As the federal Veterans Affairs health system came under fire for mismanagement and delays in patient care, an orthopedic surgeon in Oregon devised a plan to assist local vets.
Starting in July, Richard Edelson, MD, and his colleagues at the Oregon Outpatient Surgery Center in Tigard will devote 1 day every quarter — about 15 cases — to providing surgical services at no cost to veterans suffering musculoskeletal injuries.
Their "Save Our Veterans" program will work with local veterans' groups to identify qualifying patients, prioritizing surgery for those who were injured in combat and those who have been on waiting lists for care at regional VA hospitals.
To Dr. Edelson, the program is an effort to repay veterans for their sacrifices and service in their time of need. "At some point you have to look at yourself in the mirror and say, 'I have the ability to help these individuals. Why am I not doing it?'" he explains in an online video.