Uninsured Patients Receive Free Surgeries from Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center

Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles Partnered with Kaiser Permanente to Provide Much Needed Surgeries to a Dozen Uninsured Patients

DOWNEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Patients from Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles received pro bono outpatient surgeries to repair hernias, remove cataracts and gallbladders on Saturday, May 21. A team of about 70 doctors, nurses and support staff from Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center worked for free to provide patients with life-changing procedures—some have been waiting for months even years for these surgeries.

Asuncion Castillo, a Bell Gardens resident, is a patient who benefited from the free Community Surgery Day at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices and Surgery Center in Bellflower. He is blind in his left eye because of a cataract and as a furniture upholsterer he needed complete vision to practice his trade. He lost his job when vision problems affected his work which left him with no income, health insurance or resources for medical care.

With the help of Community Surgery Day and after waiting for nearly a year, Asuncion finally got the cataract surgery to give him back his eyesight on Saturday, May 21. “The monetary value of these surgeries is inconsequential to the difference we make in these patients’ lives,” said Jane Finley, senior vice president and executive director, Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center.

When asked what he plans to do after recovering from the surgery, Asuncion wants to get a job. In the current economy, getting a job is difficult enough. Coupled with blindness, getting a job and keeping it is almost impossible. Now that barrier is removed just like the cataract in his eye.

About Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Program

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 www.kaiserpermanente.org.

About Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles

Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles, Inc. (FHCCGLA) is a nonprofit community health center providing health care services to patients regardless of ability to pay for services. Founded in 1925 as “The Mother’s Clinic”, FHCCGLA has served indigent and uninsured residents of Los Angeles County for over 80 years. www.fhccgla.org



CONTACT:

Kaiser Permanente
Southern California Region
Downey Medical Center
Lana Peterson
Office: 562-657-4451
Mobile: 562-252-2960

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