Eric Hussar, M.D., has found that achieving work-life balance is all about making choices.
For example, should he answer the constant call of the inbox right now, or can it wait till the next day in the office?
Dr. Hussar works hard to give his best to his patients at LG Health Physicians Family Medicine Susquehanna; his wife Terra, a neurologist, and their five – soon to be six – children; and his volunteer commitments.
“I could clear out my inbox completely, but I know my family is waiting at home,” he said. “I used to deliver babies and do inpatient rounding, but I decided it was too much. I want to be an excellent physician, but I also want to be an excellent husband and father.”
Dr. Hussar joined Family Medicine Susquehanna in 2012, after seven years at Family Medicine Twin Rose. He has served as Medical Director of Hope Within Community Center, which provides health care to uninsured low-income people, since 2008.
Drs. Eric and Terra Hussar with their sons Wesley (left) and Alex, and daughters Eden (from left), Anna Kathryn and Cora
That same year, the Hussars, who met during a medical mission project in north Philadelphia, learned they were expecting twin girls. Unfortunately, the girls shared a single placenta and sac, placing them at high risk for serious complications.
“We were told that there was a 50 percent chance that one or both of our girls would die,” Dr. Hussar said.
When regular testing showed that their umbilical cords were tangled, the girls were delivered emergently at 28 weeks. Anna Kathryn had to be resuscitated in the OR. Cora has only one lung, which collapsed shortly after birth. Both were intubated.
The twins faced various complications over about a three month-long stay in the NICU. The Hussars were told that if the problem was discovered even a few hours later, they would have lost both girls. Though Cora faces some continued health challenges, the twins are now largely healthy at age 8.
“They’re an incredible delight,” Dr. Hussar said. “It’s amazing how much you can learn from kids about persistence.”
The Hussars, also the parents of Alex, 11, Wesley, 9, and Eden, 5, are in the process of adopting a child from Hungary. Adoption is a calling for their family, Dr. Hussar said, and they expect to bring home their child within the next few months.
Dr. Hussar’s grandfather (Alexander) was born in Hungary -- where cavalry soldiers are called “hussars” -- before coming to America at age 4. After Alexander’s parents died, he lived in an abusive home until he was adopted as a teen.
Dr. Hussar, who traveled to Hungary with his parents on vacation about 20 years ago, recalls the beautiful scenery and architecture. Adopting a child from Hungary requires significant time spent in the country, which will require the Hussars to do some additional juggling.
Dr. Hussar has taken several medical missions trips to Albania and Macedonia, where he teaches medical students or young family doctors. Closer to home, he and his family, who live in Mount Joy, enjoy outdoor activities, including bike rides, camping and swimming.
“With a large family, things are very chaotic and crazy at times, but it’s a blessing,” he said. “We say God gives us strength for one day at a time.”