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As summer officially begins June 20, Russell Medical celebrates the summer solstice with exciting news and accolades. 

Once again, Russell Medical received an "A"grade in the spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing Russell's achievements protecting patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections. The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization committed to health care quality and safety. Developed under the guidance of a national expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,700 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade's methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public. 

Further, it is the only hospital rating program based exclusively on hospitals’ prevention of medical errors and other harms to patients in their care. An ‘A’ safety grade is an elite designation that we are proud of, and our community should be as well. As difficult as this past year has been for all hospitals, our staff has kept a laser focus on patients and their safety at all times.   

We are proud to announce the installation of our new da Vinci XI Surgical System. This sophisticated surgical robot replaces our first da Vinci robot, initially installed in 2011, which was designed to further advance the technology used in minimally invasive procedures resulting in less pain, shorter hospital stays and quicker healing times. The system can be used across a spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures and has been optimized for multi-quadrant surgeries in the areas of gynecology, urology, thoracic, cardiac and general surgery. 

Presently, four surgeons will operate with the robot on appropriate cases. The physicians are Dr. Lacey Swenson, General Surgeon; Dr. Katharine Cooper, GYN; Dr. Brian Dix, OB-GYN and Dr. William Moore, GYN.  

During surgery, the surgeon sits at a console and operates through small incisions using tiny, wristed instruments that can precisely grasp items and hold delicate objects. The XI System’s immersive 3D-HD vision system provides surgeons with a highly magnified view, virtually extending their eyes and hands into the patient. 

In the coming months, Russell Medical will host an open house to showcase new technology and other hospital upgrades. The staff looks forward to showing off this new surgical robot to the public.

By now, we hope you have read the news regarding the Benjamin Russell Legacy Project and are as excited as we are to watch this vision come to life. Slated to open in the fall of 2022, the multi-facility Benjamin Russell Legacy Project will offer services to the aging population and center on geriatric medicine. Located on our main campus in Alexander City, the project includes:

n An independent living community consisting of 26 single-family cottages.

n An Assisted Living facility with 32 residential units.

n The Benjamin Russell Center for Advanced Care will house medical specialists and services under the medical direction of a geriatrician. 

For additional information regarding amenities, residence opportunities and the leasing timeline, please visit, russellcares.com/russell-legacy-project/ and fill out the contact form.  

On a final note, we recently celebrated National Nurses Week, followed by National Hospital Week, which is a time set aside to recognize all staff and to celebrate years-of-service milestones, in addition to other special recognitions. This year the Nightingale Award for Nursing Excellence went to all of our nurses to share in the award. Although it may seem unconventional, so was 2020.   

An excerpt from the nomination form eloquently states the sentiments we all share regarding our exceptional nurses: 

“Each nurse has their own story to tell whether they were front line, daily hands-on providing care and compassion, putting those 'shots in arms,' pushing the paperwork to glean the financial dollars or ensuring we were providing quality of care for all. They worked knowing their own lives were at risk of infection; they worked knowing they could endanger their families; they worked without breaks and sometimes meals; they worked long shifts, extra shifts and most probably have images living in their minds that they will never un-see. They worked through a journey with so many moving parts, taking on roles that did not fall under their job descriptions and being the best they could be because they cared. From the veteran nurses to the newest nurses hired during this pandemic, all served in the spirit of Florence Nightingale.”   

Amen. To all of our nurses, we say, “You’re the best!” 

~Susan Foy is the marketing director at Russell Medical.