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Retiring HMG Physicians ‘Pass the Torch’

Hoag Medical Group physicians heartened by well-qualified successors

This is one of the important reasons why they joined Hoag Medical Group.

When Afdal Allam, M.D., and Paul Qaqundah, M.D., two highly-regarded primary care physicians, chose to align their established practices with Hoag Medical Group (HMG), they knew they would one day be ready to place their patient’s care in the able hands of their successors. When that day came, they wanted their patients to be cared for by the most skilled doctors and receive access to the best facilities and specialists that coastal Orange County had to offer.

Kris V. Iyer, M.D., president, Hoag Medical Group, commended both Drs. Allam and Qaqundah, and welcomed their physician colleagues into the HMG family. “I am honored that both of these physicians are entrusting HMG to provide the same high quality care that they have built their respective practices to provide. We will care for these patients for many years to come, and both physicians can rest assured that HMG was founded on and shares their same core values – integrity, excellence, innovation, and compassion.”

By joining HMG, the physicians chose to align with a health care network that secured a legacy of quality care for their patients. And now, as both retire, they are confident that their patients will continue to receive excellent care and have access to the best medical facilities and services.

Raised in a family of doctors, Dr. Allam led a successful family medicine practice in Fountain Valley and treated patients for more than 30 years. He was awarded Doctor of the Year by the Orange County Medical Association for four years and has held numerous leadership roles within the health care industry.

Dr. Qaqundah, a pediatrician and allergist in Huntington Beach, received many prestigious awards during his decades-long career, including the 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics Martin Gershman M.D., Child Advocacy Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the health and lives of California children.

The physicians taking over for both doctors have worked with these beloved medical providers for several years. Some were hired after the doctors’ practices joined HMG, but others were part of the decision to secure access to Hoag for their patients, said Gayle Hopper, M.D., who worked with Dr. Allam for several years in Fountain Valley and will be taking over his patients care along with Rukhsana Serang, D.O.

“What appealed to Dr. Allam and to the rest of us at Fountain Valley was guaranteed access to all of Hoag including urgent care facilities, specialized services and CHOC Children’s,” Dr. Hopper said. “One of the qualities that has made Dr. Allam such a tremendous physician is his foresight and planning. He was able to see that HMG represented his values and stood up to the high expectations he has for patient care.”

Similarly Dr. Qaqundah and five of his physician colleagues, who practiced with him in Huntington Beach, elected to join HMG early on. They now practice out of Hoag Health Center Huntington Beach, where Dr. Qaqundah’s personalized, compassionate care for younger patients is legendary.

“Dr. Qaqundah’s dedication to his patients has been an inspiration to all of us here in Huntington Beach,” said Jennifer Birkhauser, M.D., F.A.A.P., physician lead at the Huntington Beach office. Dr. Qaqundah’s patients will be cared for by colleagues Rachel Zabaneh, M.D., Ronald Cornelsen, M.D., Jennifer Kim, M.D., Natalia Zapadinsky, M.D., and Kristy Tolly, M.D., F.A.A.P. “We are honored to carry on Dr. Qaqundah’s brand of personalized care.”

HMG physicians now see patients at more than 10 locations, with new offices opening soon in Huntington Harbour, Newport Beach and Tustin, and the recent expansion of HMG Pediatrics, Irvine. In fact, patients who started being seen by HMG physicians as children are now bringing their own kids to HMG practices for care.

It is this legacy that fills Drs. Qaqundah and Allam with confidence.