LANCASTER — The Antelope Valley Healthcare District Board of Directors has appointed Phil Tuso, M.D., to fill the vacant seat on the five-member board.
Tuso, a board-certified internist and nephrologist, is filling the board seat left vacant by the resignation of longtime member Mukund Shah, M.D. Tuso will complete the remainder of Shah’s term, which is up for re-election in November and will serve as 2nd vice chair.
“The board is excited to have Dr. Tuso join our team. He has a wealth of knowledge of both quality patient care in the hospital setting as well as a thorough understanding of managing a 501(c)3 organization, given his experience running his own nonprofit in the past,” stated AVHD Board Chair Kristina Hong, RN. “He is well respected and has earned a great reputation within the healthcare industry and throughout the community, which will be an asset to the district.”
Long-time Antelope Valley residents, Tuso and his wife, Donna, have been involved in several community projects aimed at helping uninsured and underinsured Antelope Valley residents.
“I am honored to be elected to a board of directors that will help us build a new hospital – a new hospital built by the people of our community and for the people of our community,” stated Dr. Tuso.
Kristina Hong was selected to serve as board chair at the beginning of the year. Publicly elected to the board in 2016, Hong worked as a nurse in Antelope Valley Hospital’s emergency department for a decade. During her first year on the board, she served as 1st vice chair. She recently began practicing as an emergency department nurse practitioner and continues to work as a registered nurse, UCLA emergency medical system faculty member and EMT/paramedic educator for the Downey Fire Department.
In other board appointments…
— Mateo Olivarez, RN, was elected vice chair. Olivarez spent the past three decades caring for patients. His roles have included emergency medical technician, radiology tech, licensed vocational nurse and registered nurse. He spent more than a decade working in the intensive care unit at AV Hospital.
— Abdallah Farrukh, M.D., was elected treasurer. Dr. Farrukh is a board-certified neurosurgeon. He was first elected to the AVH board of directors in 2000. He served as chief of staff at Palmdale Medical Center from 1983‑84 and as chief of surgery at AVH in 1995. He was chief of staff at AVH from 1996‑99.
— Don Parazo, M.D., was elected secretary. Dr. Parazo, a longtime board member, previously served as board chair for four years and has twice been named Trustee of the Year by the Association of California Healthcare Districts. He is board certified as a family practitioner and gerontologist.