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A Physician on a Mission: Dr. Michael Bourque

by Jhansi Katechia | May 11, 2016
It has been written that three things will gladden the hardest of hearts; a newborn baby, a blushing bride and a winsome puppy. It is in these first two that Dr. Michael Bourque finds such fulfillment as an ObGyn, and the third is one reason why he and his wife have raised golden retrievers for over 10 years.

WWHA_BourqueMichael_FeatureIt has been written that three things will gladden the hardest of hearts; a newborn baby, a blushing bride and a winsome puppy. It is in these first two that Dr. Michael Bourque finds such fulfillment as an ObGyn, and the third is one reason why he and his wife have raised golden retrievers for over 10 years. It is with a soft heart and a profound dedication to women’s health care that Dr. Bourque provides ObGyn care to his Connecticut patients as well as young women in third world countries. Although Dr. Bourque may not be able to clearly recall the early influences that lead him to choose women’s health as a profession, he shares that it is the light and happiness of special human events that fill his life with such meaning.

Born at Saint Francis Hospital as the only son of a milk man, Dr. Bourque grew up in Connecticut with his four sisters. Some years later he completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Saint Francis and continues to practice there today. “I have been happy here with the Saint Francis Hospital family and its approach to medical care” shares Dr. Bourque. It was through a merger of two independent, Saint Francis groups that Woodland Women’s Health Associates came to be, “We had worked together for years and had similar philosophies and work choices…fifteen years later, I can barely remember being apart from this family of special people who now make up this part of my professional life.” Woodland Women’s Health Associates was one of the first Women’s Health Connecticut ObGyn practices and continues to play a leading role in patient care and the local community. Recently, Dr. Bourque’s healthcare mission began to reach even further than Woodland’s three CT locations into international service.

 

MB_DRMission_webDr. Bourque is the organizer of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center International Medical Missions and shares that this international service has become a cornerstone in his life. This past spring Dr. Bourque set out to a remote village on a mountainside in Haiti, and was incredibly moved by the “enormous sacrifice women make for the sake of our future children.”

An Excerpt from “A Young Woman’s Choice: The Village or the Road” by: Michael R. Bourque, M.D.     

You see in most villages in the poorest of countries, there are no health facilities of any kind. A female, non-medical elder will supervise the labor of a woman in a small room with a dirt floor or outside under the tropical sky. There may be a village shaman or voodoo doctor who is consulted when things are not progressing well, and whose answer while not medical, carries the full weight of authority of her village. The result is then left to the whim of Mother Nature as to whether or not the pregnant woman will survive this most natural, but very difficult female endeavor…

Globally, a young woman dies of labor complications at the rate of one per minute. That adds up to three jumbo jets of otherwise healthy young women dying every day and would fill 6 to 7 football stadiums of lost young mothers and potentially their newborns every year. While good strides may be occurring on a national level in the bigger cities of some third world countries, healthy young women still continue to die simply because they live and birth in a rural environment.

As an experienced obstetrician, a medical director of our hospital mission program, as well as being a father, grandfather and brother, I am appalled at this daily loss of life. I had not lost a young mother to childbirth in my thirty-one years of practice at Saint Francis Hospital yet on the very first night of my first mission trip six year ago, I suffered the most terrible of tragedies for an obstetrician. I have now witnessed this loss firsthand and it has left me forever changed.
[Read full article here]

Woodland Women’s Health Associates encompasses a wide range of practice styles, and practitioners, in several office settings in the greater Hartford area. The balance of male and female physicians of various ages, a nurse practitioner, and a nurse midwife provide women with a diverse and dedicated group where everyone is committed to preserving that special bond between provider and patient. Woodland has office locations in Hartford, Avon, and Glastonbury where your concerns are listened to, your thoughts are respected, and the ultimate treatment plan is about you as a whole person in the larger setting of your life. Dr. Bourque and the other providers at Woodland Women’s Health are accepting new patients.

For more on the Saint Francis International Medical Mission and how they are striving to improve international healthcare visit www.saintfrancisimm.org.

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