Dr. Aven Poynter knew she was receiving an award from the Canadian Paediatric Society, but when her children made a surprise appearance, she was shocked and overjoyed.
After 30 years in practice in Langley, Poynter was recognized recently for her accomplishments and presented with the society’s Distinguished Community Paediatrician award.
“It was a fantastic surprise for her, when her children magically appeared outside the dining room with shouts of ‘congratulations Mom!’,” shared the doctor’s husband Reed.
Their oldest son Christopher was able to attend, along with their daughter Jean and her three-month-old son Benjamin and husband Cory, and with their youngest son Jeffrey and his partner Eden Oliver.
“Thanks so much for the wonderful and huge surprise in coming to the dinner,” Poynter said. Reed noted that not all the extended family was able to attend. Their daughter-in-law Kaitlin (Christopher’s wife) and her grandchildren Madeline, two, and Emma, five-months, couldn’t make it.
And adding a sprinkle of humour, Reed joked that Jeffrey and Eden’s kitten, George Michael, was also absent.
The award, established in 1999, recognizes a collegue who demonstrates a significant contribution to the field of community paediatrics.
In presenting her with the award, the society said: “Dr. Poynter cares for kids well beyond the scope of her private consultation practice.”
In addition to providing general consulting and community paediatric respiratory services with pulmonary function testing, she is a consultant paediatrician in the Ministry of Child and Family Development’s Child and Youth Mental Health team in Surrey, and is a clinical assistant professor in UBC’s department of paediatrics.
Through the years, she has continued to teach a variety of programs, such as asthma education and mental health to family physicians, medical students, family practice residents, and members of the public .
She was an active Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) instructor for 25 years.
She has mentored and worked with medical students from UBC as their program expanded, “and has a leadership role in this now very successful program at Langley Memorial Hospital,” the society scripted for her presentation.
“Dr. Poynter has also distinguished herself as the diligent, self-assured president of the BC Pediatric Society, leading educational and economic issues for paediatricians and advocating for children and youth.”
In this role, she has become a key leader in the child and youth mental health and substance use collaborative, a program committed to increasing timely access to support and services.
In her spare time, Poynter volunteers in her community, particularly in programs that support people with a variety of disabilities.