September 28 2011 - Trinity Mother Frances Robotic Exhibit at the Discovery Science Place

TMF Launches Robotic Exhibit At Discovery Science Place


For Immediate Release

September 28, 2011

Contact: John Moore
Media Relations
(903) 531-4542


TYLER, TX— To celebrate the seventh year of performing heart and other surgeries using robotic-assisted technology, today officials with Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics and The Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital unveiled a children’s robotics exhibit at the Discovery Science Place that opens to the public on Saturday. The exhibit is designed to give visitors a hands-on opportunity to learn more about how robotics helps heal patients.

Intuitive Surgical, the manufacturer of the da Vinci Surgical System®, also brought a working simulator for demonstration and gave members of the news media the opportunity to 'test drive' the robot.

William F. Turner, Jr., MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon with Trinity Mother Frances who performed the region's first robotic bypass surgery in 2004 and currently leads all of Texas and much of the nation with more than 335 robotic heart procedures, answered questions and explained the importance of having robotic capability in Tyler. Also attending was Rex Drigger of Mount Pleasant, a recent recipient of robotic heart surgery.

“Technology like the da Vinci robot makes a surgeon’s movements more precise, giving more range of motion and providing enhanced 3-D visualization of the operating field. It also improves dexterity, but, ultimately, the surgeon makes all the movements,” explained Dr. Turner. “From an educational standpoint, this exhibit will show people how robotic technology and the human mind can combine to create powerful advancements in medical care. We are making steps towards non-invasive surgery that would not be possible without robotic technology.” Officials said the Trinity Mother Frances Foundation sponsored the Discovery Science Place exhibit to help children and parents better understand the direction that technology is taking medicine and hopefully inspire a young person to consider medicine as a career. Vel Williamson, interim executive director of the Discovery Science Place was acknowledged for her assistance.

“Mother Frances Hospital has always been the pioneer in cardiac care in east Texas,” said John McGreevy, CEO, Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital. “The first heart bypass surgery in Tyler was performed here in 1983. Next year, when the Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital opens, we will still be leading the way with cardiac care that will be on par with any other facility in the country. It is a thrill to be able to sponsor an exhibit which showcases the technology and innovation that we’ve been utilizing for the past several years.”

About The Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital
The Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital is a two-phase project. Phase One, located in the Ornelas Tower, was completed in December. Construction is underway on Phase Two, a freestanding structure located between Saunders Street and South Fleishel Avenue. The hospital will include comprehensive cardiac, thoracic and vascular services. As the leading provider of heart care in east Texas, more heart procedures are performed at Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler than in any other east Texas facility. The Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital’s three da Vinci® robotic surgical systems provide the most advanced minimally invasive technology in the world and TMF surgeons are leaders in this pioneering surgical technique that reduces pain and promotes shorter recovery time and faster healing.

About Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics
Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics includes The Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler, Mother Frances Hospital-Jacksonville, Mother Frances Hospital-Winnsboro, Trinity Mother Frances Rehabilitation Hospital, affiliated with HealthSouth, Tyler ContinueCARE Hospital, a long-term acute care facility, and Trinity Clinic. Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred multispecialty medical group, with over 300 physicians and mid-level providers representing 38 specialties in 36 clinic locations serving east Texas. For more information on services available through Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, visit

Trinity Mother Frances Foundation is sponsor of a new robotics exhibit at the Discovery Science Place in Tyler designed to expand kids' knowledge about science and modern technology in medicine.

Students from St. Gregory School in Tyler enjoyed being the first to play with the new robotic surgery exhibit at Discovery Science Place in Tyler. The interactive exhibit was donated to the museum by Trinity Mother Frances Foundation and the Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital.

Dr. William F. Turner, Jr., Trinity Clinic Cardiothoracic Surgeon, demonstrates the Intuitive Surgical da Vinci Surgical System simulator, in Tyler to help launch the opening of the new Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital robotics exhibit at the Discovery Science Place, sponsored by Trinity Mother Frances Foundation.