Project Access Northwest, Swedish Orthopedic Institute, Orthopedic Physician Associates and Physicians Anesthesia Service collaborated with the national nonprofit Operation Walk USA to provide joint replacement surgery and care for four local orthopedic patients.

Pablo Bautista can stand and walk without assistance, thanks to a knee-replacement surgery he received in December 2016. In cooperation with Operation Walk USA, Project Access Northwest, Swedish Orthopedic Institute, Orthopedic Physician Associates and Physicians Anesthesia Service worked in partnership to provide four local orthopedic patients in need of joint replacement with donated medical, surgical and rehabilitation care. 

At age 48, Mr. Bautista suffered from a severe deformity of his right knee. He had struggled with increasing pain for years but didn’t have the resources to get treatment. Out of desperation, he made a homemade brace that allowed him to walk, but working was very difficult. 

Then Mr. Bautista learned about Project Access Northwest through his primary care provider, Richard Kovar, MD.

“My doctor… told me about it,” he explains. “I met Dr. Kovar for the first time at Country Doctor Community Clinic… He sent out the claim by mail to Project Access Northwest and gave me directions to get the help.” 

Mr. Bautista knows he is one of the lucky ones. For some, the wait list is very long or their specific needs cannot be met.
“I think it is a combination of time being lucky… and the most important: a GOD miracle,” he says.  

Mr. Bautista, who supports his son, is very grateful and feels very positive about the future. 

“Project Access Northwest helped change my life 180 degrees,” reflects Mr. Bautista. “Why? …Before [Project Access Northwest’s] help, I was very unsecure about me and my people because the performance in my job was not good and I didn’t know [how long] I could … handle it.”

“After [Project Access Northwest’s] help, I can be sure about a better future for me and my family,” he continued. “My life quality is better … I’m a healthy guy, so I won’t be … a charge for government.” 

Patient Pablo Bautista can stand and walk without a brace following his knee replacement surgery.

In addition to Mr. Bautista, three other patients were the recipients of knee- or hip-replacement surgery as part of Operation Walk USA 2016. These patients received life-changing surgeries at no cost to them, with support from local community partners and providers, including: 

  • James P. Crutcher, MD, Alexis Falicov, MD, PhD, Frederick B. Lee, MD and Laura Matsen Ko, MD, orthopedic surgeons with Orthopedic Physician Associates (OPA);
  • anesthesiologists from Physicians Anesthesia Service (PAS);
  • staff and providers at Swedish, who provided hospital care; n Stryker, Zimmer Biomet and DePuy Synthes, which provided replacement joints and parts; and
  • Project Access Northwest referral coordinators, who managed appointments and coordinated care between the primary care providers and specialty care providers.