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Date: Fri 20-Aug-1999



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Date: Fri 20-Aug-1999

Publication: Bee

Author: KAAREN

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New Pediatrician Joins Dr Bauta's Practice

(with cut)


As a pediatrician and the mother of two young children, including one with

special needs, Dr Laura Nowacki knows firsthand the challenges that parents

face today.

The new associate in the office of Dr Humberto Bauta on Danbury-Newtown Road

(Route 6), Dr Nowacki expects to see many young patients with ear aches,

sniffles, and other symptoms of infections that they contracted in day care.

"Whether it is a day care center or home day care, the result is that there

has been a huge increase in the number of ear infections and respiratory

infections," Dr Nowacki said. "Day care has changed pediatrics completely.

There also are a lot of stresses in families with two working parents. As a

doctor and a mother, I feel that I can understand that."

Dr Nowacki began working in Dr Bauta's office on the Fourth of July weekend.

Her husband, David, is a dentist in Plainville. They met while both were

students at the University of Connecticut medical school, and are living with

David's parents on Gelding Hill Road in Sandy Hook while they build a home on

Bennett's Bridge Road.

From the time that she was quite young -- about six, according to her father

-- Dr Nowacki knew that she wanted to be a pediatrician.

"I've always wanted to work with kids," she said.

She graduated from Duke University with a degree as a physician's assistant,

and followed it with a one-year residency as a pediatric physician's assistant

at Norwalk Hospital. She also worked part-time at Danbury Hospital, and lived

in a small rental house in Sandy Hook with her dog, a shepherd-lab mix named


Finishing the residency, she entered the University of Connecticut medical

school. She completed med school in 1995, did a three-year pediatric

residency, then stayed another year to serve as chief resident, a post she

completed in June.

During those years, she married and her two children, Micaela, 2«, and

six-month-old Jonathan were born.

"Jon was born with Down Syndrome," Dr Nowacki said. "I didn't know about [the

condition] ahead of time, but I knew immediately when he was born."

As a result, Dr Nowacki has become an advocate for children with disabilities

and their parents. She has become an integral part of the disabled child

program at the UConn medical school, training doctors about the resources that

are available.

"After Jon was born, I quickly understood how important advocacy is," she

said. "This is my new mission.

"In the beginning, it was difficult," she admitted, "but I'm such a different

person now because of it. I appreciate a lot of things that I didn't before,

and I realize that life is all what you make of it."

In her new part-time position, she sees a lot of adolescents as well as

infants and children. "As a woman, I think I have an advantage in dealing with

teenage girls," she said. "But one interesting thing I've realized since I

came here is that many of Dr Bauta's former patients are now grown and

bringing their children here. I think that says a lot about him as a doctor."

Comments are open. Be civil.

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