As far as the Labedas are concerned, dentistry is a family affair.
“My dream was to always make this a family business,” said Jan Labeda, D.D.S.
His dream came true two months ago when his 26-year-old son Bartosz Labeda, D.D.S., graduated from the Indiana School of Dentistry and decided to partner with his father (who also graduated from the Indiana School of Dentistry) in the family’s dentistry practice.
“I simply offered him a job and, thankfully, he accepted,” said Jan.
Wife and mother Donna Labeda manages the office and works the front desk.
“This has become a family enterprise,” she said. “We are so very thrilled and excited to have our only son join the practice.”
Jan and Donna met in Poland, where they were born and raised. They were high school sweethearts and next month will have been married for 27 years.
In 1987, when their only child Bartosz was seven, they decided to immigrate to America. At that time, communist Poland was not issuing Visas; they left Poland anyway for a refugee camp in Italy where the family applied for U.S. citizenship.
Two years later, citizenship was granted, sponsorship was in place, and they briefly settled outside St. Louis before moving to Clermont County in 1989.
Jan Labeda opened his first dentistry practice at his Owensville location in 1994. He expanded his practice in 1998 by opening a second location in the Eastgate area. The family now practices dentistry out of both offices.
It was during their two year stay in Italy that young Bartosz and his parents met Pope John Paul II.
“I had my first communion in Italy while we were waiting to come to America,” Bartosz said. “A Polish group had a connection in the Vatican (Rome was 40 miles outside of the refugee camp) and somehow word got to the pope that there was a group of Polish kids receiving their first communion. He came and blessed us.”
Bartosz, who did not speak any English when the family immigrated to America, says that he still feels blessed. He is engaged to be married in October and recently purchased a home in Amelia. He is happy to be joining forces and working closely with his parents.
“I grew up around dentistry and, by association, have always been interested in it. My parents never pushed me into it or told me that this is what I had to do. All they ever said was that it was a pretty good job if that was what I had a passion for. I like working with my hands and I had that passion that my parents instilled in me. When you put those two things together, it becomes the perfect fit. I have never looked back.”
According to Donna Labeda, who is a midwife by profession, having her son joining the practice is not only wonderful but practical.
“We need him and our patients need him,” she said. “He has the same point of view, work ethic, and education as his parents. We can continue expanding and working to make something special, nice, and comfortable for our patients.”
Labeda Eastgate Dental Care is located at 4553 Elmont Drive in Summerside and the Owensville office is located at 312 East Main Street in Owensville.