A new dimension in oncology care has taken place at Grand Mesa Oncology and Infusion Center with the addition of a third oncology physician, Dr. Helen Goldberg, who offers credentials in integrative oncology along with 23 years as an oncology physician and six years as an oncology nurse. She also has an extensive professional background in working as a hospice director in palliative care.
"There are a number of modalities that have a role in cancer care. We can engage the patient and family with choices for acupuncture, massage, meditation, aromatherapy, nutritional and herbal products," commented Dr. Goldberg, who completed a two-year fellowship in integrative medicine with Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She also had a fellowship at Duke University Medical Center in hematology/oncology.
Dr. Goldberg belongs to the Society of Integrated Oncology, American Botanical Council, American Institute of Holistic Medicine and the Association of Oncology Naturopathic Physicians as an associate member.
With estimates of up to 60-80 percent of cancer patients using some type of complementary medicine, Dr. Goldberg started with Delta County Memorial Hospital's Oncology Center as a contract oncology physician in January and quickly negotiated a contract as the third oncologist physician for this growing practice.
"Complementary medicine can be a safe avenue to coordinate with traditional care in order to formulate customized care plans for each patient," stated Dr. Goldberg.
She also has plans to create a survivorship program for cancer patients that will begin the day they are diagnosed, with a focus on nutrition and lifestyle modifications.
Prior to joining DCMH Dr. Goldberg had an oncology, hematology and integrative oncology practice in San Antonio, Texas, for 20 years. She also practiced in Boulder in the early 1990s. As an oncology nurse she worked at M.D. Anderson Hospital's leukemia unit and at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital's leukemia unit.
Dr. Goldberg is board-certified in internal medicine and oncology and is licensed in both Colorado and Texas. Her residency and an internship were in internal medicine from Duke University Medical Center, where she also served as the assistant chief resident of internal medicine. Dr. Goldberg earned her M.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Dr. Goldberg will be working at the hospital-owned clinic full time with Dr. Eric Schmidt and Dr. Alan Miller working part time.
Grand Mesa Oncology & Infusion Center officially started in 2006 with Dr. Eric Schmidt, who said a skilled group of professional oncology nurses and pharmacy professionals helped build the oncology practice for the past 10 years. Dr. Schmidt has served oncology patients in Montrose and Gunnison in addition to Delta County over the years.
He commented that some cancer patients seek a second opinion at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Ariz., or the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and that those cancer centers have confirmed the treatment plans for Western Slope cancer patients being treated by Dr. Miller and himself. Those facilities have also referred patients to Grand Mesa Oncology and Infusion Center.
Dr. Alan Miller, who is a Harvard University graduate, was added to the oncology practice in 2009. He came from Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Front Range suburban area.
On Dec. 2, officers of the Delta Police Department responded to a report of an assault. Officers spoke with a 64-year-old male with a bleeding injury on his neck.