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Event provides free hand surgeries for uninsured

Aug. 25, 2021, 3:52 PM

Barbara Beeson, RN, works with patient Cheryl Binford at last week’s Vanderbilt Ortho-paedics Outreach Day.
Barbara Beeson, RN, works with patient Cheryl Binford at last week’s Vanderbilt Ortho-paedics Outreach Day. (photo by Donn Jones

by Emily Stembridge

Approximately 60 Vanderbilt Orthopaedics volunteers provided surgical treatment to 16 patients at the fifth Annual Vanderbilt Orthopaedics Outreach Day on Saturday, Aug. 21. This year’s outreach day was held at the Vanderbilt Surgery Center in Franklin, Tennessee.

Founded in 2017, Vanderbilt Orthopaedics Outreach Day provides orthopaedic surgical treatment for uninsured and underinsured patients in the Middle Tennessee area. Vanderbilt University Medical Center employees provide surgical services, treating subacute and chronic orthopaedic conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger fingers.

These debilitating conditions frequently fall within a medical care gap that is typically not surgically managed in the free clinic or the emergency department setting. Orthopaedics partners closely with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Shade Tree Clinic, as well as other community clinics in the Middle Tennessee area. To date, in five annual Outreach Days, the department has provided free surgeries to 61 patients.

“We are very grateful to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Shade Tree clinic and local community clinics to allow us to provide free surgical care to patients in the Middle Tennessee area,” said Donald Lee, MD, professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and founder of the Vanderbilt Orthopaedics Outreach Day.

“We are now in our fifth year, and both the patients and providers feel that they tremendously benefit from the experience,” he said. “Thank you to all of those who continue to volunteer and provide their valuable time for this worthwhile community service.”

Participating surgeons included Donald Lee, MD; Eric Bowman, MD; Douglas Weikert, MD; Mihir Desai, MD; Jed Maslow, MD; and Charles Cox, MD, with assistance from hand and upper extremity fellow John Yanik, MD, and Orthopaedic residents Emilie Amaro Zoldos, MD; Callie Jewett, MD; Robert Elrod, MD; Thomas Freeman, MD; Aleksander Mika, MD; Mariel Rickert, MD; and Justin Moo Young, MD.

Anesthesia services were provided by attending anesthesiologists Christopher Canlas, MD; and Jeffery Clemmons, MD; as well as Gwen Sanders, CRNA; Shuhanna O’Bryan, CRNA; Mary Kelley, CRNA; Christopher Rhea, CRNA; Donna Keeney, CRNA; and Kathy Vehring, CRNA.

The surgery center staff were led by Christopher Fritts and Natalie Soule. Patient referrals were coordinated by second-year Vanderbilt medical student Diane Lee.

Partnering organizations and businesses included the Medical Center Staff Advisory Council, Triumph Bank, Nashville Sweets, Donut Den, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Tiff’s Treats, Corky’s BBQ, Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Costco and CVS Pharmacy.

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