SARASOTA (Dec. 28, 2018) – Sarasota resident Bill McClintock is enjoying a special gift this holiday season, after Orthopedic Surgeon Adam Bright, MD, and Sarasota Memorial teamed up to provide him with a free knee replacement.
McClintock was one of about 30 patients who received free joint replacements from 40 volunteer orthopedic surgeons at 25 hospitals across the nation as part of Operation Walk USA, a medical humanitarian organization that helps coordinate free knee and hip surgeries for people in need around the world. Held annually during the first week in December, Operation Walk pairs patients with hospitals and doctors who donate their time and facilities to perform the operations. The not-for-profit organization also works with manufacturers to donate the artificial hip and knee implants.
“I’ve got crooked legs, and over the years, I guess it just destroyed my right knee,” said McClintock after his surgery last week. “The joint had gotten so bad, injections and other treatments no longer worked.”
McClintock was on his feet just hours after his total knee replacement, marveling at his gift of mobility as he walked the halls of Sarasota Memorial during a rehab session with one of the hospital’s physical therapists. “This is great … I can’t thank Dr. Bright and Sarasota Memorial enough for all they have done for me,” he said.
More than 300,000 hip and 700,000 knee replacements are performed annually in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because they’re often considered elective procedures, many people struggle to pay the average $20,000 to $40,000 costs; many like McClintock don’t have health insurance, can’t qualify for government health coverage and can’t afford surgery on their own.
Dr. Bright and the Sarasota Memorial’s Community Specialty Clinic have provided free joint replacements during Operation Walk and on an ongoing basis to qualifying patients throughout the years.
“I’m proud to give back to this community and join Sarasota Memorial in providing essential care to those in need,” said Dr. Bright. “Many of the patients who qualify for the free joint replacements are in intense pain or completely immobilized by arthritis. This surgery has the real potential of giving them their lives back.”
Sarasota Memorial Community Specialty Clinic Manager Kathryn Cantley, RN, said Dr. Bright volunteers regularly at the clinic, taking care of a variety of orthopedic needs for low-income patients who otherwise would fall through the healthcare cracks.
“This is just one more example of his dedication and altruism,” Cantley said of Dr. Bright. “Our community benefits greatly because of the time and expertise he freely gives to our clinic patients every month.”
About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits each year. Its flagship 839-bed, acute-care hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s largest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services – from urgent care, trauma and emergency services to laboratory and diagnostic imaging, home health, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. SMH is the only hospital in Florida to have consistently earned the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest five-star quality rating since the evaluation system launched in 2016.