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One Year, 4 Surgery Days and 160 Lives Changed Through Donated Procedures

Thursday, December 3, 2009 General News J E 4
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San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, in partnership with Kaiser Permanente and Alliance Healthcare Foundation, to Care for 42 Uninsured San Diego County Patients

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the past year, one hundred eighteen patients have received free medical procedures. On December 5, 2009, an additional forty-two uninsured San Diego County patients will receive donated outpatient surgeries and procedures, through an ongoing partnership between Project Access San Diego (PASD), a program of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance Healthcare Foundation. PASD mobilizes medical volunteers to provide free surgeries and procedures to uninsured San Diegans.

During the first Saturday Surgery Day, held December 6, 2008, 19 patients received outpatient surgeries and have since returned to full time employment. Two additional Saturday Surgery Days were held in 2009, with 46 patients receiving surgeries and 53 patients screened for colon cancer.

Volunteers are the base of Project Access San Diego's success as they selflessly give of their time to improve the health of people in San Diego County. More than 350 volunteers, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, operating room technicians, administrative staff, EVS staff, laboratory technicians and pharmacists have donated their time in the past year.

Among the 20 surgeries to be performed on December 5, 2009 are hernia repairs and gallbladder removals. In many cases, these patients have been unable to work due to their medical conditions. Providing the surgery will put them back to work and allow them to provide for their families again. Kitty Bailey, Executive Director, San Diego County Medical Society Foundation states, "This Saturday is a celebration of a year that brought community partners and hundreds of volunteers together to help San Diego patients in need -- 160 patients lives were positively impacted by the donated surgeries and procedures from Kaiser Permanente. A very special thank you goes to the hundreds of volunteers who have come to work on their day off this year to help their neighbors get well and get back on their feet."

In addition to the 20 surgeries, 22 patients will receive colorectal cancer screening procedures. Colorectal cancer continues to be the second leading cancer killer in the U.S. It is also one of the most easily prevented; oftentimes polyps can be removed before they become cancerous. Dr. Daniel S. Anderson of Kaiser Permanente says, "This project has already saved lives. By screening and testing medically underserved patients, we can find colon cancer before it is too late and connect them to the care they need."

Kaiser Permanente's San Diego is again collaborating with Project Access San Diego for this Saturday Surgery Day and is donating medical supplies and the operating rooms at the SurgiCenter in Otay Mesa.

"The level of volunteerism among the medical staff at Kaiser Permanente is so high. Volunteers know that the surgeries we perform are changing lives in a meaningful way," says Dr. Sandra L. Freiwald, General Surgeon. Over 150 volunteers, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, operating room technicians, administrative staff, environmental services staff, laboratory technicians and pharmacists will donate their time on Saturday, December 5.

Karma Bass, CEO of Alliance Healthcare Foundation adds, "Alliance Healthcare Foundation is proud to partner with Project Access in support of Surgery Days. These surgeries significantly improve the well-being of the patients that benefit from them and often transform their lives."

Current and past patient stories available upon request.

About Project Access San Diego

Project Access San Diego (PASD) is a program of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation (SDCMSF), a nonprofit organization that, through PASD, mobilizes a network of medical volunteers, hospitals, and referring community clinics to provide the uninsured with donated outpatient surgeries and procedures that significantly improve their health, ability to work, and quality of life. For more information about SDCMSF, please contact Kitty Bailey, Executive Director, at (858) 300-2779 and visit the organization website at www.SDCMSF.org.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. Founded in 1945, it is a nonprofit, group practice prepayment program headquartered in Oakland, California. Kaiser Permanente serves the health care needs of 3.3 million members in Southern California. Today it encompasses the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the for-profit Southern California Permanente Medical Group. More information about Kaiser Permanente can be found at www.kaiserpermanente.org.

About Alliance Healthcare Foundation

The Alliance Healthcare Foundation is the only local, nonprofit, and independent healthcare foundation in San Diego County. The mission of the Alliance Healthcare Foundation is to promote health and wellness in the San Diego region, with special emphasis on the medically underserved. This is accomplished through collaborative grantmaking, advocacy and education. More information about the Alliance Healthcare Foundation can be found at www.alliancehf.org.

SOURCE San Diego County Medical Society Foundation
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