May 5, 2017

Community access day provides free surgeries to underserved residents

Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles and local clinic team up to improve patients’ lives.

Participants in last year's Community Access Day event.

LOS ANGELES — About 25 West Los Angeles-area residents with limited health insurance will receive much needed surgeries and medical procedures at no cost to them through Community Access Day, a collaborative effort between Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles and Venice Family Clinic. Procedures include gallbladder removal and hernia repair, eye surgery, as well as diagnostic colonoscopies, and will be performed on Saturday, May 6, starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center.

The program has operated at the West Los Angeles Medical Center for nine years and has benefitted patients such as Los Angeles resident Petra Gonzalez, 45, who received hernia repair surgery at KP West LA’s Community Access Day in 2016, after dealing with what she described as terrible pain for months. The pain made it very difficult for her to even bend over - but she had no choice but to work through the pain at her job at a local fast-food restaurant.

“I’m so very thankful to the doctors at Kaiser Permanente and the Venice Family Clinic – this means so much to me,” Gonzalez said, on the morning of her surgery. “May God be with us. Hopefully, this program can continue to help many other patients in the future as well.”

Even with the Affordable Care Act, many care providers struggle to provide and coordinate specialty care to meet increasingly complex patient needs. Their conditions are often exacerbated by such health conditions as diabetes and obesity.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to provide surgeries and procedures to people in our community with so much need and limited access to health care,” says Robert Casillas, MD, general surgery, Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles, and surgery champion for the Community Access Day program. “This program has a very powerful impact on these patients’ lives, and perfectly complements our mission at Kaiser Permanente.”

Creating healthy communities is central to Kaiser Permanente’s mission and critical to individual health and wellness. At the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, contributions to various Community Benefit Programs totaled $28,002,536 in 2016, and this great level of work continues into 2017.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve nearly 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.