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PRMC shows off new robotics surgical technology during weekend visit from U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall

Ralph Hall 2014 2
PRMC chief executive officer Stephen Grubbs presents a memento to U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall (right) as Paris Mayor AJ Hashmi looks on.

Paris Regional Medical Center showed off its new da Vinci robot surgical system during a visit last weekend by U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall.

After speaking for almost an hour on Friday to an invitation-only gathering of community leaders, Hall toured some of PRMC’s most recent advancements, including the new surgical wing.

Hospital officials also noted a new 5-year affiliation with Baylor Scott & White Health, Texas’ largest not-for-profit health system.

“This partnership will provide us with advisory, expertise, continuing medical education opportunities, and enhanced emergency preparedness capabilities,” hospital chief operating officer Stephen Grubbs said.

“Now we have access to one of the top-tier health systems in not only the state but the country — right in our own back yard,” Grubbs said.

In introducing Hall, a hospital official said, “I know you’ve never heard this before, but we need your help in Washington.”

“You’ve got it,” Hall said.

Hall, who at 90 is the oldest member of Congress, noted that when he went on the job in Washington 34 years ago, he landed on a couple of important committees.

That was in large part, he said, because he had known U.S. Rep. Jim Wright, the House Majority Leader at the time “since he was 13 or 14 years old.”

Wright asked him what committees Hall wanted to be on.

Hall told him he would like to be on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce because of the importance of oil to Texas, and on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology because of the NASA space center in Texas.

“You’re on it,” Wright told him, twice.

“I was lucky. I just kind of fell into it,” Hall said of his good fortune to land on those two committees.

Hall praised PRMC’s facilities, saying how important a good hospital, good doctors and good nurses are to a community.

The hospital’s da Vinci surgical system arrived last month.

da Vinci technologyThe da Vince “robot” will allow surgeons to perform routine and complex surgeries using just a few small incisions, helping to speed up healing time for patients, hospital chief operating officer Steve Grubbs said.

Even though it is called a robot, the da Vinci system cannot move or operate on its own. The surgeon is in complete control 100 percent of the time.

After meeting with members of PRMC’s medical staff, the congressman himself took a spin with the robot. Using a practice model, he picked up a penny with the robotic arm.

The da Vinci technology features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and tiny wristed instruments that enable surgeons to operate “with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control,” Grubbs said.

Surgeons can use the da Vinci system in some 1.5 million various surgical procedures to date, officials said.

“Technology like this requires a significant investment, but it’s one we’re more than willing to make, as it allows patients to have access to the most aqdvanced treatment options without traveling out of the region for care,” Grubbs said.

By Charles Richards, eParisExtra

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