Dr. Christopher Penoyar, D.O., will retire in December from his practice at MGH Family Health after 30 years of serving the community and a longstanding relationship with Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics. Dr. Penoyar’s three decades of service include 20 years in private practice before joining the health care team at MGH&FC. His patients and coworkers will miss his astute observations, sense of humor and quick wit.
The District will host a retirement party for Dr. Penoyar that is open to the public from 1 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Ellinor and Pershing Rooms of Mason General Hospital. The Hospital will provide cake, punch and coffee, while Dr. Penoyar will provide homemade, homegrown pumpkin pies. Guests are encouraged to bring food if they would like or photos for a memory book.
Dr. Penoyar’s grandfather was general practitioner, and Dr. Penoyar grew up with a natural interest in science and biology. He attended the University of Michigan, but before entering the medical field, he was a competitive crew racer and even went on to compete in six Olympic trials. He went to school to become a family nurse practitioner before deciding that he wanted to become a physician. He graduated with his medical degree from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“Although the scientific part of medicine is interesting, I am more interested in the real impact on people,” Dr. Penoyar said. “I want to know, ‘How does this affect the person?’”
Dr. Penoyar participated in the National Health Corps, which required him to practice medicine in rural, underserved areas. He practiced in Copalis Beach, Washington, and Battle Mountain, Nevada, for three years before deciding to move with his wife, Rebecca Penoyar, to Shelton.
“When I was free to make my own choices, Becky and I made a two-page list of things that were important to us,” he reflected. “Shelton was consistently good across the board.”
Dr. Penoyar started his practice in Shelton in1989 with podiatrist Dr. John Rice in the building that now houses MGH Oakland Bay Pediatrics. He worked closely with Mason General Hospital, which needed doctors in the area, and received “wonderful guidance” from Dr. Mark Trucksess and his wife, former Hospital District Commissioner Nancy Trucksess.
After a few years in that building, Dr. Penoyar and Dr. Rice built the building that is now MGH Family Health, Ankle and Foot Clinic, where they practiced up until Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics purchased the clinic in 2009. The transition was “particularly good,” said Dr. Penoyar, especially for Rebecca, who now works as a medical technologist at the Hospital.
Dr. Penoyar plans to spend his retirement woodworking, volunteering at the Health Science Academy at Shelton High School and caring for his 30-acre farm, where he and his wife tend to peacocks, horses, chickens, goats, sheep, sugar gliders (a type of marsupial mammal) and “too many” dogs.
“There are things to do,” he said. “I’ll have time to see my sons. Patrick is a teacher in Alaska and Timothy works in outdoor recreation management in Tennessee.”
Dr. Penoyar will miss his patients.
“The patients are genuine,” he said. “They let me into their lives. That’s the privilege of being a family doctor.”