Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) is excited to announce Michelle Barhaghi, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., A.B.O.I.M., A.B.I.H.M. as the newest physician to join the Premier Women’s healthcare of Delta team.
“We are excited and honored to welcome Dr. Barhaghi to Delta County Memorial Hospital and to the Premier Women’s team,” said Jason Cleckler, DCMH CEO. “Someone with her impressive experience, minimally invasive and integrative approach will be beneficial in creating greater access to women’s health services to our patients and community.”
Barhaghi is an obstetrician and gynecologist who is double board certified in integrative medicine with knowledge and experience serving diverse populations.
“Integrative medicine is about changing the focus of ‘medicine’ to one of health and healing rather than disease,” said Barhaghi. “You can ‘cure’ a disease — like hypertension — with the use of a medication, but this is not the same as healing the patient.”
Barhaghi said her practice principles are based primarily on an integrative approach that incorporates both conventional and complementary therapies to achieve the least invasive and least toxic methods necessary to facilitate health.
“A healing-oriented approach emphasizes the physician-patient relationship as a dynamic partnership,” said Barhaghi. “This allows for insight into the patient’s culture, beliefs and lifestyle to effect fundamental changes in behavior that will allow you to reach optimum health.”
As women move through various phases of life, they are presented with different gynecological issues, explained Barhaghi.
“If you have access to physicians and people experienced in providing solutions, then we can have those conversations to come up with several alternatives,” said Barhaghi. “That is where integrative medicine comes in. I like to provide women with an array of options depending on their lifestyle and then we can come up with a treatment plan.”
Preventative medicine has always interested Barhaghi, and so she left her hometown of Denver to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York for her undergraduate degree in bio chemistry and bio physics.
“I was on the premed pathway which led me to Mount Sinai Medical School in New York,” Barhaghi said. “After medical school I did my residency in Washington D.C. and after that I went to New Zealand for one year and worked as an OBGYN in their public health system and experienced a different approach to health care.”
While working in New Zealand, Barhaghi said she gained valuable experience working in a different environment and with a different culture. She worked closely with the Maori population and gained a unique perspective on healthcare.
“I also went to South Africa and worked closely with local tribes there,” said Barhaghi. “It was a really intense experience seeing the need for doctors in the area. That led me to volunteer for Doctors Without Borders where I worked in Northern Nigeria. It was an honor to serve people on a global scale.”
In Nigeria, Barhaghi helped provide healthcare for women who otherwise wouldn’t have access to services such as C-sections. For many of the women and families she served, providing those services saved their lives.
Barhaghi has also worked as a laborist in New York and most recently finished running a solo practice in Los Angeles before deciding to make a home on the Western Slope.
“What attracted me to [Delta County Hospital] in particular was that it is in a smaller community,” said Barhaghi. “There are a great group of doctors at Premier Women’s and I’m excited to be part of that. There are [also] great people here that appreciate nature. They have good strong values and that is who I am as well.”
Barhaghi was looking for a balance in her quality of life and wanted to stay close enough to her family in Denver while still getting to enjoy the mountains that she loves on the Western Slope.
“I like anything that involves the mountains,” said Barhaghi. “In the summer I am a big hiker and in the winter I love skiing. Anything that involves the outdoors and my dog I am pretty content.”
Barhaghi is currently scheduling new patients and started at Premier Women’s in Delta Oct. 1.
“Dr. Barhaghi will be a tremendous asset to the area in women’s health,” said Cleckler, “and in continuing the DCMH vision to increase access to quality care.”