Save Our Veterans Program: Oregon Outpatient Surgery Center's Mission to Give Back
While the healthcare field and media were abuzz with the Veterans Affairs scandal, a simple conversation at the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association meeting gave birth to the idea. With the backing of orthopedic surgeon Richard Edelson, MD, Oregon Outpatient Surgery Center launched into preparation for the Save Our Veterans program, which will provide vets with free surgical care once a quarter.
The first step was to spread the word. The center hired a public relations person. The story went to three television stations, two local radio stations and several publications. Ms. Arrambide went to the local VFW Hall to speak with local vets. A website and email address were set up to provide further information. A videographer helped the center make a short video detailing the motivation behind the program: a simple effort to give back.
Pulling together the resources necessary to provide free care wasn't a struggle, but rather just a matter of asking. "A free day of care does not mean the center has to absorb that cost," says Ms. Arrambide. Dr. Edelson, other surgeons, and anesthesiologists were prepared to volunteer their services. Employees offered to work off the clock during the procedures. Vendors, down to the linen service, donated supplies. "Everyone feels since these vets have served for us, it is our responsibility as citizens and a country to pay it back," she says.
The first cases were not scheduled to take place until July, but the surgery center ended up doing its first Vet in June. "We decided there was no reason to keep him waiting any longer," says Ms. Arrambide. "Two vets, an Iraq War veteran and one Vietnam War veteran from the VFW hall were connected with Dr. Edelson. On July 7, three days after the country celebrated Independence Day, the two surgeries were performed. Several elected officials, including a Senator and the mayor came to visit the vets before Surgery and thank them for their service.
"The VA has a backlog and we can be part of the solution. The vets deserve quality healthcare in a timely manner. ASC’s have that capability." says Ms. Arrambide.
The amount of publicity the program has generated has been gratifying. Not for the recognition, but for the interest it has sparked across the ASC industry. "We hope other ASCs will also pay it forward," says Ms. Arrambide.
More Articles on ASC Issues:
7 Things to Know About the CASC Credential
4 Great Opportunities for Trimming the Fat at ASCs
30 ASCs Making Headlines in June
© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2016. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.
To receive the latest hospital and health system business and legal news and analysis from Becker's Hospital Review, sign-up for the free Becker's Hospital Review E-weekly by clicking here.
- Which patients should receive S. aureus screening? 6 thoughts
- California may be 1st exchange to offer coverage to undocumented immigrants: 5 takeaways
- Hillary Clinton's 7 proposals for healthcare reform
- Healthmark adds Cool Aids Single-Use Vest for healthcare staff: 5 key notes
- 5 trends in health insurance marketplace — And what to look for in the future