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Removing Screening Barriers in Orange County

Get Your Rear in Gear – Orange County is continuing to partner with AccessOC – a Southern California-based non-profit that cares for low-income, underinsured, and uninsured individuals within Orange County. 97% of those provided care through AccessOC live at or below the federal poverty level, and have limited, if any access to specialized medical care.

The team before a Super Surgery Saturday event. Photo credit: Lia Marie Photography

The team before a Super Surgery Saturday event. Photo credit: Lia Marie Photography

While most of these patients are able to get basic healthcare through local free and low-cost medical clinics within their community, very few of these clinics are able to provide high quality speciality care – such as that provided by gastroenterologist. Even fewer speciality providers accept patients with public insurance or who are uninsured, further alienating patients from life changing healthcare.

Because of this gap, many are left to suffer unnecessary pain and live with untreated medical issues. This not only lowers their quality of life, but often inhibits their ability to work – thus driving them further into poverty and unable to take care of even their most basic needs.

Dr. Ramin Zolfagari speaking on behalf of Access OC at our 2016 Orange County race.

Dr. Ramin Zolfagari speaking on behalf of AccessOC at our 2016 Orange County race.

AccessOC works to remove the financial barriers to speciality care in these underserved communities. With a continued grant from the Colon Cancer Coalition, they will be able to provide free screening kits available through local clinics, free colonoscopies, and free surgery days through local participating hospitals.

In 2015, AccessOC was able to provide 40 colonoscopies and endoscopies free of charge at hospital care partners during their Super Surgery Saturday events. They also provided a further 6 colonoscopies through a partnership with a gastroenterology clinic, an increase over previous years thanks to the addition of a new gastroenterologist.

Since 2011, we have been able to give over $66,000 in grant money to help fund this program at AccessOC. The continued effort by those raising funds for our Orange County race is working to provide screening to a community that might not have access to it otherwise. We are pleased to continue our partnership with AccessOC in furthering our mission to remove barriers to colorectal cancer screening.

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