Operation Access (OA) enables health care providers to donate vital surgical and specialty care to people in need. OA patients receive care free of charge thanks to the over 1500 medical professionals and over 43 hospitals and ambulatory care centers that partner with the program in the Bay Area.
Since 2001, OA's San Mateo Program has improved the lives of our neighbors most in need with over 1,400 free surgical procedures and diagnostic servics. This year we expanded and now coordinate donated care for Santa Clara county residents in need. Our first Surgery Session took place at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center where 14 patients received 16 services (1 lymph node biopsy, 3 hernia repairs, 3 cataract removals, 1 pterygium removal, 6 colonoscopies, and 2 endoscopies).
In the fall, we hope to serve an additional 30 patients during our first Super Surgery Session in Santa Clara County where we expect to engage over 100 volunteer medical professionals. Please help us provide these vital services by making a donation today!
Your donation makes a big impact!
For every dollar received, OA coordinates over $12 in donated medical care.
A recent study by a UCSF health economist shows that each inguinal hernia repair (made possible with a $500 donation) prevents an average of $196,022 in emergency and disability costs.
We serve patients in the Bay Area, including San Mateo & Santa Clara Counties because:
Uninsured, low-income, and especially undocumented people face barriers in accessing prompt elective specialty care, which can lead to the development of more serious conditions and unnecessary emergency room visits. OA prevents emergencies and poor health outcomes in the community by coordinating targeted and timely care.
How long has Operation Access been addressing this issue?
OA was founded in 1993 by surgeons Bill Schecter, MD and Douglas Grey, MD, who saw tremendous needs in their community that could be addressed by deploying the medical mission concept to serve the local community. Over 22 years OA has touched the lives of over 10,000 people and the donated medical care provided exceeds $120 million.
What types of services are donated through Operation Access?
A broad variety of outpatient and elective procedures can be performed. Common procedures include hernia repair to prevent incarcerated hernias, cataract & pterygium removal to prevent blindness, and colonoscopy for above-average risk patients to prevent colon cancer through targeted polyp removal.
Who we serve in San Mateo & Santa Clara Counties:
The majority of patients are low-income, working, Spanish-speaking Latinos.
Patients qualify if they are: uninsured and unable to obtain coverage; ineligible for Medi-Cal or Medicare; live in the local community; earn less than 250% of the Federal Poverty Level; have minimal savings, and have been referred for a medically necessary outpatient procedure.
We receive referrals from Samaritan House Medical Clinics, San Mateo Department of Public Health, RotaCare Coastside, Ravenswood Family Health Center, Office of Josefina Enriquez, MD, Arbor Free Clinic, Gardner Family Health Network, NEMS - San Jose, RotaCare - Mountain View, and MayView Clinics.
The average annual income of OA patients is close to the federal poverty level - $12,025 for individuals and $21,635 for a family of four.
OA has 11 full-time staff to navigate patients, manage logistics, and engage volunteers. All program staff are bilingual Spanish/English.
Thank you for your support!