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Tuesday March 13th, 2012  
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Quote of the Week
"I don't want to see any more of the forest burned."
- Larry Mitchell  


Kimberley Massey photo
Dr. Maria Chuquer (right) and her husband John Skierka recently moved to Crowsnest Pass, where Dr. Chuquer is now working as an anesthesiologist at the Crowsnest Pass Health Centre.
Brazilian-born physician Dr. Maria Chuquer and her husband recently moved to Crowsnest Pass, where Dr. Chuquer is now working as the Crowsnest Pass Health Centre’s new full-time anesthesiologist.
The 31-year-old previously worked as a General Practicioner (GP) and Emergency Physician in Brazil for four years following completion of medical school in 2004 before moving to Toronto in 2010 for a post-graduate cardiac anesthesia program.
Dr. Chuquer said she has always wanted to practice medicine and made the decision to focus on anesthesiology after working as a research assistant to an anesthesiologist for four years while in medical school in Brazil.
After a year in Toronto, Dr. Chuquer said she had planned to move home to Brazil following the cessation of her program, but changed her mind when she visited Southern Alberta.
Dr. Chuquer and her husband, Pincher Creek native John Skierka, were visiting Skierka’s parents in Pincher Creek and during their time there, Dr. Chuquer met local physician Dr. William Sara, who informed her that the Crowsnest Pass Health Centre was in need of an anesthesiologist.
Dr. Chuquer and Skierka, who met through a mutual friend in Porto Alegre (the capital city of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul) in 2009 when Skierka was working as an aerospace engineer in that city, decided the opportunity to live and work so close to family was an opportunity too good to pass up.
The decision to relocate to the Pass was only reinforced when the couple, who were married in February 2011, learned they were expecting their first child this coming July.

“Living in a small community is better for raising a family,” said Dr. Chuquer in an interview with the Pass Herald last week.
After looking at close to 30 residential properties throughout the community, the couple ultimately decided to purchase a newly constructed home in the Ironstone Lookout subdivision.
Dr. Chuquer said they felt the house was one of the better built homes they looked at, with good resale value and a prime location near the hospital and in close proximity to amenities.
“We feel like this is the right place for us,” she said. “We’re very happy here.”
The couple has been living in the home for the past three weeks, and Dr. Chuquer said they are happy and comfortable in their new home.
“It’s very comfortable,” she said.
“They thought about every little detail and I love it.”
Now that she is getting settled in her new surroundings, Dr. Chuquer said she is looking forward to starting her family, as well as seeing local surgical service expand and grow.
“I hope to see an increase in the number of surgeries we can offer as well as the number of surgeons coming here to work,” she said.
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