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Caring for Those in Need
Thirty-eight uninsured patients received free outpatient surgeries last year through a vital partnership between Access OC and Kaiser Permanente Orange County. These procedures were performed on the Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center campus. Access OC is a non-profit program mobilizing medical volunteers to provide free surgeries to the uninsured. Kaiser Permanente was the first to collaborate with Access OC in May 2007. Since then, hundreds of Kaiser Permanente Orange County volunteers have provided more than 100 free surgical procedures to uninsured patients. This was Kaiser Permanente’s 12th “Free Surgery Day” with Access OC.
More than 100 medical volunteers –surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, pharmacists, operating room and laboratory technicians, schedulers, admitting personnel and other support staff – donated their time and skills to provide free surgeries to uninsured residents of Orange County. These medically necessary procedures significantly improved each patient’s quality of life. Among the surgeries performed were hernia repairs and cataract procedures.
Ericka Waidley, executive director of Access OC states, “For many people, Access OC is their last hope to accessing health care. By providing these life-changing procedures, we are improving the lives of the neediest in our communities.”
“I volunteer because I want to make a difference in my own community. These are simple, yet life-altering surgeries that enhance people's quality of life" said Dr. Monica Gabaldon, a Southern California Permanente Medical Group affiliated physician volunteer.