Saint Alphonsus Donation Brings Cutting-Edge Technology to CWI

via College of Western Idaho news

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise has donated a da Vinci Robotic Surgical System to the College of Western Idaho's (CWI) Surgical Technology program. The system allows surgeons to perform complex surgical procedures through the use of an interactive robot with instrument arms, and 3D HD cameras that provide a magnified view from inside the body.

The da Vinci Surgical System, which was used at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise for the past decade, will now be used to teach students in CWI’s Surgical Technology program. When purchased new, a da Vinci Surgical System costs around $2 million. The advanced technology is used in operating rooms around the world in a wide variety of practices including cardiology, general surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, and urology.

“This is exciting for students and instructors,” says Mona Bourbonnais, CWI’s Surgical Technology program chair. “Typically our students are not exposed to this technology until they enter a clinical site. By having this technology in our lab, students will have a valuable opportunity to become familiar with it prior to their clinical rotations.”  

“It was important for us to donate the machine to the College because we work directly with CWI students,” said Brenda Shaw, general vascular coordinator at Saint Alphonsus. “The da Vinci will be a great learning tool, as students will be able to practice on the technology first-hand before they are hired to work in the hospital setting.”

According to Intuitive Surgical, the company that makes the da Vinci, the original prototype was developed in the late 1980s. The U.S. Army contracted the former Stanford Research Institute to develop a system that could be used to perform remote battlefield surgeries. A decade later, the FDA cleared the way for commercial use. There are currently 2,344 machines installed in U.S. hospitals. They are located in all 50 states.