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West LA Med Center Provides Free Surgeries
Monika Magnes, a pet caretaker from Palms with limited health care insurance, received much needed gall bladder surgery at Kaiser Permanente’s West Los Angeles medical center last year. The Community Access Day program provided 22 local residents with free surgeries and medical procedures. "I have missed work for being so ill," she says. "This surgery will allow me to live a little more normally without the fear of being sick all the time."
About 60 physicians and medical personnel participated in the event, donating their time and expertise to perform procedures, including hernia repairs, gallbladder removals, cataract procedures, and colonoscopies. The program is a collaborative effort between Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles and local clinics, such as the Venice Family Clinic. Since the program started five years ago, about 100 people who are either uninsured or lack sufficient health care coverage have benefited from free surgeries and procedures.
“Improving the health of not only our members, but the entire community is of utmost importance to us at Kaiser Permanente,” says Jan Takasugi, M.D., chief of surgery at Kaiser Permanente West LA Medical Center and co-champion (along with Clare Thomas, M.D., Anesthesiology) of Community Access Day.
“This day of service to our community shows our continuing dedication to working with our community providers to augment their services and quality of care as we work jointly to break down the barriers to health care access,” says Georgina Garcia, RN, Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center.