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Scripps robotic surgery receives $2.5M gift

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In January Douglas E. Barnhart received lifesaving prostate cancer surgery through the Scripps Mercy Hospital Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Program.

Barnhart, founder of Douglas E. Barnhart Inc., a San Diego building, engineering and construction management firm, has subsequently made a $2.5 million gift for the purpose of modernizing the operating rooms at Scripps Mercy used specifically for this type of revolutionary surgery.

To encourage additional community support for his cause, Barnhart has announced that the $2.5 million donation is a matching challenge gift, which doubles the value of other donations made to help the hospital raise the $5 million needed to build robotic surgical suites.

"This is a challenge that is very close to home in many ways. Not only is San Diego my home, but our community is in need of top-of-the-line medical facilities," said Barnhart. "We need these facilities to keep and attract expert surgeons like Dr. Carol Salem, who performed my surgery."

In 2007, Scripps launched the Scripps Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Program under the leadership of medical director Carol Salem, M.D., to provide patients with robotic-assisted surgery that can result in less blood loss, less risk of infection, less pain and scarring and a quicker recovery. Scripps is currently the only San Diego-based health system to offer cardiac robotic surgery.

The new minimally invasive surgical suites will be equipped with advanced video conferencing capabilities to teach surgeons and medical specialists about the benefits of this groundbreaking procedure.

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