Dr. Tony Ho Chen, with his wife Teresa

Dr. Tony Ho Chen bids farewell to his family practice

When he first arrived in Pemberton as a young locum in 1991, Dr. Tony Ho Chen was amazed by the scenery and outdoor activities. Now, as he prepares for retirement and reflects back on more than 25 years there as a family practitioner, it is the people that stand out for him.

“I will miss my patients, my church community and all the wonderful people here. I love the diversity in Pemberton and the strong First Nations presence here. This is what Canada is all about.”

Dr. Ho Chen trained in South Africa and came to Pemberton via Newfoundland, where he worked for two years as a GP. His decision to retire from his family practice this month is based on a desire to be closer to his three children who now live in  the Lower Mainland. He and his wife Teresa are moving there and Dr. Ho Chen plans to continue to work as a locum. A recent retirement party in Pemberton made it clear how much the community will miss them both.

“Tony went out of his way to make himself available to his patients and his colleagues,” said Dr. Jim Fuller, Local Medical Director, who was one of the speakers at the event. “He is so competent and experienced and willing to share that knowledge with his younger colleagues. I’ve called on him many times when I needed help in the Emergency Department. It didn’t matter the time of day or night, he would always step-up.”

Jeannie Faryna was Dr. Ho Chen’s Medical Office Assistant (MOA) for 19 years, working closely with Teresa Ho Chen who served as her husband’s Office Manager since he opened the practice.

“He is an amazing man,” Jeannie said.  “A true small town doctor, always there for his patients. In all the years I worked for him I never knew of him taking a lunch break or a sick day. He didn’t think twice about making house calls and even drove patients home from the Emergency Department if they didn’t have a ride.”

Jeannie is also quick to highlight Teresa’s role. “Mrs. Ho Chen was the backbone of this office. She came in every day. In the early days of his practice they even worked Saturdays and she would come in, often with a baby, to cover as the MOA so I could have a day off. There have been a lot of hugs and tears these past two weeks as patients have come in to say goodbye.”

As Dr. Ho Chen prepares for the next phase of his life in Vancouver, he is appreciative of all the support he received in Pemberton. “Vancouver Coastal Health has been very supportive of rural physicians, I am grateful for this. I have also been fortunate to have worked with an amazing community of health care and emergency service providers, including the RCMP, paramedics, social workers, medical imaging technologists and so many others. I am especially appreciative of my physician colleagues, who will continue to care for the patients and community that have meant so much to me. Of course, I couldn’t have done anything without my incredible wife Teresa who has been with me from the start, and my wonderful MOAs, Ann and Jeannie.”

During his time in Pemberton, Dr. Ho Chen has brought babies into this world, cared for them as they grew up and then delivered their babies. This multi-generational “cradle to grave” approach to care is what family practice is all about. While they will be missed, Dr. Ho Chen and his wife Teresa have left a legacy of compassion and commitment that will continue to serve the community of Pemberton for many more years.

15 comments

  1. Adelaide Ambers says:

    Dr. Ho Chen, Theresa, Ann, Jeanie, thank you much for your kind caring ways. My Mom, Marie Leo, got the best care from your team. I so appreciated all the evenings you made a house call, just to reassure my mom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. May God continue to guide you on your new journey. Family is important and I understand the need to be closer. I am happy to live at home and close to my beautiful Son, Daughter in law and grandchildren, Simon and Natalie (they will miss you also 🙂

  2. Erin says:

    All the best to you, Dr. Ho Chen. I went to nursing school with Venetia and recognized your name in this VCH article. Your patients in Pemberton have been fortunate to have you as their physician. Enjoy your new adventure!

  3. Fran says:

    Yes Mr and Mrs Ho Chen will be dearly missed. He did come into my home to assist me and my family in our time of need. I will cherish all the wonderful conversations and visits. As usual when I would go into my appointment he would always ask about my youngest son and he could not believe how big he is and how old he is….then our conversation would lead to my family and friends. Your caring and unconditional love for everyone will never be forgotten…..Enjoy your retirement and remember to come and visit once in awhile.

