Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Election 2020: Live Results | Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice

Needy San Diegans Get Free Surgeries

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Andy G / flickr

Surgeons operate on a patient, on June 6, 2010.

Needy San Diegans Get Free Surgeries

GUESTS:

Barbara Mandel, executive director, San Diego County Medical Society Foundation

Patricia Coleman, recipient of free surgery

Transcript

Eight uninsured San Diegans will get their hernias fixed for free on Saturday. Some of the patients have been living with the painful medical condition for seven years.

The San Diego Medical Society Foundation reaches out each year to the community to offer free medical care for those in need.

“Of the about 850 people we take care of every year, about 30 percent require surgery,” the foundation's executive director, Barbara Mandel, said.

The San Diego County Medical Society Foundation stages these Saturday Surgery Days about four times a year. It's part of the group’s effort to help poor San Diegans with unmet medical needs and is a way to help medical facilities meet their public service goals.

Carlsbad Surgery Center is providing the venue, and a group of surgeons, nurses and other medical professional are donating their time.

Patricia Coleman got a kidney stone treated as part of the program in 2013.

“You can’t imagine the pain,” Coleman said. “Throwing up because it was so bad. It was horrible. They changed my life.”

About 200,000 adults in San Diego County remain uninsured. About half don’t have insurance because they recently lost or switched jobs.

People may also find the cost of dependent health care unaffordable, so their spouses may be covered but they are not.

In 2015, the foundation gave free outpatient surgeries to 190 needy San Diegans.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Midday Edition banner

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.