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Sherwood High students practice robotic surgery at Legacy Meridian Park

February 14, 2013

For decades, kids have grown up playing the classic board game Operation.  But on February 7, Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center Director of Surgical Services, Pete Mersereau, showed two dozen Sherwood High School students how to take the game to a whole new level.  The students donned scrubs to get hands-on surgical training in an operating room that had been used for a routine hysterectomy just an hour before. For one afternoon, the group of mostly high school seniors attended Robot Academy – Mersereau’s idea for giving South Metro high school students the opportunity to learn how science, technology, engineering and medicine converge in today’s OR.

“This is a great opportunity to partner with the schools in the cities that we serve and really give kids an opportunity to come to the hospital and see an actual operating room,” Mersereau said. “They can see the technology that we utilize in today’s healthcare.”

The Robot Academy was a blend of classroom experience, guest speaker presentations and one-on-one shadowing, with Mersereau, Registered Nurse Jodie Saldanha and General Surgeon Brent K. Evetts on hand to discuss their experiences working with robotic surgery technology.  In another room, students practiced with the MAKOplasty robot, which is used for orthopedic surgeries.  The students worked with mock knees to practice replacing a portion of the knee with an implant under the guidance of Melissa Garinger, R.N.

“It was fantastic just to see where our healthcare is going, and see how many different avenues there are for students”, said Kari Turner, Health Occupations program director at Sherwood High School.  The three hours students spent at Robot Academy count toward class time and graduation.

Earlier this month, LMPMC Chief Administrative Officer, Allyson Anderson, announced that Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center would become a partner organization of the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership.  The goal of this partnership, which includes schools and industry, is to utilize a full spectrum of public and private resources to develop a career-ready, diverse and adaptable workforce that will enhance our regional economy and community. 

“Robot Academy is just one of the ways Legacy Meridian Park is demonstrating that we are a committed community partner and helping to engage students in experiential learning,” said Anderson.

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