Kaiser Permanente’s Free Surgery Saturday Brings Hope to Uninsured Patients

PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Saturday will bring new hope to dozens of uninsured patients in Southern California who have been living with pain, vision problems and other medical conditions, but can’t afford the surgery that would change their lives. Volunteer surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians and support staff from four Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers will answer that need by performing free surgery for those uninsured patients on Saturday, September 25th. As a result, the patients should be able to get back to work, to care for their children and, in some cases, look forward to a new life without pain.

“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.

Celebrating its first Free Surgery Day, the Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical 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.

Free Surgery Day is a Kaiser Permanente community benefit program begun in partnership with Access OC (Orange County) in 2007. Access OC is a program designed to strengthen the safety net of healthcare services for lower-income residents. Kaiser Permanente medical volunteer teams in Orange County will be holding their seventh Surgery Day this Saturday, sharing their skills and experience to bring much needed surgery to patients who would go without otherwise.

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.

“Today’s free Surgery Day is another example of more than 60 years of caring for the communities in which we live and work,” said Benjamin Chu, M.D., president of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region. “Our community benefit programs, including free surgery day, try to bring the hope and promise of good health to uninsured and underserved people. It’s part of our history of caring,” he added.

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.


Kaiser Permanente's Community Benefit program is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve and reducing health disparities through community partnerships with the safety net of community clinics, public health departments, public hospitals, and other agencies. Community Benefit also helps increase access to quality health care and coverage, regardless of income, through our charity care and charitable coverage programs; supports community groups to inspire people to make positive changes for health through our Health Eating Active Living programs and Community Health Initiatives; and shares our medical knowledge, expertise, and research to help Southern California people live healthier lives. For more info, visit Kaiser Permanente Southern California Community Benefits.


Kaiser Permanente
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

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Seniors  Women  Surgery  Health  Hospitals  Philanthropy  Teens  Other Philanthropy  Consumer  Family  Men  Managed Care