Aundeck Omni Kaning celebrates and honours Dr. Dieter Poenn on his retirement

Dr. Dieter Poenn and his wife Siska join Gabe Abotossaway and Aundeck Omni Kaning Chief Patsy Corbiere as Dr. Poenn is gifted with a commissioned painting.

AUNDECK OMNI KANING—The backbone of a community’s health and well-being is often found in the person of a family doctor and that creates a special bond between community members and their practitioner. While Dr. Dieter Poenn has not been the main doctor for Aundeck Omni Kaning (AOK) for a number of years, he filled that role for many years. Upon learning that Dr. Poenn was retiring from active practice, AOK set out to honour the health professional for his contribution to their community.

“Dr. Poenn was here for many years,” said AOK Chief Patsy Corbiere. “He really bonded with a lot of people in the community. It was a privilege to work with him.”

“I was, of course, deeply touched, particularly given that the event was held at the home of Gabe Abotossaway,” Dr. Poenn told The Expositor following the celebration. “I also expressed my respect for the example, leadership and organization that AOK has shown over the years to the Island as a whole. I was thankful to be counted a good and trusted neighbour and feel privileged to have been able to contribute to their community and people.”

Chief Corbiere recalled that Dr. Poenn would often bring an intern with him when he visited the community and worked closely with community members. “We also recognize the contribution of Shirley Corbiere,” said Chief Corbiere, “Shirley worked with Dr. Poenn for many years, as did Debbie Madahbee who also worked with him while he was serving our community.”

Dr. Poenn was presented with a painting and quill box to keep as mementoes of his friends in AOK. The presentation had to wait for a while, however, as it was commissioned when the community learned of his retirement. “We had to wait for the paint to dry,” laughed Chief Corbiere.

She recalled how Dr. Poenn responded to the catastrophic injury suffered by Gabe Abotossaway, who was paralyzed from the neck down following a serious car accident. “He really helped Gabe and his family through that crisis,” said Chief Corbiere. “Our community remembers him for his compassion, always caring,” she said. “People really miss him.”