Dr. Haresh Desai (fourth from left) has announced that he will retire from his allergy, asthma and pediatrics practice in Clarion in August. Staff members at his office include (from left): Tori Christensen, Renee Shouey, Pam Wiseman and Nancy Zacherl.

CLARION — Dr. Haresh Desai, an allergist-immunologist-pediatrician in Clarion, recently announced he would retire and see his last patients Aug. 9.

“We have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Desai during his career as a pediatrician and allergist over the years, we wish him well in his retirement,” said Steven Davis, Clarion Hospital Interim CEO.

The sole proprietor of the Allergy and Asthma Clinic and Pediatrics, Desai is not sure how many patients he has seen over the years, but knows in some cases he has treated generations of patients.

It will likely be a challenge to attract an allergy and asthma specialist because over the years most of them typically located near a larger city. Although most specialists list addresses in areas such as Pittsburgh and Monroeville, Desai acknowledges that if they don’t find anyone for allergy, people will probably have to travel to other towns.

In the meantime, Clarion Hospital is pursuing a number of different arrangements to secure these services for the local community.

“Some of those physicians listed on websites come as far north as Butler and Grove City,” said Desai. “There’s still travel but they won’t have to go to Pittsburgh. My advice for current patients is to continue the plan that has been mapped out for them.”

Clarion Hospital is also actively seeking an additional pediatrician.

“Clarion Hospital is currently recruiting for a pediatrician to join our staff at Healthy Beginnings Pediatrics,” said Julie Kunselman, Director of Marketing and Physician Recruitment. “Meanwhile, Dr. Naehal Marra, pediatrician, and her staff at Healthy Beginnings Pediatrics welcome any of Dr. Desai’s patients to their practice, located at 30 Pinnacle Drive Suite 301, Clarion.

“Naehal Marra, DO, has been seeing patients at Healthy Beginnings Pediatrics since August of 2017,” she continued. “A graduate of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, she completed her internship at Massapequa General Hospital in Seaford, N.Y. and went on to her residency at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Marra is board certified by and a fellow of the American Board of Pediatrics. New patients are being accepted, if you wish to transfer your records to Healthy Beginnings Pediatrics, please call our office at (814) 226-1820.”

Desai practiced in Canada for 10 years and earned his medical training and degrees before he came to Clarion to open his own practice.

“I was looking for a practice that would give me an opportunity to do both pediatrics and allergy, and was not far away from the Canadian border because I visit that place off and on,” Desai said. “It’s been a great place and it’s been a fulfilling practice.”

His decision to retire was for family reasons, acknowledging that everybody has a time and his is now. He has a wife have three adult children.

“This practice has taken up most of my time,” explained Desai. “This combined practice of allergy and pediatrics takes up most of my time to the point where I’m looking forward to more time with the family. There a lot of things that I have thought about — I have a lot of interest in yoga, music, gardening, which I have never been able to touch those things, except for meditation. I will now have time to do them.”

Desai, who now has U.S. Citizenship in addition to his Canadian Citizenship, said the fit with the Clarion area was a good one and he didn’t have any trouble fitting in.

“I was in a smaller town in Canada. Brandon in Manitoba Province and was the second largest city next to Winnipeg,” Desai said. “At that time the population was just about 25,000 and it was larger than Clarion, but smaller when you compare it to a metropolitan area. I never ran into a radical difference with the culture. People who like nature and the quiet, this is the place to be.”

Desai has a staff of four and most of them have been with him for a long time. All of them said they have their resumes ready and are submitting them for new jobs.

Desai’s advice for the next person? “If they find somebody, this practice is ready. It’s a good place to start or continue a practice.”

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