ACMC accepts $2 million donation, largest ever

A $2 million donation to Ashtabula County Medical Center is the largest in the health-provider’s history and will bring robotic assisted surgery to the county.

A gift from Richard S. Morrison, chairman of the board of Molded Fiber Glass (MFG), the donation will be used to buy a da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system, making ACMC the first and only hospital in the county to offer robotic surgery.

The new surgery center, part of the construction at ACMC, will be named the Richard S. Morrison Surgery Center.

Morrison signed the charitable donation agreement Wednesday alongside representatives of ACMC and the ACMC Foundation.

“It’s important to our family and our legacy; it’s important for those of us blessed in that way to give back,” he said. “I want to return the money to the community and I want to do it while I’m alive and see the joy and happiness it would bring.”

Tina Stasiewski, vice president business development and interim executive director of the ACMC Foundation, said, “This donation is the largest individual gift in the ACMC Foundation’s history. We are extremely grateful.”

Surgeons across the U.S. have performed robotic assisted surgery since the early 2000’s.

In this type of surgery, doctors gain the ability to conduct minimally invasive procedures in a natural way that is efficient and direct, while realizing additional benefits in instrument precision, range of motion, tremor filtration and extension of the surgeon’s physical abilities, according to ACMC officials.

Robotic assisted surgery is most often used in general surgery, gynecology and urology. It’s also often used in thoracic and head and neck procedures.

“This is something that will live beyond any of our tenures here,” said Leonard Stepp, Jr., president and CEO of ACMC Healthcare System.

Morrison said he talked to ACMC doctors and asked, “What would move the needle?”

“They answered, ‘robotic surgery,’” he said. “It will benefit patients and help with recruitment.”

Surgeons are now being trained in robotic assisted surgery during their medical education. Data shows that there’s at least one da Vinci system in each of the 100 largest residency program hospitals.

Surgeons want to continue to use the technology when they graduate, Stepp said.

Having a da Vinci system will make practicing at ACMC even more attractive to new graduates, as well as early- and mid-career doctors who have been trained in robotic assisted surgery.

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