Top doctors honoured during Family Doctor Week

Dr. Dieter Poenn is Ontario’s top doc.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada and its provincial chapters are celebrating Family Doctor Week in Canada.
Three Northern Ontario doctors were honoured at the OCFP Awards award during the 2018 OCFP Awards Ceremony on Nov. 14, 2018 in Toronto. A list of all awardees is posted on the OCFP website.

Dr. Lianne Gauvin of Hearst has been named the 2018 recipient of the Ontario College of Family Physicians Community Teacher of the Year Award. Nominated by family medicine residents, students and other health-care learners, this award celebrates excellence in a community family medicine preceptor for the academic teaching year.
A release from the OCFP says, “Champion and advocate for the needs of her hometown, Dr. Gauvin returned to practice in Hearst following the completion of her medical education, at a time when the community was experiencing a physician shortage crisis. She embraced her new role as a full scope of practice family physician – caring for patients at the clinic, in the Hôpital Notre-Dame Hospital and emergency department, in the Foyer des Pionniers Nursing Home and in their homes. Based on her extensive experience in rural family medicine, Dr. Gauvin’s teaching has been invaluable to her students from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.”

At the same ceremony, Dr. Dieter Poenn of Little Current was presented with the 2018 Reg L. Perkin Family Physician of the Year. The award is the OCFP’s highest honour, presented annually to a family doctor who provides exceptional care to patients, while significantly contributing to the health and well-being of communities and society.

“Working in rural and remote areas is one of the most difficult jobs in Canadian medicine. One requires a high-level of expertise, broad skill set, excellent interpersonal skills, and leadership abilities,” said W. E. Osmun MD, Associate Professor, Emeritus, Western University in a news release. “Fortunately for Manitoulin Island, Dr. Poenn has all these attributes.”

The OCFP says, “During his 30-year career, Poenn has provided all facets of rural medicine – from his office-based practice and the emergency department and in-patient care at the Manitoulin Health Centre, to the Wiikwemkoong Health Center and the Manitoulin Centennial Manor.

“A compassionate physician with unlimited patience, Dr. Poenn was an early advocate for interprofessional collaboration. His support for nurse practitioners ultimately allowed him to be instrumental in establishing Manitoulin’s first family health team. Extending the scope of this team to involve physician assistants has further enhanced the delivery of care in his community. For Dr. Poenn, collaborating with and maintaining practices on the local First Nations of Wiikwemkoong and Aundeck Omni Kaning has also been a career long priority.“
Poenn has trained students throughout his entire career, initially with the University of Ottawa and later with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

Dr. Reid Cameron of Hornpayne has been named a 2018 recipient of the Ontario College of Family Physicians Board Award of Merit.

In a release from the OCFO states, “There are few individuals gifted with the right combination of personal and professional resilience, clinical skills, and unfounded commitment to delivering the only comprehensive primary care in a rural community,” said Dr. Barb Zelek and Dr. Anjali Oberai, co-chairs for Family Medicine at Northern Ontario School of Medicine. “Dr. Cameron is one such exceptional individual who has provided the community of Hornpayne with stable and extraordinary service for almost two decades.”
For much of his 18 years living and practising in Hornpayne, Cameron has served as its sole family physician and as chief of staff at the Hornpayne Community Hospital.

Dr.Lynne Schwertfeger, a family medicine physician and physician at Timmins and
District Hospital has been awarded the Award of Excellence by the Ontario College of
Family Physicians.

The Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding contributions pertaining to the
specialty of family medicine; patient care, community service, hospital or health-care
institutions, teaching, research, Ontario College of Family Physicians (OFPC) activities
and other elements of the academic discipline of family medicine. Schwertfeger was nominated by hospital
staff and patients’ families. Specifically, Schwertfeger was recognized
for her leadership in delivering family-focused palliative care and key role in the creation
and operation of the Timmins Hospice Centre.

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