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Krista Maree Mehlhaff, DO

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:

Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences

Administrative Title:

Director, Obstetric Care Unit (Labor & Delivery)

Additional Title:

Medical Director of Obstetrics Care Unit, University of Maryland Medical Center Director of Patient Safety, Risk Mitigation and Care Enhancement, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Phone (Primary):

Academic Office: 410-328-5965

Education and Training

2003:  Bachelor's of Sciences, Exercise Biology, University of California, Davis
2008:  Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, California              

Post Graduate Education and Training
2009:  Internship, Traditional, Riverside County Regional Medical Center
2013:  Residency, OB/Gyn, Wright Patterson Medical Center/Wright State University 
2019:  Fellowship, MFM, Yale School of Medicine


Dr. Mehlhaff is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences.  She has a range of interests including preterm birth, perinatal palliative care, complex care planning, simulation training, reducing maternal morbidity, teamwork and collaborative practice, and improving quality and safety in obstetrics. 

She currently serves as both the Medical Director of the Obstetric Care Unit at University of Maryland Medical Center, as well as the Director of Patient Safety, Risk Mitigation and Care Enhancement for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences.  

She served 14 years in the United States Air Force as a gynecologic surgeon and obstetrician and as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. Her first assignment was as a gynecologic surgeon and obstetrician at Wright Patterson AFB where she was the Medical Director of the Family Birthing Unit and in charge of simulation training. She left WPAFB to complete her maternal fetal medicine fellowship at Yale New Haven Hospital.  There her interests in quality and safety in obstetrics were nurtured and she actively participated in several OB safety and quality committees, simulation training and other quality improvement projects.  Following fellowship, she moved to Maryland and was the Service Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  She expanded the perinatal palliative care program and mentored residents and fellows in this work.  During her time at WRNMMC she also led the Perinatal Quality Committee.  During her time in the USAF, she worked with the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) Women and Infants Clinical Community to implement universal obstetric bundles and standardizing practice throughout the DHA. She also led the DHA SMM working group.  She is also a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology's Voluntary Review of Quality-of-Care Team.  

Outside of medicine, she enjoys time outdoors, a lifelong athlete she enjoys swimming, hiking, yoga and spending time with her family.  She is also a student of meditation and mindfulness.  

Research/Clinical Keywords

Patient safety and quality of care, perinatal palliative care, maternal morbidity and mortality, simulation training, teamwork

Highlighted Publications

Mehlhaff KM, Pettker CM. Establishing and Maintaining a Quality and Safety Program on Labor and Delivery. Clinical obstetrics and gynecology. 2019 Jun. PMID 31169555

Mehlhaff KM, Pettker CM, Hosier H, Lipkind HS, Reddy UM, Tomlinson M, Ball BR, Lundsberg LS, Raab C. 545: Putting teamwork to the test: a randomized trial of collaboration in electronic fetal monitoring (EFM). American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2020 Jan 1;222(1):S351.

Hehir MP, Friedman AM, Andrikopoulou M, D'Alton ME, DiVito M, Havens S, Huang Y, Jain JA, Mehlhaff KM, Pettker CM, Seligman NS. 156: Clinical management of deliveries resulting in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2020 Jan 1;222(1):S113-4.

Hehir M, Berkowitz R, Pettker C, Seligman N, DAlton M, Andrikopoulou M, Havens S, Huang Y, Jain J, Mehlhaff K, Friedman A. Characteristics of Deliveries Resulting in Neonatal Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy: A Multi-Centred Retrospective Case Series. Authorea. March 21, 2022, DOI 10.22541/au.164787842.28626246/v1

Robinson SL, Campbell WR, Patel LR, Blickle JG, Goetzman HJ, Hemphill A, Mehlhaff KM, Farren KC, Valdez AD, Khan J, Sessom EA, Blaylock JM, Lee RU. Humanitarian Mission at Home: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center's Experience in Operation Allies Refuge and Operation Allies Welcome. Mil Med. 2023 Jan 4;188(1-2):25-29. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usac281. PMID: 36208154.

Schulz EV, Zven SE, Dukes SC, Flemming B, Bennett WC, Weber Z, Hemphill AM, Groomes CL, Stammler S, Mehlhaff KM. Mission Essential: Refugee Mission Reflections. AAP Uniformed Services Section Newsletter. Winter 2022; 37-40. 

Purmalek, M, Kopelman, Z, Griffis, J, Mehlhaff, K, Gonzalez-Brown, V, Mediastinal Mass Discovered in the Second Trimester, a Rare Presentation of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in Pregnancy, Military Medicine, 2022;usac346,

Irani R, Shank J, Gill L, Mehlhaff K, Pilliod R, Tureson J, Holliman K, Iyer C, Debink C, Han C, Complete molar pregnancies with a coexisting fetus:  Pregnancy outcomes and review of the literature, Am J Perinatol Rep 2022;12e96-e107

K. Kohari, K. Mehlhaff, A. Merriam, S Abdel-Razeq, O. Grechukhina, D. Leon-Martinez, M. Bahtiyar, A Novel Approach to Serial Amnioinfusion in a Case of Prematrue Rupture of Membranes Near the Limit of Viability.  Am J Perinatol Rep 2018;8e180-183

J. Levine, A. Bukowinski, C. Sevick, K. Mehlhaff, A. Conlin, Postpartum depression, and timing of spousal military deployment relative to pregnancy and deliveryArh Gyecol Obstet, Published online:  03 Mar 2015, DOI 10.1007/s00404-015-3672-7

K.Mehlhaff, C. Baxter, K. Rudinsky, D. McKenna, Lethal neonatal coagulopathy following maternal ingestion of superwarfarin, Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2013 Aug, 122 (2): 500

Awards and Affiliations

2023:  Master Clinician, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center         
2021:  Associate Master Clinician, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center           
2018:  Resident/Fellow and Nurse Collaboration Award, Yale New Haven Hospital
2013:  Administrative Chief Resident Award, WSU/Wright Patterson AFB
2013:  Dennis D. Barber Academic Achievement Award, WSU/Wright Patterson AFB
2011:  Ultrasound Award, ACOG Armed Forces District Meeting 
2011:  Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award, Arnold P. Gold Foundation