Guest Blog by:Dr. Don Parazo Board of Directors, Treasurer Antelope Valley Healthcare District
My first involvement in healthcare was a naval physician assignment at the Long Beach Naval Hospital in California and then to the El Toro Marine Base, which soon brought me to the Antelope Valley here in Lancaster.
What is the best thing about your job?
Being a family physician and geriatrician has been an outstanding experience. The best thing about my job is the people that I have worked with for over twenty years.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
The most satisfying and challenging aspect of my job is adapting to the recent changes in healthcare. Our District has many challenges that are also a reality across the country but we are very optimistic that we will be able to prosper and meet the upcoming changes in healthcare.
What services would not be provided if your District didn’t exist?
Antelope Valley Health Care District is unique in that it provides the only obstetrical services and the only trauma services in the area. It’s also the main provider for the uninsured and underinsured in our District. Because of many of the changes in healthcare, the patients of the Antelope Valley would have nowhere to go after hours, even the county facility is not open 24 hours. The Antelope Valley Healthcare District has met this obligation admirably.
How does your District meet the community’s needs?
Our District has partnered with various schools and organizations to bring in the walking school bus and chronic disease self-management programs. These programs are a direct result of our District relationships thru the Association of California Healthcare Districts.
What is your District’s involvement with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
The Antelope Valley Healthcare District is now involved with the Affordable Care Act, dealing with the new quality initiatives and patient satisfaction initiatives. Hopefully soon our District will also team with the surrounding Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) to move into the population based payment.
What is a hidden secret about your District?
Very few people know that the Antelope Valley Healthcare District actually sees more uninsured patients than the local county hospital.
What is your District best known for?
The Lancaster/Palmdale area is best known for the stealth aerospace industry and the emerging solar industry.
Contact Dr. Parazo here.