AV Board President Walter Johnson MD Named Head of WHO Emergency and Essential Surgery Program
August 24, 2016
“Our goal is to develop surgical care capacity in low and middle income countries around the world,” Dr. Johnson explained. “That’s particularly critical since a recent WHO study found that the volume of surgery has increased globally over the last decade but wide disparities in access persist between rich and poor countries.” According to WHO, some 5 billion people still have no access to safe, timely and affordable surgical care.
Similar disparities in health services exist in the Coachella Valley among various segments of the population, Dr. Johnson notes. Angel View’s Outreach Program was created to address gaps in services experienced by local families raising children with disabilities. Many of those families are very low income and experience the same problems with access to care that WHO has identified on a global basis. “The Coachella Valley is in many ways a microcosm of the issues we’re addressing through the World Health Organization,” Dr. Johnson said.
Many people are unaware that access to surgical care is a population-based, affordability and globally relevant issue. “We’re devoted to leveling the playing field so people in areas with a lack of traditional access will have similar opportunities as people in more developed areas,” Dr. Johnson added.
A frantic mother of two lost her vital records in a fire. Her son Jaime, 6, has a severe form of spina bifida, a type of birth defect. He needed prescriptions refilled, but without her Medi-Cal card and information, the pharmacy couldn’t fill them.
Angel View Outreach helped her navigate the system to reinstate her benefits. We also helped her access resources, enrolled Jaime in our mileage reimbursement program so he wouldn’t miss important appointments with his specialists, and used a mini-grant to cover the gap cost of medication he needed right away. Helping kids avoid medical emergencies is a key program goal.