Fox Family Funds Da Vinci For Metro Health

December 4, 2007
| By Liz Slowik |
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WYOMING—Tom and Mickie Fox and their family are completing a hat trick with a $1 million donation that will bring robotic surgery to Metro Health Hospital.

The Fox family, well-known in the local jewelry business, already have provided similar donations at Saint Mary’s Health Care and Spectrum Health to fund Intuitive Surgical Inc.’s da Vinci Surgical Systems there. The latest donation means they have helped to bring the minimally-invasive system to all three acute care hospitals in the Grand Rapids area.

It’s the second-largest donation ever to the Metro Health Foundation, the hospital’s fund-raising arm. Metro Health will name its fifth floor in honor of the Tom and Mickie Fox Family.

“My family felt that it was vitally important to make this type of advanced robotic surgery available to all the hospitals in our community,” Tom Fox said. “We intend that our donation will ensure that all West Michigan residents will have equal access to what we feel is a leap forward in surgical techniques.”

The $1.6 million da Vinci system is used primarily for prostate, gynecological and cardiac surgeries. It uses robotic and computer technology to create a system that allows surgeons to work on a smaller scale than hands-on surgery. The surgeon sits at a console and uses its controls to manipulate a surgical arm.

The advantages for patients include smaller incisions, less pain and blood loss and shorter recovery times.

Metro Health spokeswoman Ellen Bristol said several Metro Health surgeons are training on the system.

“The legacy in the community will be that Tom Fox and his family introduced 21st century advanced surgical technology to the Grand Rapids region,” added Dr. Thomas Maatman, an urologist who has supported bringing the da Vinci system to Metro Health. “The impact of their commitment is extraordinary.”

Da Vinci surgeries also are available at HackleyHospital in Muskegon and Sparrow Health System in Lansing.     

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