Law Firm Donation Helps St. Elizabeth Buy Surgical Robot
Hospital will have first such system in Northern KY.
by James Ritchie Staff Reporter
Gerry Benzinger presents donation to Joe Gross, CEO of SEHC. In the background is the hospital’s new da Vinci Surgical System.
A major gift has helped St. Elizabeth Healthcare to buy Northern Kentucky’s first surgical robot.
The law firm Dressman Benzinger LaVelle recently donated $600,000 to St. Elizabeth’s foundation. The foundation had been raising funds for the da Vinci Surgical System, with a price tag of about $1.5 million, but it was coming up short.
“It’s a large gift at time when we’re challenged to receive large gifts,” said St. Elizabeth CEO Joe Gross. “In this economy, it was doubly helpful in completing the pledges to get this piece of equipment.”
The pledge was the largest the law firm, which has served as legal counsel for St. Elizabeth for more than 50 years, has ever made, and among the top five St. Elizabeth has ever received.
“We’ve had a long-standing relationship with the medical center and really feel a part of the St. Elizabeth family,” said Gerry Benzinger, managing partner of Dressman Benzinger LaVelle. “This equipment is on the cutting edge, and that’s where St. Elizabeth needs to stay.”
DBL is a full-service law firm with 39 attorneys in its Crestview Hills and Cincinnati offices. It serves individuals and corporate clients in industries such as banking, information technology, construction, employment relations and real estate, as well as health care.
Gross said the robot was used for the first time this week, for a prostate surgery performed by Dr. J.D. Williams. It will be employed in urologic surgeries to begin with and eventually its use will expand to other areas such as obstetric, gynecologic and cardiac procedures.
Though the robot is popular among patients, especially those who need prostate surgery, it does not garner any additional reimbursement from insurance companies or the federal government compared with standard surgery, so a purchase can be a tricky value proposition. The donations allowed St. Elizabeth to bring the technology to Northern Kentucky without going into debt for it.
The robot, made by Intuitive Surgical of Sunnyvale, Calif., is touted as leading to smaller incisions, less pain and shorter recovery times. Several hospitals across the region have adopted the technology, including Good Samaritan, Bethesda North, University and Christ hospitals. (Together, Bethesda and Good Samaritan, whose parent is TriHealth, have seven da Vincis.)« Back to news