Surgery Provided at No Cost through Operation Access & St. Joseph Health
SANTA ROSA, Calif., April 22, 2019 – St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County (Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital
and Petaluma Valley Hospital) and St. Joseph Health Medical Group, along
with nearly two dozen physician volunteers, donated their time and talent
to ensure 44 uninsured, low-income Sonoma residents could receive vital
surgeries and access specialty care at St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County
facilities in 2018. This year marks the 18th anniversary of the partnership. Since 2001, St. Joseph Health, Sonoma
County has partnered with Operation Access, a local nonprofit organization,
to ensure individuals with no insurance or limited financial means can
access health care services.
“Our organization has a long history of caring for all of our community
members, especially those who are most vulnerable. We are proud to continue
to partner with Operation Access to ensure all residents, regardless of
their income or insurance status, are treated with compassion, dignity,
and have access to the health services they need,” said Dana Codron,
Regional Director for Community Health Investments at St. Joseph Health
in Northern California.
Marco is one of the 44 Sonoma County residents who was able to receive
no-cost treatment at a St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County hospital through
Operation Access last year. Ten years ago, he moved from Mexico to Petaluma,
where he works in construction. Last summer, while building a house, he
experienced intense abdominal pain that left him unable to stand. It was
a sensation he was all too familiar with--three years ago, while playing
with his daughter, he had the same type of attack and was diagnosed with
His primary care doctor referred Marco to Operation Access, and set up
an appointment with Adam Kaplan, MD, a urologist with St. Joseph Health
Medical Group, who performed a percutaneous nephrolithotomy (minimally
invasive kidney stone removal surgery) at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital
in October 2018.
Marco is appreciative for all the organizations and providers who cared
for him: “I don’t have the resources to pay for a surgery
like this, and I am so thankful. Dr. Kaplan is such a kind person, and
it’s wonderful this is available to people like me.” Marco
underwent a second surgery to remove kidney stones from his other kidney
in February. As the main source of income in the family, Marco is happy
he will be able to return to work next month to not only provide for his
family, but help other families who lost their homes in the 2017 wildfires.
By connecting care providers willing to donate their medical expertise
with area hospitals and clinics willing to donate facilities and technologies,
Operation Access has coordinated more than 3,900 surgical procedures and
diagnostic services for vulnerable Sonoma County residents since 2001.
In addition to donating its facilities, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital also
supported Operation Access through a $100,000 grant in calendar year 2018.
In 2018, referrals to Operation Access increased by 22 percent, demonstrating
the continued need in our community.
“We are thankful to each and every one of our partners who help us
foster health care equality among people facing barriers to care,”
said Daniel Rabkin, Senior Program Manager at Operation Access. “Together,
we are improving community health outcomes in Sonoma County.”
Common specialty services provided through Operation Access include: anorectal;
breast, dermatology, gastroenterology, general surgery, gynecology, plastic
and reconstructive, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, podiatry;
urology, and vascular. For a complete list of participating physicians,
health care facilities and medical groups, please visit www.operationaccess.org.
St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County
St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County (SJH-SC) is a nonprofit, full-service
health care organization which was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph
of Orange and includes Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Petaluma Valley
Hospital. Services include cancer, cardiac, critical care, emergency/trauma,
imaging, maternity and infant care, NICU, neurosciences, orthopedics,
pediatrics and more. SJH-SC works collaboratively with other hospitals
within Providence St. Joseph Health, as well as numerous outpatient facilities,
home and community care, affiliated physicians, and St. Joseph Health
Medical Group providers, to ensure patients receive the highest level
of care, close to home. More information about St. Joseph Health, Sonoma
About St. Joseph Health Medical Group
St. Joseph Health Medical Group (SJHMG) is committed to improving local
access to care in Sonoma, Napa, Humboldt, and surrounding communities.
Our team of like-minded providers offers high quality, patient-centered
care as well as a more satisfying experience for patients and families
with a focus on maintaining continuity of care throughout the group. With
over 340 providers and growing, SJHMG’s tradition of excellence
extends to all aspects of care—from routine check-ups to leading-edge
surgical procedures. SJHMG operates more than 75 offices and clinics throughout
the northern California region. For more information, visit
About Operation Access
Operation Access, founded in 1993, grew out of the recognition that many
San Francisco residents did not have access to elective surgical or specialty
care because they had no insurance and limited financial means. From its
beginning in San Francisco with a handful of volunteers working in a single
hospital, Operation Access has grown to serve all nine Bay Area counties.
Over the years, our partnership with health care providers has grown to
include more than 1,500 volunteer medical professionals, 75 hospitals
and ambulatory care centers, and 100 medical groups that provide outpatient
surgical procedures and diagnostic screenings to patients referred from
more than 90 community clinics.
In Sonoma, in addition to St. Joseph Health, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital,
Petaluma Valley Hospital and St. Joseph Health Medical Group, Operation
Access also partners with other hospitals and medical groups in the area.
For details, visit