Meet Our October Volunteer of the Month

Meet Jeremy Pickerell, our October VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH!

Jeremy Pickerell cropped Bash 2014

*How did you get involved with The Project?

My wife and I both worked with the Co-Chair for the fundraising committee, Dr. Prewitt, and he knew how important this cause was to me so he approached me about joining the team.  I said yes immediately.

*Why Louisville?

I’m from Elizabethtown, my family lives in Southern Indiana, and my wife and I both work in Louisville so I wanted to be able to impact the community around my family and friends.

*Favorite restaurant in Louisville?

Jeff Ruby’s

*What is one interesting fact about you that most people don’t know?

I have Lynch Syndrome which is an inherited condition that increases my chances of having colon and other types of cancers.

*What is your motto you live by?

Work hard, play hard

*What is some advice you were given long ago and still live by?

The best rule in the book, “treat others as you wish to be treated”.

*What is your guilty pleasure? (Yes, we mean the one you are slightly embarrassed to admit.)

I love to eat, and I can make a sandwich out of anything.  I’d probably even put my steak on bread at a nice restaurant if I didn’t think it would embarrass those around me.

*If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

Key West because my wife and I love the food and atmosphere there.

*If you could trade places with anyone in the world (dead or alive) for a month, who would choose and why?

I would trade places with my wife just to see if she is really right all the time.

 

Partnering to provide screenings

We spoke with Dr. Erica Sutton, Executive Director of the Surgery on Sunday Louisville program and an employee with the University of Louisville Physician’s Group. The Colon Cancer Prevention Project helps link people who need colonoscopies to this program.

Here’s what she had to say about their program:

 

How do you describe surgery on Sunday?

“It’s a program to provide free surgery to the underinsured or uninsured.”

What kind of surgery?

“The surgery we do is limited to outpatient surgery, things you can go home from on the same day.”

What are the most common surgeries you do?

Colonoscopies, hernias, and cataract surgery are some of the procedures they have done, she said.

Is it all donated?

“Everything is donated. The volunteers are donating their time, and facilities are donating their space as well as their equipment.”

She said they are hoping manufacturers will donate disposable supplies used in surgery.

Why did you want to start this in Louisville?

“Louisville needed it. They had one in Lexington and a lot of patients from Louisville who needed services were going to Lexington. But certainly we had a large number of physicians here and patients here, and we provide these services to people for free anyway, unfortunately it’s often at a later stage when the disease has progressed. It’s really a cost savings to our community. It’s the right thing to do.”

How many colonoscopies has Surgery on Sunday Louisville performed so far?

42

How many doctors and physicians perform these?

“We’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of physician support. That, and nurses and volunteers. That’s been key to the program.” Jewish Hospital, the University of Louisville, Norton Healthcare, and Premier Surgery Center have all participated, she said.

“The community has really bought in to the model of shared responsibility.”

What’s the goal?

“We’d love to have an event every quarter, doing 20-25 colonoscopies and maybe 5 surgeries.”

What does the Affordable Care Act mean for this organization?

“We were hoping the ACA would cover everyone, and while we’ve found it’s been a great program that provides good coverage for many, it doesn’t cover everyone.” It’s still needed.

How does the partnership between Surgery on Sunday and the Colon Cancer Prevention Project help Louisville?

“We started off as partners. We really got our start doing colonoscopies. I enjoy the partnership because they come through the Colon Cancer Prevention Project so well screened.” (The Project links patients from local federally qualified health centers who need a colonoscopy to Surgery on Sunday).

What if someone wants to learn more or sign up – where do they go?

“Visit www.surgeryonsunday.org – you can volunteer on the site and also get more information.”

Or call Melody Toll, 502-852-4041.

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