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Operation Access Announces Champions at John Muir Health

John Muir Health Physicians to be Highlighted at 30th Anniversary Event 

San Francisco, CA (July 24, 2023): Each year, Operation Access (OA) bestows its Champion Awards on volunteers who have both encouraged their peers to donate their expertise to treating patients in OA’s program and played a critical role in implementing OA’s program at their medical centers. This year, Operation Access congratulates two physicians at John Muir Health’s Walnut Creek Medical Center, as its Champion Award winners:

Dr. Poornima Vanguri & Dr. Negar Salehomoum

Together, Dr. Vanguri and Dr. Salehomoum have donated 78 services to community members who need, but cannot afford, medical care. They’ve devoted their professional expertise and more than 140 hours to serve patients in Operation Access’s program.

Dr. Vanguri and Dr. Salehomoum are John Muir Health surgeons who treat colorectal cancer and other conditions. Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, but it can often be treated successfully if diagnosed at an early stage. By donating their time to treat people in need, Dr. Vanguri and Dr. Salehomoum are giving patients a much better chance of surviving a colorectal cancer diagnosis and thriving after treatment. According to Marilyn Sanchez at Operation Access, "our awardees at John Muir Health offer hope and improved health to our patients. They are indeed champions for people who otherwise cannot afford the cost of care."

Operation Access enables health care providers to donate surgical and specialty care to people in need. The organization will recognize the generous contributions of Dr. Vanguri, Dr. Salehomoum, and John Muir Health at its “Cheers to 30 Years of Volunteers” celebration on September 8, 2023.

These Champion Awardees join other distinguished John Muir Health physicians who were awarded OA’s “All Hands On Deck Award” in 2021. Because OA was unable to host an awards ceremony in 2021 or 2022, the organization will recognize the following at its 2023 event:

Dr. Saeed Zamani, Dr. Drew Schembre, Dr. Shireen Ghorbani, Dr. Victoria Yung, Dr. Matthew Chin, Dr. Hongha Vu-James, Dr. Tedmond Szeto, Dr. Samuel Oommen, Dr. Piyush Aggarwal, Dr. Ben Schwab, and Dr. Salvador Guevara.

Additional information about Operation Access and its celebration can be found at

About John Muir Health
John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, 6,300 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa County’s only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. John Muir Health also has partnerships with UCSF Health, Tenet Healthcare/San Ramon Regional Medical Center, Stanford Children's Health, Optum and Carbon Health. The health system offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics and high-risk obstetrics care.

John Muir Health Media Contact
Ben Drew (925) 947-5387

Operation Access Media Contact
Scott Benbow, Development Director (415) 733-0059

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