A $97,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation will help the University of Maryland Medical Center build a unique Surgical Simulation and Technology Center to enable physicians to develop, learn and practice minimally invasive techniques and procedures.
Verizon Foundation representatives will present a check to the University of Maryland Medical System Foundation at 11:30 a.m. on August 15 at the medical center.
The new Surgical Simulation and Technology Center will be located within the medical center and will have the look and feel of an operating room environment. Sophisticated computer and video technology on three advanced simulators will allow medical students, residents and surgeons to practice their skills in three-dimensional spaces and measure their performance in real time.
“This generous gift from the Verizon Foundation will help us develop a Surgical Simulation and Technology Center that is a national model for sophisticated research and training,” says Adrian E. Park, M.D., head of General Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center and professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The new center, which is currently under construction, is expected to open in early 2006.
“Minimally invasive surgical techniques, which do not require a large incision, have revolutionized general surgery in the past 15 years. At the same time, these patient-friendly procedures require extensive practice and training in order to perform them safely and effectively,” adds Dr. Park, who is a nationally known leader in laparoscopic surgery and advanced surgical technology.
A laparoscope is a tube that contains a tiny video camera. Surgeons watch what they are doing on video monitors that project images from the laparoscope rather than looking inside the body through a large incision. Dr. Park says the center will enable surgeons to develop and apply new approaches and technologies to a wide variety of minimally invasive procedures.
“Dr. Park’s work exemplifies the type of forward-thinking, technology-driven innovation that the Verizon Foundation seeks to support,” says William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland. “That is why we have been so happy to support the University of Maryland Medical Center in developing its Operating Room of the Future, and now the Surgical Simulation and Technology Center.
“Verizon understands the value and importance of corporate social responsibility as demonstrated in our long-standing support of initiatives that positively affect people’s lives,” Roberts adds.
The Surgical Simulation and Technology Center builds on the capabilities of the current Swirnow Center for Videoscopic Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where surgical residents receive sophisticated hands-on training and are able to participate in national teleconferences regarding new surgical advances.
The new center is a natural outgrowth of the University of Maryland Medical Center’s leadership in minimally invasive surgery. The first laparoscopic gallbladder removals in the northeastern U.S. were performed there in September 1989. Medical center surgeons operate in one of the nation’s most technologically advanced surgical facilities. The so-called “OR of the Future” opened in 2003.
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