A Kaiser Permanente-Fresno surgeon who has donated hours and hours of his time to patients in Africa is one of 14 Kaiser employees nationwide to receive the 2012 David Lawrence Community Service Award.
- Dr. David Young, surgeon at Kaiser-Fresno
Dr. David Young told Kaiser that the people of Africa have “stolen my heart.”
Young provides free care in a place I, and likely many of you, have never heard of: Nebobongo, an area of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
About every 18 months, Young travels there to help the 114,000 residents. The only hospital has 100 beds and a small staff, and few supplies — bandages and used gloves have to be steam-sterilized for re-use.
He’s helped bring medical supplies to the Nebobongo hospital through a collaboration with Medical Ministries International and he told Kaiser he plans to donate the $10,000 he will receive from the community service award to that organization.
Kaiser says the above isn’t all of Young’s contributions: He also has volunteered to perform six free hernia repair surgeries at Kaiser-Fresno. The central San Joaquin Valley residents didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford to pay for the operation. The surgeries, follow-up visits and medications were paid for with a grant provided by Kaiser Permanente Fresno’s Community Benefit program.
Young told Kaiser it’s an honor to be recognized, but from his volunteer efforts he’s “fulfilled.”