Dr. Malik Baz
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
A Fresno-based allergist with more than a dozen centers across the Valley is preparing to open his latest office in Selma to meet an increasing demand for more accessibility to longer-distance patients.
The new facility, a part of the Baz Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center, is expected to open in October. The building being used, a former convenience store, will be shared with an urgent care center — Premium Urgent Care — next door. Dr. Malik Baz, the head of Baz Allergy, said that the new center is being opened for the convenience of patients in southern Fresno County who need frequent treatment.
“It’s very hard for people to commute and go to the doctor’s office — you have to come quite often,” Baz said. “It’s not like you broke the bone and only have to come once in ten years; this is one day every other week for allergy shots.”
The needs of patients have also increased due to environmental issues in the Valley that trigger symptoms. Allergy season typically runs from February to the first week of June, but well into July, Dr. Baz said he is still seeing a large number of patients.
“In the old days it used to slow down, but not anymore,” Dr. Baz said. “Right now, all the fires are going around and all that pollution is coming into the Valley. And that triggers asthma, sinus headaches, allergies, everything.”
On average, Dr. Baz said that a doctor in one of his centers will see 15 to 19 patients in a day.
Dr. Baz, who received his degree in 1973 from King Edward Medical University in Lahore, Pakistan, came to the United States in 1975. He became interested in his field while he was studying medicine. The choice came in part after a friend of his had a severe asthma attack at his own wedding.
“Instead of spending time with the family, he ended up in the hospital,” Dr. Baz said.
The first Baz Allergy center was opened in Madera in 1982. Currently, he has 13 facilities running, not including the upcoming office.
The Selma facility will be headed up by Dr. Baz’ former pupil, Dr. Angela Sabry, who runs the Reedley center. Dr. Sabry said that she will be splitting her time between these two centers.
“There’s a great need for allergy treatment in the Central Valley,” Dr. Sabry said. “And especially in Reedley, we have quite a big demand here. We thought it would be better to have another office, so patients would have more to choose from.”
Dr. Sabry completed her residency at the University of California, San Francisco Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research, where Dr. Baz is on the faculty. She discovered that she would run the new center five months ago.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Dr. Sabry said. “There’s already some anticipation from the patients themselves.”
Dr. Baz said that the Reedley office itself was meant to cut down on commute time for patients in that area, with them seeing frequent patients from such towns as Selma and Dinuba. Dr. Sabry has said that the new facility will cut down on Reedley’s patient load and that commuters from Selma are already planning to receive their treatments there.
“Here in the Central Valley, there’s a lot of need for those who are underserved,” said Dr. Michael Klug, who will be heading the Premium Urgent Care center next door.
While Premium Urgent Care and Baz Allergy are separate practices, Dr. Klug has expressed his enthusiasm in sharing the building with his new neighbor, saying that both will be providing much-needed service of the people of Selma.