According to CEO Scott Leggett, “The patients were all in great need of abdominal surgery to restore their health, return to work and care for their families. Four out of the five required hernia surgery, and one had her gallbladder removed. Carlsbad Surgery Center, one of four outpatient surgical centers located in San Diego managed by Surgery One, contributed staffing, facility, equipment and supplies in support of Dr. Fierer and the five patients he assisted through donated surgeries.” Cecilia Piementel had suffered with pain for more than 10 years, and needed a hernia belt just to walk around. “I am so grateful to Dr. Fierer and everyone at the surgery center,” she said. “I am looking forward to being able to walk without pain and take better care of myself.”
With an increase in the number of area residents who have no health insurance due to rising premium costs, reduced employment benefits and increasing unemployment, those who need specialty healthcare services have few options. The US Census Bureau reports that 27% of California adults under age 65 were uninsured in 2009. The San Diego County Medical Society Foundation’s Project Access San Diego has assisted more than 900 patients with specialty care since the program’s inception in early 2009, and the need continues to rise.
Dr. Fierer with the Carlsbad Surgery Center participated in a volunteer medical expedition to Nicaragua, and returned to San Diego committed to help those in need. “We observed how we could improve the lives of a few patients overseas and realized we could make a significant impact here in San Diego. When Dr. Fierer asked if we could devote a day to surgeries for patients he was volunteering to caring for, our staff enthusiastically replied ‘yes’,” explained Leggett. “Our staff recruited friends working at other facilities to spend the day with us, and several brought family members so they could help give back. We’re thrilled to partner with the Medical Society Foundation to improve the health of those that need help most.”
Leggett aspires to schedule on-going Surgery Saturdays with Project Access to increase the capacity of the Medical Society Foundation meet urgent needs. The San Diego County Medical Society Foundation also partners with Kaiser Permanente twice a year for Super Saturday, when approximately 40 uninsured patients have urgent health needs addressed. All Project Access patients are referred through their community clinic to assure continuity of care.
The San Diego County Medical Society Foundation was founded to address the unmet healthcare needs of uninsured and underinsured San Diego County residents. Through its flagship program, Project Access San Diego, SDCMSF has assisted over 1,200 patients to date to access specialty healthcare services. The Foundation focuses on increasing healthcare access, improving health education and prevention, and supporting physicians and medical to improve the quality of care in our County. For further details call (858) 300-2777 or visit www.sdcmsf.org.
Surgery One leads the medical field in surgical options throughout San Diego County with a network of accomplished surgical specialists who operate in outpatient surgical centers. They have physicians who specialize in: arthritis/minimally invasive hip and knee remedies; weight loss/ lap BAND® surgery; back and neck pain treatment; hand/ Carpal Tunnel and upper extremities;
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