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Hospitals Team Up to Provide Health Care and Surgery For Those Who Don’t Have Benefits and Can’t Afford Care

03/16/2015

Community Health Clinic Ole, Kaiser Permanente, Queen of the Valley Medical Center and St. Helena Hospital Team Up to Provide Health Care and Surgery For Those Who Don't Have Benefits and Can't Afford Care

Napa County, CA (date) Four local health care providers – Community Health Clinic Ole, Kaiser Permanente, Queen of the Valley Medical Center, and St. Helena Hospital are changing the face of health care in Napa Valley. All four have agreed to provide surgery and specialty care for individuals who may not otherwise have access to health care through Operation Access, an organization that brings together volunteer surgical care to local people in need. The partnership is the culmination of a year-long planning process by a local advisory workgroup that includes these organizations, plus Planned Parenthood, Napa Medical Society and the County of Napa. Key funding to launch this project has come from members of the workgroup and a significant grant from Community Projects, Inc.

"We're incredibly blessed to have multiple high-quality health organizations in our community that work to care for all people, especially the vulnerable, both in hospitals and out in the community," said Walt Mickens, president and CEO, Queen of the Valley Medical Center. "We are excited to partner with these organizations and Operation Access to further strengthen the health care safety net and improve the lives of those in Napa most in need."

"Many of our doctors and nurses consider opportunities to volunteer their time and skills to be highly rewarding. Many travel globally to volunteer, and have often expressed their wish to be able to give more here at home as well, said Dr. Steven Herber, president and CEO, St. Helena Hospital. "This is a very welcome opportunity to make a difference for neighbors who are just trying to make ends meet, provide for their families, and take care of their children."

"By providing these outpatient procedures, we are preventing the development of more serious conditions to some of our communities most vulnerable," said Corwin Harper, senior vice president/area manager for Kaiser Permanente's Napa-Solano Area. "These surgeries change lives and help people enjoy a better quality of life. We believe in helping everyone live a healthier life and are proud to partner in creating such positive change in our community."

Medical providers at Clinic Ole and Planned Parenthood will refer eligible patients to Operation Access. Available services will include outpatient surgical procedures and diagnostic services in the following specialties: general surgery, diagnostic colonoscopy, gynecology, orthopedics, plastic and reconstructive surgery, urology, and ophthalmology, among others. Each facility will provide different services based on their areas of expertise and those physicians and staff who have come forward to volunteer their services.

"We see this as a vital part of our mission. It's one more way for us to reach out to the traditionally underserved parts of our community," said Clinic Ole CEO, Tanir Ami. "We provide quality primary care for all people at all stages of life. However, sometimes our patients need an operation in order to return to wellness. We are deeply grateful to our partners' generous gifts of time and talent to help these patients."

"The whole community of providers has come together to respond to the need for essential services among those who remain uninsured. The outcome of this collaborative will be prompt, cost-effective care that improves community health" said Operation Access CEO, Jason Beers.

For more information or to refer a patient for care, call 415-733-0052, email info@operationaccess.org, or visit the Operation Access website.

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About Operation Access: Founded in 1993 in San Francisco, Operation Access was born out of a desire to provide care for the underserved in local communities. Recognizing that access to elective surgery or specialty care can have life-altering effects for those who cannot afford care and who do not qualify for existing programs, a group of health care professionals - Bill Schecter, MD, Doug Grey, MD, and Paul Hofmann, DrPH – began discussing ways to bring together volunteers and those in need. On discovering that it was easier for health care professionals to volunteer overseas than to do so in their own communities, they established a partnership network, Operation Access, a network of more than 1500 volunteer medical professionals, over 40 hospitals and ambulatory care center, and 20 medical groups to provide outpatient surgery to patients referred from more than 70 community clinics.

About St. Helena Hospital: St. Helena Hospital is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 28,900 includes more than 21,200 employees; 4,500 medical staff physicians; and 3,200 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 170 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, six hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. We invite you to visit www.sthelenahospitals.org for more information.

About Queen of the Valley Medical Center: Queen of the Valley Medical Center is a 191-bed, acute-care facility founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. "The Queen" is the largest health care facility and one of the largest employers in Napa County. It is home to the area's only Level III Trauma Center, the Peggy Herman Neuroscience Center, a Regional Heart Center, a Regional Orthopedic Center, and a Regional Cancer Center accredited with distinction by the American College of Surgeons. Specialties also include maternity and infant care, inpatient and outpatient minimally invasive surgery, imaging and rehabilitation services.

The campus is also home to the Queen of the Valley Wellness Center and Synergy Medical Fitness Center, a unique facility that provides patients and the public with a direct link between lifestyle changes and better health. Services include exercise, nutrition education and disease prevention and management. More information may be found at www.thequeen.org.

About Clinic Ole

Clinic Ole is Napa County's only Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and offers primary and preventive health care to 30,000 residents each year. The health center is also the health-home to one in three children in Napa Valley. High quality health and dental services are available to all residents of Napa County -- including seniors on Medicare, people with private insurance, and families and individuals who are uninsured. Clinic Ole Foundation is a Type 1 501c3 supporting organization. EIN: 68-0149424.

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, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.5 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. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

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