Sutter Offers ‘Gift of Surgery’ to Those in Need
In Redwood City, 67-year-old Rosa spent the last two years with discomfort in both eyes and deteriorating vision. In Citrus Heights, 38-year-old Angelica lived with constant nausea, inflammation and pain due to gallbladder stones. And in Santa Rosa, 59-year-old Maria missed out on family activities as pain from a mass behind her knee limited her mobility.
To help these and other people in need across Northern California receive life-changing surgeries, medical teams at 17 Sutter Health outpatient surgery centers volunteered their time and expertise to provide free surgeries as part of the not-for-profit health care network’s annual Gift of Surgery program.
From July through September, Sutter Health partnered with community health clinics—Operation Access, SPIRIT and RotaCare—for the Gift of Surgery program. The clinics identified patients based on their medical condition, health status and financial need.
Jeffrey Liu, M.D., eye surgeon at Sutter’s Peninsula Eye Surgery Center, has participated in the Gift of Surgery program since 2014. This year, he provided free surgeries to seven Operation Access patients, including Rosa who received pterygium surgery to improve her vision.
“When my eye problems first began, I was worried if I didn’t get help soon I would eventually lose my vision,” Rosa said. “Dr. Liu went above and beyond to help me and I can’t thank him enough. It’s people like him that change the world. He changed mine and I will always be grateful.”
“Making patients more comfortable, protecting or restoring their vision, and improving their appearance and self-confidence is very rewarding to me,” said Jeffrey Liu, M.D. “I went into medicine to help people, and now I’m fortunate to be able to give back in a specialized way.”
SPIRIT patient, Angelica’s stomach pain was so severe she went to the Emergency Department nearly half a dozen times in 2017. Thanks to surgeons at Sutter Elk Grove Surgery Center, she received a gallbladder surgery and is in pain free for the first time in more than a year.
During the Gift of Surgery, Sutter Health medical teams performed hernia repair, cataract removal, knee-ligament repair and other elective procedures.
As a not-for-profit health network, Sutter Health believes that people of all backgrounds deserve great care. In 2016, our network invested $669 million in care and services for the poor and underserved.