Cancer Society, San Rafael Kaiser, Operation Access Provide Free Care for Uninsured
Armando Topete of San Anselmo wore a smile of relief Saturday morning — even though he awaited being poked and prodded by the medical team down the hall. Topete, who is uninsured, has suffered abdominal pain and intestinal problems for 10 years and discovered a few months ago that he needed a colonoscopy.
“If they find something, I know they will give me the medicine I need,” Topete, 58, said. ”They will make the pain go away.”
Topete and nine other patients benefitted from a session of free gastroenterology procedures Saturday thanks to the combined efforts of the health-care nonprofit Operation Access and the all-volunteer staff at Kaiser Permanente’s San Rafael Medical Center. The American Cancer Society sponsored the event in support of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Dr. Jeff Fox, chief of gastroenterology at the San Rafael Kaiser, said the staff has been eager to help since the volunteer opportunity was introduced to the gastroenterology (GI) department.