New pulmonologist joins DCHS

IRON MOUNTAIN – The ability to move closer to home attracted Dr. Breion Tafoya to the opportunity to join the Dickinson Medical Staff.

A native of Farmington Hills, lower Michigan, she had spent the past several years studying and working in Phoenix and San Antonio and was happy to return to four seasons and the calming influences of nature.

“I really enjoy the natural surroundings of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” Dr. Tafoya said. “The environment up here provides a good way to live.”

Dr. Tafoya is a pulmonologist and has established the Dickinson Pulmonology Clinic, which is located in Suite 125 of the Dickinson Medical Building, 1711 S. Stephenson Ave. in Iron Mountain. Appointments with Dr. Tafoya can be made by calling 776-5930.

She provides medical management for all aspects of lung disease along with a variety of diagnostic procedures including bronchoscopies, which will be performed in the Ambulatory Care Unit of Dickinson Memorial Hospital.

She will also work closely with the Respiratory Therapy Department to provide the interpretation of pulmonary function studies to help diagnose and treat patients with chronic lung conditions such as asthma and COPD.

Dr. Tafoya is extensively trained. After completing an undergraduate degree in biology and human physiology from Denison University in Ohio and Michigan State University in East Lansing respectively, she attained a master’s degree in geriatric health management from the School of Health Management in Kirksville, Mo. She attained her medical degree from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.

She completed a residency program in Internal Medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz. She completed fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Tafoya is Board Certified in internal medicine, critical care and pulmonology.

She chose medicine as a career because she had always been interested in the sciences. An interest in critical care came from volunteering with the elderly and in hospice when she was younger and seeing first hand the great impact critical care can have on saving lives. She believes in involving patients in their care through communication and in taking a real team approach with them.

“Patients do better when they understand their disease and their role in working toward managing it,” commented Dr. Tafoya. “But patient involvement can only occur when the physician takes time to speak so they can understand.”

Dr. Tafoya and husband, Chris, have an 18-month-old son, Caden.