Date: Fri 20-Aug-1999
Date: Fri 20-Aug-1999
New Pediatrician Joins Dr Bauta's Practice
BY KAAREN VALENTA
As a pediatrician and the mother of two young children, including one with
special needs, Dr Laura Nowacki knows firsthand the challenges that parents
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, 2Â«, 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
"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."