October 26, 2016 | Staff Stories
Mountain Park Health Center is known for hiring high-quality providers who dedicate their lives to making their patients a priority. Dr. William Van Arsdell’s passion for healthcare is evident from the first meeting. For someone who has surpassed the golden age of retirement, Dr. Van Arsdell isn’t thinking about calling it quits any time soon, and for that we and his patients thank him.
“Being in the medical field is very inspiring,” he told us. “I have been working as a Pediatrician for 45-plus years and I don’t see myself leaving the practice anytime soon. Why quit something that is so much fun and inspires me every day?”
In college, Dr. Van—that’s what everyone at Mountain Park calls him—majored in chemistry and zoology.
“I remember there was a month or two when I was considering skipping medicine altogether and studying biology, but I just felt this pull and calling toward medicine,” he told us. “The reward and fulfillment to do what I do is amazing. I appreciate the gift of being able to participate in people’s healthcare and be in a role of a primary physician.”
Dr. Van, who practices at our Gateway Clinic, was born in Columbus, Ohio. He grew up in Minnesota, and still has a family home there.
“We enjoy traveling to Minnesota and wish we could go more often,” he told us. “The home there was my mother’s artistic product. She built it from ground up.”
Before moving to Arizona, Dr. Van spent time in Massachusetts where he met his wife, Dr. Carmen Arocho-Vera, who is also a Mountain Park physician. The couple always found the west fascinating, and in 1982 they made the move to The Grand Canyon State.
“After my wife and I got married we wanted to move to a Latino-rich community,” he explained. “When you grow up in Minnesota, it seems like you always want to move out west.”
A Calling for Community Care
For as long as he can remember, Dr. Van has always been passionate about community healthcare. He has worked with Indian Health Services and spent some time on the Tohono O’odham Reservation. Even in Boston, he was pulled toward and worked in a community healthcare setting.
“I have done a lot of community work in my life,” he told us. “I find it gratifying to be able to make a change in people’s lives. It’s very fulfilling seeing all the good you can do. When I came to Arizona the first thing I did was look into community health but I didn’t know about Mountain Park until the early 2000s.”
This October, Dr. Van celebrated his 13-year anniversary at Mountain Park.
Anabel Valdez, a Mountain Park Medical Assistant, has worked with Dr. Van for eight years. She has been bringing her daughter to see him since her birth seven years ago.
“Dr. Van is very dedicated to his patients,” she told us. “He cares for all of them and takes his time to make sure parents understand what is going on with their child’s health. I always recommend Dr. Van to my family and friends every chance I get. Working with him has helped me tremendously with how I care for my patients.”
Dr. Van’s method of care and his compassion toward little ones is incomparable. Children rarely like to visit the doctor, but Dr. Van’s calm demeanor and cheerful personality makes even the most hesitant and scared child feel at ease.
Veisinia Ngaluola has been bringing her children to Mountain Park for eight years. All four of her babies are Mountain Park babies and now see Dr. Van for all their pediatric needs. The whole family loves coming here because they can get all their needs met under one roof and having Dr. Van as her children’s Pediatrician is a bonus.
“Dr. Van is our favorite and we all love him. He knows my kids and he’s so sweet,” she told us. “We would never want to change doctors. Everyone in the clinic is so great.”
Dr. Van feels the same. He loves coming into work every morning and helping his patients lead healthy lives. His hopes are to see Mountain Park continue growing and helping our community.
“Mountain Park is a wonderful place to be,” he said. “I want our patients to know that we are always there for them. We are there for everyone in the community and our mission is to have open doors to provide healthcare for all people. We are there for those people who don’t commonly think about a community center being a choice for their healthcare needs.”