Meet Chief Medical Director Dr. Tom Mouser, MD

Dr. Tom Mouser

Doctor’s Day is annually recognized on March 30 to celebrate and recognize the contributions of physicians to individuals and communities. EveryStep is privileged to recognize EveryStep chief medical director Dr. Tom Mouser, MD. Serving in that capacity for nearly 13 years, Dr. Mouser specializes in hospice and palliative care.

Dr. Mouser’s interest in hospice care began early in his medical training. “I was randomly selected for a summer work experience in a hospice facility between my first and second year of medical school and to be honest, I was a bit dismayed,” says Mouser. “I had gone into medicine to help people and it seemed counterintuitive to serve in a capacity where doctors ‘couldn’t do anything more for the patient.’ I very rapidly learned that was completely wrong and I suddenly realized the incredible power that came from this kind of care and its team-based approach.”

Dr. Mouser says he observed that well-trained physicians were using aggressive, medical, evidence-based care to help people near the end of life. “I saw that people were not resigning to death and giving up, but were taking hold of hope and grabbing life by the horns, fighting for quality of life. It was life changing for me.”

Dr. Mouser completed his residency in internal medicine at University of Iowa Hospital, where he often saw adults with complicated illness and disease states. He went on to become board certified in internal medicine, then also board certified through a program at Stanford University that provided intensive training on hospice and palliative medicine.

Upon his completion of courses at Stanford, Dr. Mouser returned to Des Moines and chose a career with EveryStep. “I initially thought I would use my skills in a hospital system, but out of the blue I received a phone call from the previous EveryStep medical director. I went to lunch with her more as a courtesy, but I guess as they say, EveryStep ‘had me at hello’ because I immediately saw the passion of the organization — the relentless tenacity to surround people who are in need, whether it’s end of life care, home care or the numerous community-based programs we have.”

As EveryStep chief medical director, Dr. Mouser works with EveryStep staff and outside nurse practitioners and providers to recommend and determine the best course of action for an EveryStep patient. He often travels throughout the state to work with a patient directly.

“My role is to make sure that everybody has what they need and the support they need — anything I can do to amplify and support a patient’s care. It’s something I’m very passionate about.”

Dr. Mouser has spent countless hours at the bedside of those with serious illness and chronic disease. In his role, he helps hospice, home care and palliative care patients and their families navigate complex medical decisions as guided by the patient’s goals of care. Dr. Mouser’s fellowship training provided for an expertise in advanced symptom management and communication when working with those with high burdens of suffering. He is passionate about helping his patients reach their best quality of life so they can live life to the fullest.

EveryStep has been offering nonprofit care and support for Iowans since 1908, with at least one of its 30-plus programs in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. Staff and programs provide support and education to young moms; assistance to immigrants and refugees; in-home care to people who are ill, injured or facing the end of life; and compassionate support to families during times of grief and loss.

To find confidential support and care through EveryStep, visit To learn about EveryStep career opportunities go to