An Ounce of Prevention
Chong Kim, MD, Coastal Anti-Aging Medical Group
In these unprecedented times, helpful people throughout our community have reached out in service to their neighbors like never before. Chong Kim, MD, has been treating COVID-19 patients since it was discovered in the South Bay early March. “It was such a new illness to everyone, including the physicians,” he shares. “It was really the unknown that scared a lot of us. There was no written or directed treatment regimen.”
Dr. Kim has practiced medicine for more than 20 years and opened Coastal Anti-Aging Medical Group in Torrance in 2007 to offer patients a unique, personalized concierge service. While he is well-versed in traditional medicine, he recognized its limitations and developed an alternative style of medicine that focuses on prevention and a functional, integrative approach.
He enjoys maintaining an independent hospital practice at both Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center and Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Dr. Kim’s hospital work inspires his proactive approach to preventive medicine, which he offers to patients he sees outside the hospital. “I get to experience more of what’s going on in the world,” he says. “It helps me stay current—an experience I would otherwise only read about if I did not have a hospital practice.”
“I felt the timing had to be sooner than later to identify patients who may have had the illness.”
It was during his time at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center—where he completed his postgraduate medical training and held various teaching positions—that Dr. Kim had the breakthrough of how essential this connection to hospitals is for him. In fact, he was one of the three doctors to start the hospitalist medicine program at UCI. “Hospital medicine allows me to think outside the box when I encounter patients in my own practice with difficult diagnoses,” he explains.
After learning all he could about COVID-19 and seeing its impact on his hospital patients, Dr. Kim realized that testing the IgG and IgM antibodies could provide further knowledge on how our immune systems handle this corona-virus. It also identifies those who may be candidates for donating plasma to help others who are currently infected with the virus.
So he worked with Michael Zislis, the owner of Shade Hotels, to set up a testing site at the hotel’s Manhattan Beach location. “I did not anticipate that there would be such great community response to the test,” shares Dr. Kim, who would love to be involved in ongoing research to find an effective vaccine and says the chances are very promising.
A positive plasma test indicates the person is either currently infected with COVID-19 or has built an immunity and could potentially donate plasma to help others. A negative test indicates the person has not been exposed to the virus. Dr. Kim and his wife, Luella, took the antibody test, and they were both negative. “I had hoped that I would have the IgG or IgM antibody,” he says. “It would have been a great gift for the community to donate plasma.”
For the gifts you have shared, Dr. Kim, we say thank you.