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Project Access San Diego Helps Uninsured Get Surgeries

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 Health Insurance News J E 4
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San Diego County Medical Society Foundation and Kaiser Permanente Treat 40 Uninsured San Diego County Patients

SAN DIEGO, April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In desperate need of outpatient procedures and living without health insurance, 40 people will receive free procedures through Project Access San Diego, a project of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation. The procedures will be performed in partnership with Kaiser Permanente San Diego at their Otay Mesa facility.

Project Access San Diego is a coordinated, donated network of healthcare services available to low-income, uninsured patients and is run in partnership with local healthcare facilities. Volunteers are the heart 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 400 volunteers, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, operating room technicians, administrative staff, EVS staff, laboratory technicians and pharmacists have donated their time in the past year. Participating medical facilities include Kaiser Permanente San Diego (www.kp.org), Palomar Pomerado Hospital system, University of California San Diego Hospital system and the San Diego Outpatient Ambulatory Surgical Center.

Among the 21 surgeries to be performed on April 24, 2010 are gallbladder removals, hernia repairs, cataract removals, and gynecological surgeries. 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 program gets people out of the emergency rooms and back to good health so that they can return to work or caring for their families. This is possible because of the generosity of our volunteers"

"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, April 24.

To qualify for care through Project Access San Diego, an individual must live in San Diego County, be ineligible for public health programs, be low-income, and be referred by a community health center. Over 350 patients have received free specialty care, including both inpatient and outpatient surgeries and procedures, since Project Access San Diego's inception in December 2008.

Current and past patient stories available upon request.

About Project Access San Diego (www.SDCMSF.org)

About Kaiser Permanente (www.kaiserpermanente.org)

SOURCE San Diego County Medical Society Foundation
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