AV Community Clinic

Saturday Walk-in Clinics now open in both Lancaster & at our NEW EAST PALMDALE location. 8am – 8pm (Last patient registered at 7pm) NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED!

AVCC Earns National Recognition for Patient-Centered Care
NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition

37926 47th St East, Palmdale, CA 93552
Call: 661-942-2391


Helping Enhance the Well-Being of the Antelope Valley Community

Our Providers

( Click on the name of the Providers for additional information about their background and biography. )


Karunyan Arul, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer/ Endocrinology/Pediatrics

Dr. Arul has been practicing Pediatric Medicine and Endocrinology in the Antelope Valley for over 30 years. He is Board Certified in Pediatrics and Board Certified in Pediatric Endocrinology and past Board Certification in Quality Assurance and Utilization Review. He was founder and Medical Director of Sierra Medical Group from 1984-2006. He oversees professional medical staff and mid-levels, assists in the development of policies and procedures as well as Quality Assurance and Medical Advisory Committees. Dr. Arul is mainly located in our Health and Wellness clinic and primarily focuses on Diabetes and Endocrinology.

Mervyn Katz, M.D.


Dr. Katz is a Board Certified Pediatrician. He has 40 years of experience working in group pediatric practices including Lakeside, Keystone and Granada Medical Group. He is also affiliated with Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills. He received his Medical Degree from State University of New York and did his residency at Children’s Hospital in Denver, Long island Jewish Hospital and Beth Israel Hospital. He is working out of our Palmdale office.

Quan Luong, D.O.


Dr. Luong is a Board Certified Pediatrician. She received her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her Residency from Michigan State University Pediatric Practice. She has worked in rural and community clinics including Skagit Pediatrics, Richmond Pediatric, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic and Franklin County Pediatrics. Dr. Luong is working out of our Lancaster Health and Wellness Center.

Soyeon Chin, M.D. PhD

General Practice

Dr. Chin attended Louisiana State University School of Medicine and graduated in 2005. She did her internship and a year in Internal Medicine Residency at University of Southern California Medical Center & completed 2 years of Ophthalmology Residency at Louisiana State University and Kansas State University. She has worked at All-Inclusive Community Health Center from November 2011 through April 2012. Dr. Chin works at our Palmdale location.

Suttirak Chaiwongkarjohn, M.D.

Internist/Infectious Disease

Dr. Rak received his MD from the University of Chulalongkorn Thailand in 2006. He completed his residency at the University of Hawaii in 2011 and is Boarded in Internal Medicine. He also just completed a Fellowship in Infectious Disease at VA/UCLA/Olive View and will be working out of our Lancaster Health and Wellness office.

Antony Cyril Ernest, M.D.

Internal Medicine & Cardiology

Dr. Ernest received his MD from University of Ceylon & his Residency in Internal medicine and Cardiology was at Coney Island Hospital in New York. He has been in group and private practice in Lancaster for over 30 years and also works with LA County High Desert Health Systems. He will be working with us part-time providing cardiology consultations.

Paul Round D.O.


Dr. Round received his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from the A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011 and Bachelor’s in Biology at Cedarville University in 2005. He finished his internship and residency at the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Categorical Pediatrics. He works out of our Palmdale office.

Derrick Smith, M.D.

General Practice

Dr. Smith graduated from the University Of Cincinnati School Of Medicine in 1978. He embarked on a General Surgery Internship in 1978, followed by residencies in Surgical Oncology and General Surgery, (where he beat 30 other candidates to be deemed Chief Resident of General Surgery). Making his way from the East Coast to the West, Dr. Smith also completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular Surgery in 1983 in San Francisco, eventually becoming the Medical Director of Emergency Services in Wildomar, CA. Dr. Smith see’s patients out of our Palmdale location.

Arash Hassid, M.D.


Dr. Hassid attended UCLA receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in 2001 and attended California College of Podiatric Medicine receiving his DPM in 2005. He currently works at AV Hospital’s Comprehensive Wound Healing Center, High Desert Medical Group and private practice in Los Angeles. He works out of our Lancaster Clinic providing podiatry services several days a week.

Diane Bite, RN, MA, FNP

Family Nurse Practitioner

Diane Bite, RN graduated from the UCLA Family Nurse Practitioner program. Diane has been an RN for about ten years and has worked at Antelope Valley Hospital and Lancaster Community Hospital.

Shawn Mostafania, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Shawn Mostafania, PA-C received his Bachelors of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Southern California. He has nine years of experience working in a variety of settings including LAC-USC Medical Center Emergency Room, Urgent Cares and Department of Corrections. Shawn works in our Lancaster Urgent Care Clinic.

Jacob Carpenter, RN, FNP

Family Nurse Practitioner

Jacob Carpenter graduated from Cal State University Los Angeles in 2009, continuing his education at Charles R. Drew University, Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing, where he received his Master of Science Nursing in 2014 and his Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate in 2015. Jacob joined the Antelope Valley Community Clinic provider team in June 2016 and will see patients at the Lancaster Health and Wellness Clinic.

