Community-Wide Contest Secures a Name for St. Francis’ New Surgical Robot

May 18, 2021

St. Francis-Emory Healthcare is pleased to announce that its new orthopaedic surgical robot will now be named S.A.M. (Surgical Assistance Machine). A community-wide contest began in April to name the robot and ended last Monday with 389 entries

“It was a close vote,” said Melody Trimble, Chief Executive Officer at St. Francis. “We had an exciting and overwhelming participation for the contest. The contest promoted innovation and creativity across the Valley. We hope this fun contest allowed the public to get to know our robotics offerings and further explore their surgical options at St. Francis.”  

As part of the selection process, St. Francis team members voted on the entries and closed on Friday. Christopher Coleman, who attends Northside High School, won the Name the Robot contest. He shared how he thought of the name: “I picked the name S.A.M. by thinking of everything with the robot. The name then came to me.” Christopher also shared what interested him in participating in the Name the Robot Contest: “I am in the engineering magnet program at Northside. After I graduate, I am looking to major in mechanical engineering at Georgia Southern.”

“Our engineering class explored robotics in a virtual environment this year, solving virtual robotics challenges using block programming. I familiarized them to the field of robotic surgery using YouTube videos from hospitals and companies”, said Matt Redmond, an engineering teacher at Northside High School. “I wanted them to be inspired by the potential of robotic surgery before they entered the contest. I’m very proud of all my students for entering this contest, and I’m very pleased that the staff at St. Francis selected Christopher’s entry.”

Honorable mentions include R.A.N.D.I (Robot assisting needs doing -the- impossible), and Francis J.R. (Joint Replacement), and Francis.

St. Francis installed the new surgical robot in early February.  Located tableside in the operating room, the robot allows the surgeon to move about the patient’s anatomy, enabling a personalized joint replacement surgical plan.  Potential benefits associated with robot-assisted surgeries include less pain, less physical therapy, reduction in length of hospital stay, improved knee flexion, and less soft-tissue damage.

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