San Francisco Chronicle Examines Not-For-Profit Group That Facilitates Surgeries for Uninsured
The San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday profiled Operation Access, a not-for-profit group that has facilitated 1,500 no-cost outpatient surgeries over the past 11 years. OA facilitates hernia operations, tonsillectomies, cyst removals and other surgeries for individuals who cannot afford health insurance but do not meet income-eligibility requirements for public health care programs.
Bill Schecter, chief of surgery at San Francisco General Hospital, co-founded OA, which has expanded from Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center to 16 hospitals in six Bay Area counties. More than 250 physicians, nurses and other staff volunteer their time to OA, and the hospitals donate the space and equipment. For example, 19 patients received no-cost surgeries performed by more than 50 volunteers at an OA event Saturday at Kaiser San Francisco.
Kaiser surgeon Elaine Yutan said that OA is "a great opportunity for people to come together and donate their talents locally, without traveling to far distant lands," adding, "These are our neighbors, our painters, our plumbers" (DeFao, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/27).