John Muir Health collaborates with the Community Clinic Consortium of Contra Costa and Solano Counties to donate surgical care to low-income, uninsured county residents through Operation Access. The process for providing surgical resources, laboratory services, and pharmaceuticals begins with a referral from one of the consortium’s member community clinics. Operation Access screens the patients for insurance eligibility and, for those who qualify, arranges a consultation with a volunteer surgeon from John Muir Health at no charge. Learn more about Operation Access

Patient Story

The surgery was a total success; I am now healthy and happy with the drive to live, work and support my family.

My name is Jeannette and I arrived in the United States when I was thirty. The year I had my daughter, I went to San Francisco General Hospital for severe abdominal pain, where they told me I had gallstones. On several occasions I tried to get surgery, but couldn’t since I didn't have insurance. My husband and I had very little money to support ourselves and could not afford the expensive procedure. My condition worsened as I waited on several waiting lists. I spent the next 26years dealing with the pain of my condition, including weight gain, a growing stomach and limited diet. I couldn't work because I couldn't lower myself or bend. When I felt I reached a dead end, I returned to my home country in search of alternative medicine. I’ve spent the past few years hoping the alternative methods would cure me. Despite my attempts, I could not sleep at night and had started vomiting frequently. It was difficult to walk and breathe normally. Many nights I would pray, asking for anything to alleviate the pain. Then, a couple months ago, I went to La Clinica de la Raza, where they did an ultrasound and told me I was being referred to Operation Access for a cholecystectomy. Shortly after my referral was sent, Operation Access sent me to see Dr. Fernando Otero at John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek. I was very nervous when I arrived as I had not had surgery before, but Dr. Otero’s smile and reassurance helped me feel comfortable and safe. Dr. Otero is a wonderful surgeon with a big heart. I count my blessings for having received such amazing care. The surgery was a total success; I am now healthy and happy with the drive to live, work and support my family. Dr. Otero and Operation Access were my angels, sent down to save my life.

  • La Clinica de la Raza
  • Lifelong Brookside Health Centers
  • Operation Access
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