Sabrina Kidd of San Francisco’s Operation Access wins Nonprofit Leadership Award

Sabrina Kidd is board vice chairwoman of Operation Access and a volunteer surgeon in Sonoma and Marin counties.


Sabrina Kidd of San Francisco’s Operation Access and a volunteer surgeon in Sonoma and Marin counties has won one of North Bay Business Journal’s Nonprofit Leadership Awards.

Describe your organization

With support from the community, we bring together medical professionals and hospitals to provide donated outpatient surgical and specialty care for the uninsured and underserved. Operation Access, founded in 1993, grew out of the recognition that many San Francisco residents did not have access to elective surgical or specialty care because they had no insurance and limited financial means. Using foreign medical volunteer programs as a model, Bill Schecter, MD, Doug Grey, MD, and Paul Hofmann, DrPH, set out to build OA as a domestic volunteer alternative. From its beginning in San Francisco with a handful of volunteers working in a single hospital, Operation Access has grown to serve all nine Bay Area counties.

Over the years, our partnership with health care providers has grown to include more than 1,000 volunteer medical professionals, 60 hospitals and ambulatory care centers, and over 100 medical groups that provide vital surgical and specialty care to patients referred from more than 80 community clinics.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am a dual board-certified general and colorectal surgeon. Originally from the Midwest, I earned a B.A. in anthropology-zoology from the University of Michigan and then traveled south to New Orleans, where I graduated with my M.D. degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in 2004.

I went on to an internship at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, followed by general surgery residency through Michigan State University Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Family and friends drew me to the west coast for a Colorectal Surgery Fellowship at USC and eventually up to Sonoma County. When not caring for patients, I enjoy non-profit work supporting Operation Access, making and exploring wine, hiking, running, and tending to my garden, pigs, goats, chicken, and more on my small Sonoma County ranch.

What is your role in the organization?

Volunteer surgeon since 2011, board member since January 2016, and vice chair of board since January 2017.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Carrying on what my mother started by being the daughter surgeon of a mother who was a pioneer in the world of female general surgeons.

What is your biggest challenge today?

At home: learning to milk my goat and keeping my pigs in line.

At work: ensuring all of my neighbors have access to the same health care I do.

What is the next major project either underway or on the horizon?

For Operation Access: Celebrating 25 years as an organization in 2018.

At work: expanding ERAS protocols and patient education across service lines.

At home: a new barn

What motivates you to volunteer your time and talent?

I truly believe all humans should have equal access to healthcare. I have been fortunate in my life, and I have been given not only the tools and resources to provide for myself, but also the privilege of caring for others surgically. Seeing my neighbors and community become healthier individuals by providing them with access to healthcare is all the motivation I need in life.

How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?

Fund raising will continue to be a challenge, and I think board members will need to engage in social media outlets as well as continue to build personal ground level relationships in order to bridge this gap.

Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Kelly Mather, CEO Sonoma Valley Hospital; Joel Criste, CEO Canopy Health

Current reading: “Just Be” by Meredith Rom and Daily California Healthline

Stress-relievers: Running, hiking, tending to my goats, chickens, pigs, and garden

Favorite hobbies: Yoga, winemaking, hiking

Social media you most use: Facebook, Instagram

Buzzword from your industry you hate the most: “The Robot” and “lasers”

Words that best describe you: Diverse, loyal, independent, loving, can’t sit still