Thirteen San Bernardino County low income and uninsured residents of San Bernardino County received free life-changing surgeries on Oct. 26 thanks to the generosity of about 60 physicians and staff members who volunteered their time for Kaiser Permanente San Bernardino County Area’s Community Surgery Day.
Five surgeons, three anesthesiologists and dozens of RNs, CRNAs, EVS, Pharmacy, Periop Services, administrators and support staff volunteered to participate in the event, which was held at the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center.
The 13 patients -- who together are receiving 15 surgeries -- were referred to Kaiser Permanente by five community partners: Lestonnac Free Clinic, SAC Health System, Western University of Health Sciences Eye Care Center, Redlands Family Clinic and Yucaipa Family Clinic.
Surgeons performed two hernia surgeries, 10 cataract surgeries and three colonoscopies. The patients were not eligible for any other assistance program that would enable them to have these much-needed procedures.
“Kaiser Permanente’s social mission is to care for the communities we serve. It is so wonderful to work with so many community partners that share this passion,” said Greg Christian, senior vice president and area manager of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals/Health Plan, San Bernardino County Area. “It is an honor for physicians, nurses and staff to offer and volunteer their time as a way of extending their hearts to these patients and their families.”
“We are grateful to our dedicated, compassionate physicians and staff who donate their talents and personal time,” said Timothy Jenkins, MD, area medical director and chief of staff. Dr. Jenkins was also one of the physician volunteers, performing the three colonoscopies on Community Surgery Day.
Community Surgery Day is part of a broader effort by Kaiser Permanente medical centers throughout Southern California and their community partners to provide free surgical procedures to low income, uninsured and underinsured individuals, with a focus on specialty care access. Kaiser Permanente collaborates with community-based organizations to identify and manage the care of eligible patients. This is a Charity Care Program held once (periodically twice) a year on a Saturday.
In San Bernardino County, this was the 12th Community Surgery Day since 2010. Nearly 140 patients have benefitted from receiving free surgical procedures at these events.