Sentara Albemarle adds daVinci robot, high school senior wins naming contest

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WITN) – A multi-armed precision tool that will be used to perform gynecological and general surgery cases was named by a Northeastern High School Senior following a naming contest.

The Sentara Albemarle Medical Center surgical team at the medical center welcomes the daVinci robotic surgery system.

After a naming contest through the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools, Northeastern High School senior Joel Overman’s ‘Leo’ was the winner.

“This machine can be intimidating for patients, Overman says, “so a name with the simplicity of Leo gives a calming factor, and gives respect to Leonardo da Vinci, from where the surgical system is branded.”

Indeed, the multi-armed daVinci system can look a bit overwhelming when it is positioned over patients for procedures. The device’s precision tools and a tiny lighted high resolution camera are inserted through inch-long incisions, which contributes to quicker recovery for patients with less post-surgical pain.

The medical center surgeon team says three surgeons are currently training on the daVinci system, which is considered standard-of-care for certain procedures.

The precision tool features finer movements and eliminates natural tremors in the human hand.

Although it is robotic, Leo does not move independently.

It’s controlled by surgeons and stops working as soon as surgeons remove their hands from all controls.

“I am grateful to Sentara for the opportunity for ECPPS to participate in welcoming Leo to our community,” says Dr. Keith Parker, Superintendent. “Northeastern High School senior, Joel Overman, did an incredible job researching the Da Vinci robot and submitting its new name. Leo will greatly contribute to improving the health and quality of life for the residents of Eastern North Carolina, and that is exciting!” Parker concluded.