic illnesses, fatigue, or burnout. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that organizations that promote employee wellness programs, including self-care initiatives, experienced a significant reduction in absenteeism rates.
  • Positive Workplace Culture: Fostering a culture of self-care in the workplace is essential for creating a positive and supportive environment. When organizations prioritize self-care and provide resources to support it, employees feel valued and appreciated. This, in turn, leads to increased morale, job satisfaction, and a stronger sense of belonging within the organization.

By incorporating self-care initiatives into the workplace, employers can create a positive and supportive environment where employees feel valued and empowered to prioritize their well-being.

Contact Exemplar Care today and understand how our direct primary care membership can help you to provide preventative health care, including self-care for your workforce.

4 Ways to Keep the Men in Your Life Healthy

Prevent and Prosper Through Proactive Care

Exemplar Care is dedicated to promoting preventative healthcare and encouraging men to prioritize their well-being. By raising awareness about preventable medical issues, adopting healthy habits, and taking proper care of their bodies, men can ensure a better quality of life for themselves and their loved ones. 

We understand that life can be busy, from going to work to family time to household responsibilities to hobbies, but it is vital not to overlook the key factor that allows men to sustain these activities: their health. Unfortunately, studies have shown that men are less likely to seek healthcare than women, leading to preventable health problems that if caught can be addressed with timely care and attention. 

Here are 4 ways to keep the men in your life healthy:

1. Regular Visits to a Primary Care Provider

Just as a car needs regular maintenance to stay in good shape, our bodies do too! Primary care providers are an incredibly effective health resources that, unfortunately, many men don’t take advantage of. Men—Don’t wait for a health condition to appear to see a healthcare provider, instead, identify your individual risk factors and be proactive about your health.

2. Age-Appropriate Screenings

On the topic of being proactive health-wise, routine screenings help to catch health issues early (even prior to any symptoms) and monitor and maintain good health. Routine screening tests for men include:

  • Cholesterol screening
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Colorectal cancer screening
3. Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Think baby steps. Small changes can have astronomical impacts to our health, so it’s important for men to make healthy lifestyle choices to live a long, active life. Try encouraging the men in your life to incorporate some of these ideas into their lives and take note of how great they feel:

  • Healthy Diet
  • Exercise 
  • Quit Smoking!
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption
4. Prioritize Mental Health

Unfortunately, men are less likely than women to seek help for mental health conditions, and the male suicide rate is more than four times greater than that of women. Choosing a primary care provider who takes the time to listen and establish a relationship with their patients is crucial, as they can offer resources and services to help optimize your mental health and be an advocate for you on your overall health journey.

By following these strategies, men can actively engage in their own healthcare, promoting a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Take charge of your health today by discovering the benefits of Direct Primary Care at Exemplar Care.

Contact us to join, or request a call to learn more.


When it comes to your health, you deserve care that is in tune with your individual needs and delivered on your terms; and you should settle for nothing less.

At Exemplar Care we focus on meeting your specific health needs

We put in the time with longer appointments to build a relationship with you, enabling us to provide services that help you become the best version of yourself. We will partner with you on your health journey and advocate for the best care. Every. Single. Time.

At Exemplar Care, we understand the unique health challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community

We are committed to providing inclusive and affirming healthcare for all individuals. We believe that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, deserves access to high-quality healthcare services.

We go beyond just providing medical treatments; we strive to create a safe and welcoming environment where you can feel comfortable discussing your health concerns openly. We understand the importance of building a strong doctor-patient relationship, which is why we dedicate longer appointment times for our patients.

By taking the time to listen to your concerns, understand your health history, and answer your questions, we can provide personalized care that meets your specific needs. We believe in forming a partnership with our patients, working together to develop a comprehensive healthcare plan that promotes your overall well-being.

Our range of services is designed to address a wide spectrum of healthcare needs

From preventive services including annual physicals and labs, to care for acute illness and injuries, mental health, chronic health management, and more, Exemplar Care is dedicated to supporting you at every step of your health journey.

We also understand that navigating the healthcare system can sometimes be challenging. At Exemplar Care, we are here to advocate for you and ensure you receive the best possible care.

If you are looking for a healthcare provider that is compassionate, knowledgeable, and affirming your identity, we are here for you. We are here to support you on your journey towards better health and well-being. Contact us to learn more.

Your health matters and we are here for you every step of the way. Don’t wait – take charge of your health today!

Embrace a Safe and Active Summer for Optimal Health

Summer provides the perfect opportunity to embrace an active lifestyle while taking necessary precautions to ensure safety. By incorporating some simple practices into your routine all summer long, you can make the most of this summer season, promoting physical fitness, mental well-being, and overall vitality. Here are six tips to have a safe, active, healthy summer:

1. Hydration: Your Summer Essential

On hot days staying hydrated becomes paramount. Adequate water intake is crucial to maintain a healthy body, support digestion, regulate body temperature, and keep energy levels up. Carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go and aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Infuse it with fresh fruits or herbs for a flavorful twist and remember to hydrate even when you’re not feeling thirsty. 

2. Embrace Outdoor Activities

Take advantage of the sunny weather and explore outdoor activities that get your body moving. Whether it’s swimming, cycling, hiking, or playing pickleball, find an activity that suits your interests and fitness level. Engaging in regular exercise not only helps in weight management but also strengthens your cardiovascular system, improves muscle tone, and boosts mental well-being.

