|(Community Relations) -
YEAR LONG SEARCH HAS HAPPY ENDING
by Marcia Morman
Boundary Community Hospital CEO, Craig A. Johnson, has been searching for a qualified primary care physician ever since the untimely passing of Dr. Ernie Lucero, a respected and beloved Boundary County physician, in December 2013. That search has resulted in success.
Patients were already booked on July 10, 2014 when Dr. Susan Layeux from the suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area walked through the clinic door at Lucero Medical Services Building at 6641 Kaniksu Street for her first day of medical practice in Boundary County, Idaho.
She has come to do the work she loves, family practice.
"I enjoy primary care," Dr. Layeux enthused. "Taking care of the entire multi-generational family's health is the work I want. It is exactly what I will be privileged to do here in Bonners Ferry."
Dr. Layeux will share the building with Dr. Michael Snyder as part of the expansion of Boundary Community Hospital's healthcare services.
The daughter of factory workers in Massachusetts, Dr. Layeux knew when she was in the fifth grade that medicine would be her career.
An exposure to medicine came early in life. Her oldest sister, Karen, was born with Down's Syndrome. Coupled with the medical attention her sister required, Dr. Layeux developed severe asthma as a child. Self-treating asthma inhalers were not prevalent until many years later when Dr. Layeux was in college. Asthma sent her to the hospital often in her early years.
After graduating high school she enrolled in the University of Massachusetts majoring in micro-biology.
With an earned Bachelor of Science degree, a four-year course at The Medical College of Wisconsin was the next step in obtaining a license to practice medicine. Finally, three years of residency at Maine-Dartmouth Family Practice in Augusta, Maine completed her formal training.
A shift in philosophy in recent years has contributed to a revision of the grueling hours that medical residents once endured. For Dr. Layeux and her fellow residents in the early 1990s, 36-hour shifts and 100-hour hospital work weeks were common.
Dr. Layeux spent seven years in full time family medicine in Hartland, Wisconsin outside of Milwaukee in obstetrics; delivering babies. Then, as her own children were born and grew, she took a new job in Minnesota where she could work part-time in an urgent care facility and home school her three sons.
After visiting Montana in 2002, to move west became the dream of Dr. Layeux, her husband Chris, and their three sons, Michael, Daniel, and Eric. For twelve long years, they cast longing looks westward.
Her husband's work posed a dilemma. A position in his field of life insurance marketing was not available in Montana. It wasn't until his firm acknowledged the possibility of telecommuting that the puzzle pieces of their dream lifestyle began assembling in front of them. To their surprise and delight, the shape that emerged from the assembled puzzle acquired the form of northern Idaho, not western Montana.
Boundary County, Idaho became their destination. The entire family loves the mountains, cross-country and downhill skiing, and archery and target shooting.
Dr. Layeux is envisioning a huge garden. "This county actually has a longer growing season than Minnesota's growing season, but we will need to put up elk fencing," she reasoned.
Her hope is that she will live here the rest of her career.
We, at the hospital, have a feeling that that sentiment will be shared by the county residents.
Everyone who has met her is delighted with her easy-to-talk-with demeanor and extensive background of medical expertise.
“Even though it took a long time to find Susan Layeux, it was well worth the wait," confirmed Craig Johnson. "She is a perfect fit for our community.”
Appointments: (208) 267-3655.