Meet Our Volunteers

Adam Kaplan, MD 
Spirit Award - Adam Kaplan, MD, St. Joseph Health Medical Group

"I never hesitate to take on an Operation Access Patient because I know the process of providing their care will be seamless. They come with interpreters, their paperwork is completed, and they are motivated to get better. Frankly, these are often my favorite patients an the most rewarding to treat."


Kimberly Dedner-Gorospe, RN
(San Mateo)
Spirit Award - Kimberly Dedner-Gorospe, RN, Kaiser Permanente, Redwood City

"My commitment with volunteering is to break down the barriers for people in need and looking toward equality for all in healthcare!"

Leonardo Dacanay, MD
Champion Award - Leonardo Dacanay, MD, Bellevue Eye Medical Center

"It feels good to be able to help others that would otherwise not be able to see a specialist such as myself for the help they need. The office also feels good about this work and I have tried to weave it into the culture of my practice. It is nice to see how grateful they are and to see the impact it has on them and their quality of life is rewarding."

Alexander Disston, MD
Legacy Award - Alexander Disston, MD, Kaiser Permanente, Vallejo

"It really is a team effort; thanks to the entire Orthopedic department for working together to serve community members in need."


Marie Netto, RN
Unsung Hero Award - Marie Netto, RN, Kaiser Permanente, Fremont 

"I believe in giving back and sharing. Volunteering teaches me about people from different countries, about compassion and about myself. The smile I get when the patient leaves my care is my reward, and motivates me to come back to volunteer."

Joel Mendoza, Care Center Manager
All Hands on Deck Award - Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods

"Working with OA has been an opportunity to contribute to the well-being of folks in our community that might not otherwise be served. The health of the underserved members of our community affects us all. The physicians at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation Gastroenterology Department have recognized the importance in supporting the community and partnering with OA"


Mary Jane McGeoy, RN, MSN (far right)
(San Mateo)
Spirit Award - Mary Jane McGeoy, RN, MSN, Orchid Center Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, South San Francisco

Mary Jane McGeoy, RN, MSN was one of the first people to volunteer for Operation Access (OA) when the program partnered with the Orchid Center two years ago. Mary Jane's dedication to OA is exemplified by her actions. She is the first to arrive, last to leave, and is the "go-to" volunteer during surgery sessions when questions come up. Mary Jane is also an integral part of surgery-session planning. She helps in the recruitment of physicians, nurses, and other staff needed at each session, and makes sure the clinic runs smoothly as patients arrive to receive a cataract surgery or a colonoscopy.

Allan Hill, MD
Champion Award - Allan Hill, MD, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation

Dr. Allan Hill, a general surgeon with Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in Santa Rosa, has volunteered with OA since 2010. Despite a very busy schedule, he and his colleagues are an essential part of OA’s program in Sonoma County. Already an active volunteer, Dr. Hill treated 12 additional OA patients during Sutter Health's Gift of Surgery Month last August, and he encourages his partners to get involved. He recently agreed to see patients in need of varicose vein and thyroid surgery, in addition to the hernia and gallbladder surgery, and lipoma excision cases he sees.  Dr. Hill is a true champion and this award is well deserved. As a dedicated volunteer, Dr. Hill proudly wears his OA t-shirt and says, "the reward comes from seeing the patients get healthy and that's all I need."

Annette Kwon, MD
(San Francisco)
Unsung Hero Award - Annette Kwon, MD, San Francisco Endoscopy Center

Dr. Annette Kwon, a gastroenterologist volunteer with Operation Access since August of 2010, has provided approximately 30 colonoscopies and endoscopies to OA patients at the San Francisco Endoscopy Center. The patients she serves are all symptomatic and would otherwise have no options to receive the care they need. Since joining OA, Annette never turns down a case and is always willing to add a patient to her already very busy schedule.

Laurie Smith, RN
Legacy Award - Laurie Smith, RN, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Santa Rosa

Laurie Smith, a Post-Anesthesia Care Unit nurse at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Rosa, has been volunteering with Operation Access (OA) since the program started serving patients there in 2001. She is always eager to dedicate her Saturday mornings to OA and is disappointed when she is out of town and misses a surgery session. Laurie's enthusiasm for volunteering is contagious, and she always encourages her colleagues to get involved. Whether providing care for a patient during an OA surgery session or during the work week, or caring for her goats and chickens on her farm, Laurie demonstrates empathy for the lives of others through her actions. Laurie is kind, compassionate, and dedicated, and is truly deserving of the Legacy Award, which she accepts on behalf of her team at Kaiser Santa Rosa Medical Center. Thank you Laurie for your continued dedication to OA!


Joel Erickson, MD
Spirit Award - Joel Erickson, MD, Sonoma Vein Cardiovascular Laser Group, Laser Light Treatment Center 

Dr. Joel Erickson, a vascular specialist at Sonoma Vein Cardiovascular Laser Group and Laser Light Treatment Center has been an active volunteer since 2014. He came on board to help treat a high volume of patients referred to OA for vascular procedures. Once Dr. Erickson started accepting referrals he quickly realized the substantial impact he and his colleagues could make. He recruited his whole team and they began treating OA patients at both Sonoma Vein and Laser Light Treatment Center. In just over two years Dr. Erickson, Dr. Ballesteros, Carla Evans, FNP-BC,  and the team have provided 130 U/S, sclerotherapy, and ablation procedures to patients in need.  


Rose Chua, RN
(Contra Costa)
Unsung Hero Award - Rose Chua, RN, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Antioch

Rose Chua, an RN, BSN at Kaiser Permanente Antioch has volunteered with Operation Access since 2009. No matter how busy she is, Rose is always willing to lend a helping hand to her patients, colleagues, and anyone that crosses her path. Rose helps with surgery session planning by recruiting nurses to help at each session. She loves to volunteer and hasn’t missed a session yet. Rose greets everyone with a warm smile, she gives the best hugs, and her positive attitude is contagious. It’s no surprise that over the years she has become good friends with those that volunteer alongside her.


Hilary Lerner, MD

(Contra Costa)
Legacy Award - Hilary Lerner, MD, Lerner Eye Center


Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Richmond
(Contra Costa) 

All Hands On Deck Award - Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Richmond