Boris Family makes $5 Million Gift to Surgical Care at St. Joseph's

Surgeons and Robots Working Hand-in-Hand at the Hospital

HAMILTON, ON, Dec. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - For the second time this year, St. Joe's has announced a landmark gift from the Boris Family.  This time, the founders of Mountain Cablevision have donated $5 million to support surgical excellence at St. Joe's; namely through the acquisition of the world's most advanced surgical robot.

This gift brings the family's cumulative giving to the Hospital to $11 million in the past six months alone.  It's a pretty impressive tally but the Boris Family says it's just what Owen would've wanted.  "Dad was a technology guy," explains Owen & Marta's son, Les.  "He was intrigued by the ways in which technology could work hand-in-hand with medical leaders at St. Joe's to enhance the care of patients." "Our mom and dad wanted to help make that kind of advancement in healthcare possible through our family's philanthropy and we know that's just what this gift is going to achieve," added Les' sister, Jackie Boris-Work.

The Boris family's new $5 million gift will be used to acquire the da Vinci SI Surgical Robotic System, along with two state-of-the-art control consoles that allow two surgeons to work in tandem during a surgical procedure. The da Vinci system assists surgeons with minimally invasive surgical (MIS) procedures by combining superior 3D high definition imaging, with special instruments that respond to the surgeon's movements through remote consoles.  The da Vinci system enables surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations with increased vision, precision, dexterity and control.

"When people think of robots, they imagine something out of Star Wars, but that's not entirely accurate.  The "robot" can't perform the surgery on its own.  It is 100% controlled and maneuvered by the surgeon…it's like an extension of their hands.  The da Vinci Surgical Robotic System simply enhances the hand movements of the surgeon, filters them, and translates them to even more precise 'mini-movements.'  Essentially, it allows us to perform complex procedures in small areas of the body with greater ease and while causing less trauma to the patient," says Dr. Anthony Adili, Chief of Surgery at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.

St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton has joined the ranks of 14 hospitals in Canada to be home to this leading edge technology, and it is the only Hospital in the Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand-Brant LHIN with a surgical robot.  In addition, St. Joe's is only the third hospital in the nation to have the dual-console da Vinci system. The dual-console system can be used for collaborating on complex cases, but perhaps the greatest benefit of the dual console system is its application to the training of new surgeons.

"When the dual console is used for training, control over the instruments can be quickly and seamlessly exchanged during a surgery - meaning the mentoring surgeon can instantly transfer control of the instruments from his own console, to the console of the resident-in-training. This technology fosters a see-and-repeat model of teaching that is designed to accelerate the learning curve associated with performing minimally invasive surgeries," explains Dr. David Higgins, President, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.

St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton has long been a leader in minimally-invasive, robotics-assisted and remote tele-surgery techniques.  Building on that legacy, the addition of this new technology seamlessly integrates with the Hospital's recently opened surgical centre.  The da Vinci SI system will enable surgeons at St. Joe's to continue to be leaders in the area of surgical innovation while optimizing surgical outcomes for our patients.  In addition it will foster the training and education of future surgeons.

Initially, the robot will be used in research studies designed to determine whether robotic-assisted surgeries can improve the outcomes for patients undergoing urologic, bariatric and gastro-intestinal procedures. In the future, we will be evaluating the role and use of the robot in the areas of head and neck surgery, gynecological surgery, and thoracic procedures.

Foundation President & CEO, Sera Filice-Armenio thanked the Boris family for their unwavering commitment to St. Joseph's during her remarks at the gift announcement this morning.  "We are indebted to the Boris family as this gift has the unique ability to literally transform the way we perform some surgeries.  This incredible new investment in surgical robotics, paired with our Hospital's long and storied leadership in this area, is changing the face of surgical care at our Hospital, in our region, and around the world," she said.  In recognition of the Boris family's new gift, St. Joseph's will name the two robotic surgical suites within the new surgical centre in their honour.

About St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and its Foundation
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton is an acute care, teaching and research hospital with three sites and is affiliated with the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and Mohawk College. St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton is the regional lead for mental health and addiction services serving a collective population of almost 2 million people.  For more information, visit St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation is the fundraising arm of the Hospital. We work with individuals, corporations and foundations who are interested in supporting the Hospital that has been caring for this region for more than 120 years. To learn more, visit

SOURCE St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation

For further information:

Media Contacts:      
Debbie Silva           Carrie Trembinski
Media Relations Coordinator          Director, Communications & Mktg
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton & Foundation        St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation
e:           e:
t: 905.522.1155, ext 33037          t: 905.522.1155, ext 34341
      c: 905.379.3509


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