BY WILLIAM ROLLER
Even though he has practiced medicine in some of the country’s major metropolitan areas, Vincent Soun, a board-certified family physician,said he fits in perfectly with the down-home feel of Holtville.
“I previously lived here four years and just missed the area,” he said.
My patients are like a family to me and I want them to feel relaxed and know they always have access to high quality health care,” he added, from his cozy, yet tidy medical office.
Soun opened his opened his family medical practice at 548 Holt Avenue on Jan. 15. No sooner had he settled in when realized with all the patients arriving he would need to relocate to a larger office.
“This year the flu season has been really bad, so it’s important to get your flu vaccination,” he explained of why he has been so busy. “And if you’re over 65 a pneumonia vaccination–those are ones patients should consider.My job is to give patients all the information they need so they can make informed decisions.”
Practicing medicine in Holtville from August 2014 to July 2017 as part of the Imperial Valley Family Care Medical Group at 529 Pine Avenue, Soun returns to that location in February as a solo practitioner.
As a major and medic in the U.S. Army, Soun has been a reservist for more than six years and was called back to active duty in the fall after the end of his first tenure as a practitioner in Holtville.
Despite a busy schedule, he plans to complete 20 years of military commitment before retiring from the armed forces. And while the arc of his health care career began long ago at the State University of New York School of Public Health in Albany, Soun started out life in Orange County, graduating from Santiago High School in Garden Grove.
He then earned a bachelor’s degree in bio-chemistry at California State University, Fullerton. He went on to medical school at Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica (Caribbean) before doing clinical rotations in Miami, New York City and then the Hinsdale Family Practice Residency Program just outside Chicago.
“I didn’t know anything at all about Imperial Valley but after completing my residency I put my profile online and I was recruited by Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District,” he recalled. “I was looking for something quieter and I wanted to practice in an under served community–a rural area. I know there’s limited resources here and it’s away from a traditional setting, so I thought I could make an impact in the area.”
Rather than return to Orange County, where it was too crowded for Soun who had grown tired of big city life, he decided Holtville was worth exploring. As it turned Holtville was easy-going and its residents friendly. He sees a lot of growth potential as Holtville is certain to develop, Soun predicted.
“I grew up in Orange County and I was used to the hot weather,” he recalled. “So, 120-degree temperatures didn’t faze me; I wasn’t shocked by it.I prefer a hot climate to the weather in Hinsdale(Chicago).”
Affiliating with PMHD and El Centro Regional Medical Center, will allow him to refer patients to a higher level of medical care. Soun will focus on seeing patients 5 and up and doing procedures such as electrocardiograms (heart monitoring), basic wound care, as well as monitoring diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure cases.
“I’ll do lots of chronic care management,” he said. “Also, I’ll see post-hospital discharges, making sure patients get follow-up care. And I work with various specialists and can make referrals for neurology, cardiology, obstetrics, orthopedics and physical therapy.
Away from the office Soun enjoys weight training at his own home gym, jogging and basketball, although he is not very good at the latter, he admits. He also practices Jeet Kune Do. (which is?)
“I’ve been doing martial arts since I was 15 only now I train for health,” he said. “But if I get into a situation, I can take care of myself.”
Soun also enjoys going to the movies and loves checking out Pandora’s music selection. His favorites are Russel Walder, Enya and Bradley Joseph. He prefers soothing music as well as classical, particularly Antonio Vivaldi.
Patients are more than a potential source of business for Soun; he sees them as part of his team. They all are working toward maintaining better health. He notes he prefers exploring new ways of doing things.
“I love to meet new people and learn about new cultures,” said Soun. “So, Holtville is one of the best places I’ve come across. It’s a great town and if all goes well I hope to become a permanent fixture of the community.”