Dr. Edward Bayer - Extending the Healing Touch of Jesus
Dr. Edward Bayer has practiced pediatric medicine (the field specializing in care for infants, children, and adolescents) for more than 25 years. His is a holistic approach to health, not only focusing on physical and mental needs, but spiritual needs as well.
After working at the Catholic health organization Ascension, Dr. Bayer joined the St. Gianna Clinic in 2022 and found that it hosted a staff animated by a relationship with Christ. St. Gianna promotes a faith-filled atmosphere and promises care guided by Catholic teaching. “They’re just so filled with God,” says Dr. Bayer describing his co-workers. “It’s humbling to be able to work here.”
The Clinic’s namesake, St. Gianna Molla (canonized in 2004), is invoked as patron of mothers, physicians, and unborn babies. In the midst of life-or-death complications during her fourth pregnancy, she demanded that doctors save her baby, and she made the ultimate sacrifice. Gianna Molla and Dr. Bayer not only share a love of God in common. But, like the doctor, the saint was also a pediatrician. The two share a love for the children they serve.
Dr. Bayer attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an undergrad, where he began studying zoology. However, he did not see himself having a future in that field. After taking some physiology and anatomy courses, he became fascinated with how the human body worked. He started to think that medicine could be a fulfilling career. Over break, he shadowed his pediatrician for several days. That gave him enough of a nudge to get his feet wet in the medical field.
Bayer attended the university’s School of Medicine and chose to specialize in pediatrics. Why pediatrics? The answer is twofold. Bayer thought he could have a greater impact on younger patients’ health – in regards to prevention – than with older patients who tend to have more health issues due to lifestyle choices. He wants to help kids lead healthier lives so that, by the time they reach adulthood, they can make good decisions about their health. But the second reason he went into pediatrics is that he thought being around kids would be fun and keep him young.
One of the aspects of the St. Gianna Clinic which Dr. Bayer appreciates most is that he can talk openly about prayer on-the-job. To him, prayer and “keeping God number One” are integral to being a healthy and happy human being.
In addition to the physical, mental, and emotional parts of health, the pediatrician says, “There’s a spiritual component that needs to be maintained. I think a lot of people come here because they feel that same way.”
If he had to boil health down to “the big four,” Dr. Bayer suggests 1) eat healthy, 2) exercise, 3) get good sleep, and 4) pray and thank God for the blessings He lavishes on us. He also lives by his own prescribed philosophy of health. When he can, he enjoys being outdoors, biking, hiking, camping, fishing, and just experiencing Nature. “It’s good for your brain,” says Dr. Bayer. “It’s good for your soul.” In the more quiet moments, he reflects on the blessings God has given him. He can look back and see God at work throughout his life.
In his career, he has felt deliberately led by God in certain moments. In these moments, the pediatrician believes, “God definitely intervened” where, by doing so, He certainly saved lives.
“It’s not me making people healthier,” he said. This mindset speaks of a belief rooted deeply in Dr. Edward Bayer’s heart: that he is an extension of Jesus the Healer, an instrument of God’s peace.