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September 25 Kaiser Permanente to Host Free Surgery Saturday


Kaiser Permanente will be hosting “Free Surgery Saturday” on September 25th in Southern California. The event will bring new hope to dozens of uninsured patients in the area who have been living with pain, vision problems and other medical conditions, but can’t afford the surgery that would change their lives.

“Free Surgery Saturday” is possible due to the many surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians and support staff from four Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers who will be volunteering their time and skills.

The September 25th event will be the first “Free Surgery Saturday” hosted by Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center. The center has been working closely with Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles to identify patients who need surgical procedures. Those patients will assemble with the medical team early Saturday morning at the nearby outpatient surgery center in Bellflower for a series of operations to remove gallstones, repair hernias, and perform other general surgery procedures.

While the event may be a first for Downey Medical Center, it is actually the seventh “Free Surgery Day” Kaiser Permanente community benefit program has hosted as part of its partnership with Access OC (Orange County) since 2007. Access OC is a program designed to strengthen the safety net of healthcare services for lower-income residents.

In the Inland Empire, the Community Health Systems clinics worked closely with Kaiser Permanente officials to identify and schedule patients who could be helped by the volunteer medical teams assembled at the Riverside Medical Center and the Fontana Medical Center’s Ontario Vineyard Ambulatory Surgery Center. Additional patients for the Fontana Medical Center were identified by the SAC Health Systems Clinic and the Inland Behavior and Health Community Clinic in San Bernardino.

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“This day demonstrates why we all became doctors in the first place—our desire to help people,” said Jeffrey Weisz, M.D., executive medical director of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, the physician group that cares for Kaiser Permanente members. “This is our chance to give something back to the communities that we serve, to provide healing and compassion for those who are in need,” added Dr. Weisz.

For specific details, including starting times for the surgery, please contact the media representatives from the participating medical centers noted above. Final numbers of patients served should become available on Saturday, September 25th.

Downey Medical Center
Lana Peterson
562-657-4451 office/562-252-2960 cell

Irvine Medical Center
Scott Kelly
714-796-2663 office/714-862-7153 cell

Riverside Medical Center
Karen Roberts
951-602-4124 office/951-403-7478 cell

Fontana Medical Center
Gwen Kleist
909-427-4547 office/909-395-3889 pager