Edwin Irish, M.D., senior partner and president of Surgical Associates, P.C., has been practicing General and Thoracic Surgery for the past 30 years. He and his partners, Ali Khaki, M.D. and Daniel Tseng, M.D., have maintained a long tradition of providing care for the underserved. Early in his career, Dr. Irish worked with several mentors who cultivated a sense of the responsibility physicians have to their community.
“It’s hard to remember a time where I didn’t feel it was my obligation as a physician to provide care for those in need,” he says. “It’s just the right thing to do.” Since he was already caring for the uninsured and underserved, it seemed natural to Dr. Irish to join with Project Access NOW as we aimed to address this issue on a larger scale.
“As a staff, we welcomed this opportunity. It was a well-conceived and well-executed concept that made it possible to deliver more care, to more individuals, without the burden falling on a single physician or practice.”
The biggest difference that Dr. Irish has observed since volunteering to provide care through Project Access NOW is the broadened amount of care that people in our community receive. “The patients we see are the same, the care we give is the same, but, in the past, the volume of patients in need could present a problem. Project Access NOW helps spread the obligation out and coordinates care in an efficient and organized way.” Patients from Project Access NOW come in with greater understanding and expectations and when their health needs cannot be met in his office, Project Access NOW can connect these patients to other medical services. Before Project Access NOW, when Dr. Irish encountered a health concern in a patient he was unable to treat, he faced the challenge of trying to find another provider in the community willing to help. Now he says, “Project Access NOW makes this much easier.”
Dr. Irish has found working with Project Access NOW to be a very favorable experience and plans to remain committed to providing care to the underserved as long as there is a need. We are so grateful to Surgical Associates, PC for their generous contributions to improving the health of our community.