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VFW hosts retirement party for VA's Dr. Stephen Wener

May 23, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

About 50 people arrived at the VFW for Dr. Stephen Wener's "surprise" retirement party Saturday afternoon.

"It wasn't much of a surprise when it's announced in the Pine Island Eagle," Wener said. "But it's very much appreciated."

Wener, originally from Canada, graduated from the McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, Canada, in 1978. He began working at the Veterans Administration 20 years ago and specializes in internal medicine - geriatrics. Geriatrics includes patients with dementia, osteoporosis, cognitive Issues, senility, Alzheimer's Disease and many others.

Article Photos

Dr. Stephen Wener (left of center in white shirt) and some of his friends and patients.


Wener is also affiliated with Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and is one of 20 doctors at Bay Pines who specialize in geriatrics.

"I became a doctor because I wanted to help people," Wener said. "I do come from a medical family. My father's a cardiologist, I have two brothers who are orthopedic surgeons and another brother who's an ophthalmologist."

In addition to his duties at the Cape Coral VA, Wener has participated in the Lee/Collier Honor Flights program. Honor Flights transports America's veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.

"About 10 percent of the veterans on those flights are my patients," Wener said. "The Honor Flights are very rewarding and another favorite place is the Southwest Florida Military Museum where they've started a new fundraising campaign. I plan to continue being involved in those things.

"My brothers are semi-retired and I've been thinking about retirement for some time," Wener said. "I didn't really have a plan but when I turned 65 last year, I decided to readjust the priorities in my life. I call it 'realigning' because I'm not completely retiring and plan to work at the VA part-time. This is just the right time and the right plan."

Wener's retirement is effective May 31, 2018.

"The VA has a very capable doctor coming to Southwest Florida and I think she's going to do a great job," Wener said.

"My retirement will allow more time for other things. I recently received a notice of my 45th high school reunion and have never gone to one yet - I may finally have the time.

"I'm very grateful for this opportunity to have this party with my friends (patients),' Wener said. "There are people here, not only from Southwest Florida, but from up to 200 miles away."

"Every veteran on Pine Island knows Dr. Wener," American Legion Post 136 commander Tom Lewis said. "He's a great doctor, actually listens to his patients and is going to be missed by a whole lot of people."



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