About 25 West Los Angeles-area residents with limited health insurance received 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 included gallbladder removal and hernia repair, eye surgery, as well as diagnostic colonoscopies, and were performed Saturday, May 6 at the KaiserPermanente 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 KaiserPermanente 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.