Window Into Mercy's Technology

St. Joseph's Mercy Urologist Dr. Seth
Hollenbach (left) talks with Cindy Miller
and David Ross, representing The Roy and
Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational
Trust, during the dedication of the Sturgis
Robotics Surgical Theater in Hot Springs, Ark.


The Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust of Dallas, Texas, is donating $200,000 to the Mercy Health Foundation at St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center to support the robotic surgery program.

On Thursday, St. Joseph’s Mercy dedicated the Sturgis Robotics Surgical Theater, an area that will be used to educate area school children and the general public about the robotics program, including the da Vinci Surgical System.

 “The da Vinci robotics suite and surgical center really is the next step in health care. The applications are endless. For Hot Springs and the surrounding areas to be on the cutting edge to have a da Vinci suite was a perfect fit for Sturgis to help make that happen,” said David Ross, foundation manager for The Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust.

The foundation was created in memory of Roy and Christine Sturgis in 1981 and has provided support to many educational, charitable and non-profit endeavors throughout Arkansas.

“We are very thankful for this generous donation from the Roƒy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust. The ability to excite area students and the general public about health care as advanced as this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said St. Joseph’s Mercy President Tim Johnsen.

The Sturgis Robotics Surgical Theater features a window from the viewing area to the surgery area, where physicians can speak to touring groups about aspects of the da Vinci robot using a wireless microphone. Those inside the viewing room can also ask questions via a microphone located near the window.

This will enable touring groups to get an up close look at the da Vinci robot without actually having to enter the surgical suite. Actual surgeries will never be viewed but students will be able to watch demonstrations of the robotics technology from this theatre.

 “We couldn’t have offered this unique perspective of the surgical arena without these benefactors. There’s no way to estimate how many children will be inspired to pursue a degree in health care, which is important to all of us for the future. I sincerely appreciate the Sturgis support of St. Joseph’s Mercy Foundation,” Johnsen said.

In February 2010, St. Joseph’s Mercy announced a record $2.4 million in donor gifts to the Mercy Health Foundation to enable the launch of the first robotic surgical technology program in the Hot Springs Region. The revolutionary surgical technology, known as the da Vinci Surgical System, allows patients to receive the most advanced care for urology and gynecologic surgical procedures.

Using the da Vinci Surgical System, the physician operates while seated comfortably at a console viewing a 3D high-definition image of the surgical field. The surgeon’s fingers grasp the master controls below the display, with hands and wrists naturally positioned relative to his or her eyes. The system seamlessly translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of surgical instruments inside the patient. Most importantly, patients receive a better outcome by having less pain, less blood loss and a reduced hospital stay compared to traditional surgical methods.

Since its arrival on campus, the da Vinci Surgical System has been used exclusively for gynecologic procedures. St. Joseph’s Mercy is now able to add urologic procedures with the addition of Dr. Seth Hollenbach.

St. Joseph’s Mercy is a not-for-profit, faith-based health facility with 27 medical clinics serving the healthcare needs of Hot Springs and its surrounding communities since 1888 as the region’s most preferred provider of health care services including cardiac, cancer and women’s.

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