3. Sun Safety: Shield Yourself

While enjoying outdoor activities, it’s crucial to protect your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays. Apply sunscreen with an adequate SPF, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and don a pair of sunglasses with UV protection. Seek shade during peak sun hours, typically between 10 am and 4 pm, and remember to reapply sunscreen every few hours, especially if you’re sweating or swimming. Keep in mind the UV rays can be harmful all season long. Wearing sunscreen is just as important at the end of the summer as it is at the beginning of the summer.

4. Nourish with Seasonal Delights

Summer brings an abundance fresh fruits and vegetables. Different crops ripen throughout the warm months, so there are always new foods to try.  Take advantage of the vibrant produce by incorporating them into your meals. Enjoy juicy watermelons, hydrating cucumbers, and antioxidant-rich berries from local farmers markets. Experiment with colorful salads, smoothies, and grilled vegetables for nutritious and refreshing options. Choose light and balanced meals that fuel your body without weighing you down. 

5. Prioritize Rest and Recovery

Amidst the excitement of summer activities, it’s crucial to prioritize rest and recovery. Allow yourself adequate sleep each night to rejuvenate and recharge. Rest helps optimize brain function, enhances mood, and boosts immune function. Listen to your body, take breaks when needed, and don’t overexert yourself to prevent injuries and burnout.

6. Stay Mindful and Stress-Free

Summer is an ideal time to practice mindfulness and reduce stress levels. Engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as yoga, meditation, or simply spending time in nature. Unplug from technology and make time for quality connections with family and friends. Disconnecting from the digital world and immersing yourself in the present moment can do wonders for your mental well-being.

Summer is a great time to prioritize your health and happiness.

Remember, each season offers unique opportunities for health and well-being. So, make the most of this season and create lasting memories while taking care of your health. Stay safe, stay active and if you need some help along the way, our primary care providers are always available to focus on preventative care and support you in prioritizing your personal healthcare needs. 

Contact us to learn more about membership at Exemplar Care and how it can positively impact your overall well-being. Take the first step towards proactive and patient-centered care that aligns with your summer wellness goals. Your health deserves the utmost attention, especially during this summer season. 

Here’s to a summer filled with wellness, happiness, and quality healthcare!

Aplos Health Plans Launches New Health Plan Option for Iowa-Based Employers

New health plan is designed to support employer groups with more affordable, comprehensive health  care services 

DES MOINES, Iowa (May 18, 2023) – Aplos Health Plans, in partnership with Exemplar Care, The  OccuNet Company, and Vivid Clear Rx, a Hy-Vee-owned pharmacy benefit manager, has introduced a  new health plan option designed to provide Iowa-based employers and their employees with enhanced  health care benefits at lower costs. 

Aplos Health Plans’ offering includes the following key features: 

  • Lower premiums  
  • No deductible, which means no upfront costs for employees 
  • Same-day appointments for primary care or urgent care 
  • Prescription drug transparency and coordination 
  • A digital health care experience for patient communication 

“Simplifying the health care experience and plans is our goal and this is a giant step in the right  direction,” said B.J. Spyksma, CEO of Aplos Health Plans. 

“As a doctor who has spent over a decade working to provide meaningful outcomes through  personalized medical care, this is a dream come true,” said Dr. Jon Van Der Veer, founder of Exemplar  Care. “Today, many employees are functionally uninsured and delaying care. Exemplar Care is proud of  this partnership because it ensures members unlimited access to primary care and urgent care without  financial barriers.” 

“At Vivid Clear Rx, we are committed to lowering prescription costs for employers and patients alike,  and we are proud to help support this new, innovative health plan model within the Iowa community,”  said Jessica Ringena, president of Vivid Clear Rx.  

Tom Walaszek, Chief Underwriting Officer of Accurisk Solutions applauded the initiative, remarking,  “What B.J. and Jon are doing is changing the cost curve for group sponsored health benefit plans. Containing excessive cost by spending more time with your primary doctor works, and we see it all over the country with similar programs.”  

Employers and brokers interested in learning more are invited to attend free information sessions,  which will be held Tuesday, June 27 and Wednesday, June 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Ron Pearson  Center, located at 5820 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines. To register, individuals can visit  www.aploshealthplans.com

This new health plan option will be available to Iowa-based employers starting June 1, 2023. For more  information, partnership inquiries, or media inquiries, please contact BJ Spyksma at bj@aplos.health or  (515) 419-2745 or Dr. Jon Van Der Veer at jon@exemplar.care or (319) 530-3786.


Aplos Health Plans is a leader in self-funded and level funded health plans dedicated to transforming  the employee healthcare experience. Through strategic partnerships and innovative solutions, Aplos  Health Plans aims to deliver cost-effective and personalized healthcare options for employers and their  employees. 

Vivid Clear Rx is a different kind of pharmacy benefit manager. Built on the traditions of its parent  company, Hy-Vee, Inc., Vivid Clear Rx promotes transparent pricing, outstanding customer service,  healthy lifestyles and quality services and solutions. The Vivid Clear Rx team brings decades of pharmacy  experience, insights and relationships so clients get the value, clarity and savings they deserve. For more  information, visit www.vividclearrx.com