Surgery on Sunday is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that provides essential outpatient procedures at no cost to income-eligible individuals who are either uninsured or under-insured and do not qualify for federal or state assistance. It was the first program of its kind in the United States.
The program was a longtime dream of Lexington plastic surgeon, Dr. Andrew Moore, II. In his nearly 40 years of service, Dr. Moore and his brothers had helped numerous individuals who “fell between the cracks” of availalbe health care services. They were ndividuals who made just enough to disqualify them from assistance, yet didn’t have enough income for surgery to be financially viable. In the early years of his career, providing free surgical services was as simple as calling the hospital and asking to forgive the expense to the patient. As the healthcare environment changed, the ability to do this type of surgeries vanished.
Dr. Moore made it his mission to see the working poor receive outpatient services that they would not otherwise receive due to financial constraints. In 2005, through a Mission and Ministry grant from Saint Joseph Hospita’s parent company, Catholic Health Initiatives, Surgery on Sunday was born. After receiving the start-up funds, Dr. Moore approached the Lexington Surgery Center to partner with to provide operating rooms, equipment and other overhead requirements. Fifteen years later, the Lexington Surgery Center is still the surgical home of Surgery on Sunday one Sunday per month.
The cornerstone of the program is that all individuals providing care and operating the program are volunteers, with the exception of a full-time executive director and a part-time volunteer coordinator. Currently, there are nearly 300 volunteers that contribute to the program and provide care for our patients including: surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, surgical techs and administrative personnel. To date, volunteers have donated more than 100,000 hours of service in providing nearly 6,000 surgeries since inception, with that number growing monthly.
Surgery on Sunday is blessed to have many supporters who contribute financially and through in-kind donations. In 2015, CHI Saint Joseph Health graciously donated office space to relocate the administrative offices and we are still on their Harrodsburg Road campus today. Due to the generosity of so many, Surgery on Sunday is able to provide surgeries at an average cost of $1,500 per case.
The long-term goal of Surgery on Sunday is to help communities across the country expand the Surgery on Sunday model. One such program is Surgery on Sunday Louisville. Each location operates independently.