A Brief History

Our Beginnings: 1960s

Wildwood Pediatrics was founded in 1965 by Dr. Donald Buebendorf upon his discharge from the Navy. Originally located in a second-floor walk-up office next to Bennie’s Farm Market in Centerbrook, the practice grew so rapidly that Don and local orthopedist Dr. John Goetcheus planned and built the first of two buildings in the Wildwood Medical Center complex (named by Don’s wife, Nancy, for Wildwood Hill, upon which it stands), where we are currently located. Don was originally joined in practice for a couple of years by Dr. Skip Burkle, who eventually left to pursue a career in psychiatry.

1970s - 1980s

In 1977, Dr. Christopher Goff, upon finishing his tenure as Chief Resident in Pediatrics at Yale, joined the practice, as did current office manager Nancy Foley. Also in 1977, a second building was added to the medical complex.

In 1982 we joined with Dr. Robert Mallimson to form Child Diagnostic Associates, a comprehensive student evaluation program which ran for nearly 20 years. Our innovative after-hours care program, Ped•I•Care, was begun a couple of years later in 1985.

Many additions to programs and staff soon followed. In 1982, our first Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Tina Rickenback joined, followed by Dr. Kenneth Burke in 1986.

1990s - 2000s

During the early 1990s, the HMO trend began to make an increasingly large impact on the practice of pediatrics. Meanwhile, our staff continued to grow steadily. Dr. Nicholas Condulis, another Yale Chief Resident, arrived in 1994, the same year Dr. Buebendorf retired. In 1996, we were joined by Dr. Michelle DiLorenzo.

Also in 1996, Dr. Bill Irving, who for many years shared in our night-time coverage schedule, announced his retirement. We were pleased to be able to honor his wishes that we occupy his office space and provide on-going care for his patients. Equally gratifying was Janice Cole’s (who had been with Dr. Irving from 1965 as his head nurse) decision to join us. She continues to add her special touch, first as the nurse manager of our Old Saybrook office, then as both our second certified lactation consultant and for many years the head nurse for the entire practice.

We were also joined by nurse practitioners Betsy Groth in 1997 and Allison Cappitella in 1999.

In 2004 we added our first certified lactation consultant, Michele Griswold, who helped us expand our lactation consultation services to include Janice Cole, Linda Lucas and Barbara DiBella. Our fourth nurse practitioner, Erin Coleman-Cordes, joined in 2008.

Today – and Tomorrow

Throughout the years our staff has increased from two to over 30. Yet we still feel a real sense of family with all of our staff members, both present and past. And all of us have a great deal of pride in the care we have been able to provide throughout the years to over three generations of children and their families.

Essex Office One Wildwood Medical Center
35 Saybrook Road
Essex, CT 06426
Tel: 860.767.0168

8:30 am to 5:00 pm M-F
8:30 am to noon Saturday

Ped-I-Care After Hours Care
Available in Our Essex

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm M-F
Noon to 5:00 pm Saturday
11:00 am to 4:00 pm Sunday & Holidays

Old Saybrook Office 30 Elm Street
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
Tel: 860.388.4545

8:30 am to 5:00 pm M-F

NCQA Recognized