We welcome Doctors Daniel and Teresa Ostapowicz to the Valley. These internationally-trained physicians of Polish heritage began their practice here in November 2020 but have both been a part of this community in the past. Teresa’s Valley history starts with her family, as her father was a boy scout at the Kaszuby camp. Teresa has maintained longtime friendships with neighbours of the family cottage on Wadsworth Lake since she was 7 years old. So it was a comfortable choice to set up practice in an area they were already familiar with, both having completed a medical rotation here in 2015: Teresa worked with Dr. Coulas, and Daniel with Dr. Atfield in Barry’s Bay and Dr. Joo at Rainbow Valley Community Health Centre in Killaloe.
Following university in Canada, the couple met at Jagiellonian School of Medicine in Kraków, where classes were in English but patients were served in the Polish language. Both Teresa and Dan did advanced studies and residencies at Ottawa Civic and CHEO, as well as in the U.S. (Yale Medical Centre and the Mayo Clinic), and so they come to the Valley with a wealth of experience. Even in American cities they learned to become resourceful physicians because local hospitals in some neighbourhoods lack necessary resources.
They explained what led them to establish a practice together in Barry’s Bay.
Teresa said, “Before graduating medical school in May 2016 we often were a team – It was natural for us to work together in our work life and home life when married. It was always our dream to raise our family together and open a practice. We believed that could work here.”
Daniel said, “It’s pretty special that it’s the first Polish community [in Canada]. We both like the outdoors – I used to run ultra-marathons in the mountains out west and Teresa was a long distance runner in university. We love this area.”
One often sees Drs. Teresa and Daniel Ostapowicz walking their children, Laura and Emilia, with the stroller or sharing roles as parents and doctors. During the interview they praised the local Emergency department describing a team of excellent nurses and doctors. They remarked on creative and resourceful medical services from Pembroke and Ottawa including the EPIC system and other electronic medical records that allow a doctor to view critical information and imaging on demand. They also applauded telemedicine services that strengthen the relationships with larger area hospitals and provide increased access to specialists in the comfort of a patient’s home or rural hospital.
All in all our two new Doctors Ostapowicz explained that taking over Dr. Atfield’s practice in Barry’s Bay and area allows them to provide a level of service expected in an urban centre while they can enjoy the benefits of a rural community they now call home. Inset Drs Daniel and Teresa Ostapowicz with children Laura (left) and Emilia