Michael Gales, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Michael Gales graduated from the University of Southern California and served in the Navy and Reserves as a EMT. He has almost 30 years of experience as Physician Assistant worked at Samuel Dixon Health Center in Santa Clarita as well as SCV Quality Care and Henry Mayo Family Medical Center in Santa Clarita. He will primarily be located at our Health and Wellness Clinic.

Felicia B. Williams, RN, MSN

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Felicia received her MSN from Loma Linda University in 2010 and received her post-graduate training as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from Cal State Long Beach. She most recently worked for Bartz-Altadonna Community Health Center in Lancaster doing primary care. At AVCC she will use her years of experience in behavior Health at AV Hospital to provide psychiatric services for adults and children at our Lancaster and Palmdale locations.

Britney D’Ambra, MSN, RN, PNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Britney D’Ambra received her Bachelor’s Degree in Science, Exercise Physiology from the George Washington University prior to attending the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she completed her Master of Public Health, Family and Child Health Concentration degree. Most recently in May 2014, Britney completed and received her Master of Science in Nursing, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Specialty certificate from the Yale School of Nursing in Connecticut. Before working here at Antelope Valley Community Clinic, Britney worked at Children’s Medical Group in Connecticut, where she still works managing phone triage for acute patients. She works at the Health and Wellness clinic in Lancaster.

Erica Bell, RN, FNP

Family Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioner Erica Bell specializes in Intensive care, post-op recovery, trauma nursing among many others. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Cal State University, Dominguez Hills in 2012 prior to completing her Masters of Science Nursing at Walden University in November 2014. She is a compassionate, knowledgeable addition to the AVCC provider team who works out of both the Health and Wellness and Palmdale locations.

Tessiny Iriarte, RN, FNP

Family Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioner Tessiny Iriarte graduated from the California State University of Bakersfield in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science Nursing before going on to Masters and Family Nurse Practitioner certificate from Walden University in 2015. Along with Family Practice Medicine, she also specializes in Dermatology and works in the Health & Wellness location in Lancaster.

Wendy Fuentes, MSN, RN, FNP

Family Nurse Practitioner

Wendy Fuentes received her Masters of Health Administration degree from Phoenix University in June 2009. She continued her education by receiving her Family Nurse Practitioner certification from Simmons College of Nursing in December 2016. Among numerous other medical staff positions and contributions, Wendy is also a retired US Army veteran where she acted as a Unit Commander, Registered Nurse, X-Ray Technician and Mobilization officer. Wendy Fuentes works in ourAntelope Valley Community Clinic Health & Wellness location.


Richard Rojas, DDS

Dental Director

Dr. Rojas graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in Chemistry. In 1980, he graduated with honors, receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. Along with having been in private practice since 1980, Dr. Rojas has also been the Dental Director for AVPH’s Save a Smile program, on the Board of Directors of High Desert Children’s Dental clinic, recognized for his volunteer efforts and most recently, the Dental Director here at Antelope Valley Community Clinic. Dr. Rojas participates at both our Health and Wellness clinic and Palmdale clinic.

John Chen, DDS

General Dentistry

Dr. Chen received his Bachelor’s in Neuroscience from Pomona College in 2008, and attended the University of California where he completed his Doctorate of Dental Surgery. Dr. Chen also works as an Associate Dentist for pediatric practices in Agoura Hills and Oxnard, as well as with our group. He works out of our Palmdale clinic.

Jennifer Kim, DMD

General Dentistry

Dr. Kim graduated from Harvard School of Dental Medicine with cum laude, receiving her Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree in Boston. In Massachusetts, she was an active leader in Community Dental Clinics serving members of Boston and Dorchester as a Clinic Coordinator and Provider. Dr. Kim also received additional training in orthodontics at UCLA. Dr. Kim sees children and adult patients part-time at our Palmdale clinic.

Michelle Mancilla, RDH

Registered Dental Hygienist

Michelle Licea completed the Dental Hygiene Program in 2011, from Taft College. She has over 13 years of experience in the dental field, all the way from front office to back office. She assists dentists and patients in both our Palmdale and Health and Wellness clinics.


Traci Spriggs Moreno, Psy.D.

Director of Mental Health Services/Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Moreno received her Bachelor’s Degree from Florida State University. She began her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling at Nova Southeastern University in Florida and transferred into the Doctoral Program for Psychology at Alliant International University in California. She worked as a clinical and forensic psychologist for the State of CA prior to her arrival at AVCC in May 2012.

Melissa Marroquin, MSW, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of San Diego in 1999 and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California in 2001. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and most recently worked at Kaiser Permanente in Lancaster for 6 years prior to coming to AVCC in 2013. Melissa is working at our Palmdale Clinic and sees children, families and adults.

Karen Gilmore, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Karen Gilmore received her Bachelor’s in Social Work in 1995 and went on to complete her Master’s in 1998. Her experience includes acting as Director of Community Services for Children’s Bureau, Director of Programs for Antelope Valley Partners for Health, and as a school based social worker in Colorado. She is located in our Lancaster Mental Health Department.

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