  4. Colleen says:

    Wow what can I say? What I just read says it all! Congratulations Tony and Teresa. The community will miss you. You are amazing! Sorry I could come to the farewell ! Cheers to you both on your new adventures and chapter in your life! Enjoy and Tony, try to relax and enjoy it! It will take some getting used to but eventually you will!
    Take care,
    Colleen

  5. Susan Andrew says:

    I will truly miss them. I am thankful for the time I got to spend with them. Thankful to have grown up with Tony as my doctor and thankful he cared for me during my pregnancies and then cared for them till his last day in the office.
    Loves and hugs to you both.

  6. Corrine Degraaf says:

    Will miss you! Very sad I have to get a new Doctor now. All the best for a happy future! God Bless!

  7. Corrine Degraaf says:

    Will miss Dr. Ho Chen. He was a great doctor. My doctor for numerous years. Very sad I have to find a new one now. All the best to him & his family for a happy & healthy future. God Bless them!

  8. Renee Jim says:

    Dr Ho Chen will surely be missed by myself and my family. I was almost feeling like I was having anxiety because I was very sad he was leaving and where am I going to find another Dr like him. Dr Ho Chen has been my Dr for 25 yrs. He helped me with my babies, helped me raise them, he even saw them have babies themselves. I have cried meany times in his office bout my life at home and he always made me feel so much better in health, mentally and physically and spiritually. Dr Ho Chen knows me quite well. You couldn’t find a better Dr. Thank you Dr Ho Chen.
    Your patient,
    Renee Jim

  9. Congrats Tony and Theresa for a well earned retirement! I worked with these two lovely, kind-hearted souls back in the late 1990’s – early 2000’s as a receptionist along with Jeanne F. Their caring commitment to the community and to the people within it was undeniable. I’m sure they will be missed by many as they played such a large role in the lives of those in Pemberton and Mt. Currie. All the best to two amazing people!!

  10. Teisha says:

    Thank you for all that you’ve done for me over the last 25 years as my family doctor; i was lucky to have such a good doctor for so many years : ) Good luck to you and Teresa on your new adventures. Me, Hunter, Carter and Pemberton will miss you for sure!!

  11. Judy Bourhis says:

    Dr. Ho Chen could not have been a better doctor to both my husband and myself for the past 25 years. We credit him for saving both our lives for another day. There are no words to express our appreciation for his dedication and thorough care. Losing him to his retirement is for us, losing an important lifeline. He will be irreplaceable. We can only now, wish him and his wife a happy and healthy retirement. May they come and visit Pemberton often, as they will be sincerely missed by many of us..

  12. Alma Baker says:

    I am so Happy for the Ho Chen Family to all be closer great memories ,house calls ,saved my life and always there congratulations to Tony and Teresa for a healthy retirement forever a awesome Doctor and Great Friend ,Thank you and many Blessings to you both Alma
    Anne and Jeannie you were always the one that welcomed me when i needed to see Tony ,i miss you all God Bless

  13. Stephanie Doyon says:

    You Helped save my life! And my husbands several times..
    You listened when no one else would and we wouldnt be here if you hadnt.
    I know that many will miss you and there is absolutely no replacement for your commitment to so many of us.
    I wish you and Theresa all the best on your next adventure .
    Thank you so much for always being there and always going to bat for us.
    Much
    Stephanie Doyon amd Trevor Turner

  14. Shelley koning says:

    You will be missed by many including my family.
    We will allways have the memory of weighing Brooklyn when she was just just a week old on my kitchen counter top.
    Now she is about to turn 20 years old.
    Thank you for the caring house calls you made back then and taking good care of my family all these years.
    I wish you and your family much love and happiness in your future endeavours.
    Shelley Koning and family

  15. Rikah says:

    Dr Ho Chen and staff will be dearly missed by my family because they weren’t just a family practice they are a part of our family and always will be.

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