Lakota Plains Jr. School Wins West Chester Hospital “Name the Robot Contest”

West Chester, OH—Nov. 21, 2012—Culminating a collaboration between West Chester Hospital and the Lakota Local School District that began several months ago, the winner of the “Name the Robot” contest was announced on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The first period science class at Lakota Plains Jr. School, led by teacher Erin Middendorf, was selected as the winner for their submission of the name S.A.M. (Surgical Assisting Mechanism).

The winning class received a certificate signed by West Chester Hospital CEO Kevin Joseph, MD, and COO Tom Daskalakis, as well as an iPad 2 for the classroom. The name they chose was engraved on a plaque that will be permanently displayed on the robot itself.

After studying about da Vinci® robotic surgery in class, the students were required to work together to come up with a name for the robot, and to submit a 100-word essay about their choice. Ms. Middendorf’s class wrote in their essay, “(The) name is a good representation of what it actually does and its purpose as a robot.”

In a close second place was Heidi Adams’ sixth period science class from Hopewell Junior School with their submission of S.T.I.T.C.H., which stands for “Surgical Tiny Incision Tremor Controlled Hand.” In a final surprise announcement, West Chester Hospital also presented an iPad 2 to Ms. Adams’ class.

“We are excited to partner with the Lakota Local School District on this project, which is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long-lasting collaboration and friendship,” says West Chester Hospital Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Daskalakis. “We truly believe that reaching out to kids now and getting them interested in math, science and the medical field will help build the foundation for our next generation of doctors, nurses and other health-related careers.”

“We cannot thank the West Chester Hospital staff enough for their incredible hospitality and enthusiasm toward our students and staff throughout this entire process,” said Lakota’s Superintendent, Dr. Karen Mantia. “They have been an outstanding partner and we look forward to more opportunities to expose our students to the fields of robotics and healthcare. Our students had the rare opportunity to get some hands-on experience in a high-demand industry and for some, this experience may have even helped define their career paths.”

Approximately 1,500 seventh grade students in the Lakota district participated in the “Name the Robot” contest, submitting 58 potential names based on what they learned about robotic surgery. The list of names was then narrowed down through an online community voting process; the top two classes were selected by hospital leaders and invited to the hospital for a pizza party and tour. During the tour, the children visited the clinical laboratory, pharmacy and even had the opportunity to “test-drive” the surgical robot that they helped name. Throughout the tour, hospital staff members further educated the classes on the topics of robotics, automation and clinical engineering.

About UC Health

UC Health, the University of Cincinnati’s affiliated health system, includes University of Cincinnati Medical Center, ranked one of the best hospitals in the region by U.S. News & World Report; West Chester Hospital, one of Cincinnati’s newest hospitals and the recipient of the 2012 HealthGrades® Outstanding Patient Experience Award™, ranking it above 90 percent of hospitals nationally for patient satisfaction; Drake Center, Cincinnati’s premier provider of long-term acute care; University of Cincinnati Physicians, Cincinnati’s largest multi-specialty practice group with more than 700 board-certified clinicians and surgeons; Lindner Center of HOPE, the region’s premier mental health center; and several institutes focusing on the areas of cancer, the neurosciences, cardiovascular and diabetes. To learn more, visit

About West Chester Hospital

West Chester Hospital is a 160-bed, all-private room, hospital located in West Chester, Ohio. Utilizing the very latest in medical technology, and drawing upon the University of Cincinnati’s nearly 200 years of research and medical expertise, West Chester Hospital provides discovery-driven care in a pleasant, healing environment. The hospital is conveniently located and easily accessible from Interstate 75 at Tylersville Road. Services available include an emergency department, inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures, as well as a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient diagnostic testing and treatment amenities. West Chester Hospital is one of only two hospitals in the Greater Cincinnati and Dayton regions to receive the 2012 HealthGrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award – ranking the facility above 90% of hospitals nationwide for patient satisfaction. For more information about West Chester Hospital, please visit


Media Contact:
Jennifer Garcia

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