By Dawn Hatfield
DARKE COUNTY — Dr. Peter W. Lachiewicz, D.O., F.A.C.O.G., a 14-year veteran of Wayne HealthCare’s Western Ohio OB/GYN, announced his forthcoming retirement earlier this month.
Lachiewicz began his obstetric and gynecological training in 1986 at Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Clinic as “an eager young man striving to learn as much as [he] could.” He describes obstetrics as “a calling… something God brings you to,” explaining it’s not something you can simply “learn to like.”
His first practice location was in Fairmont, Minn., where Lachiewicz was part of the Mayo Clinic. “Needless to say, I was the only OB/GYN for a 60-mile radius. I even once got brought to the local hospital on a snowmobile to deliver a baby after we had a 36-inch snowfall on Halloween,” he recalled. “That got me on CNN News, and I had a talk with David Letterman,” he said, describing his “five minutes of fame.”
The doctor’s career brought him to the Miami Valley in 1995 where he first worked in Miami County until 2008. Lachiewicz was then presented “the opportunity and need to continue [his] rural mission to serve the people of Darke County” where he practices to this day.
When his wife, Karen, died of breast cancer in November 2013, Lachiewicz continued to work and follow his “calling;” however, he explained the time has now come for him to end his career. “It is a mixed feeling of sadness and euphoria that I end my professional career here at Wayne HealthCare and move on to a new life,” he said. With four children and several grandchildren strewn across the country, Lachiewicz looks forward to having more time to share with family.
Lachiewicz has been a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist for 36 years. Early in his training, a mentor told him to place a sticker in a book for each baby he delivered; Lachiewicz now has more than 8,000 stickers in his collection. A baby boy who recently was his 8,000th delivery now bears “Peter” as his middle name in honor of the doctor. Of his patients, Lachiewicz said, “I feel as if I knew each and every one of [them] like a family member!”
An excerpt of a patient letter from Oct. 1, 2018, reveals her experience and gratitude, “Because Dr. Lachiewicz took the time to care about my medical history and all of me as a patient, not just what I came to him for, he may have saved my life… because my mother had colon cancer, I was able to receive a colonoscopy earlier than most. They found one polyp, and when it was biopsied, it was determined to be pre-malignant… For a woman going through such a personal exam, I do not dread going to see him. I actually feel relief knowing I am going to be so well treated… Dr. Lachiewicz has a patient for as long as he practices…”
That letter resulted in the doctor’s being named Employee of the Month at Wayne HealthCare, and the same sentiment is shared across his collection of patients. A year ago, N.J. wrote, “Dr. Lachiewicz has been my OB/GYN for 20-plus years! I wouldn’t go anywhere else. After all these years and four babies, he’s like family.”
Patient M.N. said, “Dr. Lachiewicz is THE BEST, MOST THOROUGH doctor I have ever had!!” and T.D. wrote, “Been coming for 30-plus years even when relocated to Greenville… You do have long waits at times but so worth the wait. Most thorough doctor I’ve ever been to of ANY specialty.”
It is clear Lachiewicz is both a doctor and a person who cares about others. He expressed concern that “maternity mortality is up in this country” and that people are “sicker than ever before.” Lachiewicz explained that in a world where “everybody is rushed,” he always chooses to “treat people the way [he] would like to be treated” and to provide the best care he can.
Lachiewicz assures continued confidentiality and excellent care to his patients at Western Ohio Obstetrics and Gynecology, where they may continue to receive treatment after his retirement. “I have truly enjoyed being part of your family and hopefully treating you with the utmost respect in dealing with your health care over these many years,” he concluded.
An Open House in celebration of Dr. Peter W. Lachiewicz, D.O., will be held Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Wayne HealthCare in community rooms 1, 2, and 3. Please RSVP at 937-548-5365 to RSVP and use the Harrison Street entrance if attending.
Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.