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CARBONDALE — Southern Illinois Healthcare administrators unveiled the organizaton's new logo and talked about its newest robotic surgical system during an open house Friday at SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Rex Budde, president and CEO of SIH, said the new logo replaces the cross logo the healthcare organization began using in 1995.

“We don’t care for people for any other reason than they need care. The new logo is consistent with our mission,” Budde said.

Budde thanked the medical staff for their commitment to patient care and expanding the quality of care, as well as current and former employees, senior leadership team and the community.

He introduced Bart Millstadt, SIH senior vice president and chief operating officer, to talk about some exciting additions to the surgical department at SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

He told the crowd that 10 days ago in operating room 10, the hospital began using a “new, top of the line Da Vinci XI” Robotic Surgery System. To date, 1,900 robotic procedures have been performed at Memorial.

The Da Vinci program began in 2011. Millstadt called the OB-GYN (obstetrics and gynecology) doctors super users of the technology.

Dr. Francis Tsung, SI Ob-Gyn and Associates in Herrin and Carbondale, is one of those “super-users.” He spoke about the history of robotic surgery at the hospital.

A precursor to robotic surgery was introduced at the hospital in 1995, when the first minimally invasive procedure was performed. At that time, 80 to 90 percent of hysterectomies required traditional open surgeries with large incisions. That type of surgery comes with a higher incidence of infection, greater blood loss and requires six weeks off work.

By 2006, 98 percent of hysterectomies done at the hospital were done laparoscopically. Patients had fewer infections, less blood loss and shorter recuperation.

Addition of the first Da Vinci system in 2011 allowed for more complex procedures like those to treat pelvic organ prolapse, as well as better outcomes for patients with more complex medical issues or multiple diseases.

“The Da Vinci has enabled our patients to go home in one or two days or two and return to work in one to two weeks without many complications,” Tsung said.

His colleague, Dr. Amanda Mulch, SI Ob-Gyn and Associates and chair of the robotics committee at Memorial, is excited to have the opportunity to offer robotic surgery to patients in Carbondale.

“Robotics is a highly advanced surgical procedure that takes a highly advanced team, and is only as good as the team,” Mulch said.

She is proud of the number of procedures their team has performed and the amount of training they undergo to prepare for those procedures.

Dr. Suven Shankar, SIH surgical oncologist and chief of surgery at SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, is performing one of the more complex surgeries offered at the hospital, an esophagectomy. He spoke about advanced procedures using the new Da Vinci XI.

The equipment allows another physician to assist with surgery and enables the physician to assist himself with the robotic fourth arm. It also makes multi-quadrant abdominal surgeries possible and has advanced optics.

“It allows more complex procedures to be performed in Southern Illinois. Patients don’t have to leave home,” Shankar said.

He also invited guests to the second floor for refreshments and to try the robotic surgery simulator.

Budde said the new logo rollout began in Carbondale and will continue throughout the system at other locations. Patients will see changes coming.

“I am extremely happy and excited because we have a logo that really speaks to our mission,” Budde said.

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Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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