Press Releases & Announcements

Danbury Hospital Establishes The Carmen Lucia and Peter Buck Center for Robotic Surgery With Historic Philanthropic Gift

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 - Danbury, CT

Danbury Hospital has established The Carmen Lucia and Peter Buck Center for Robotic Surgery with a major gift from Peter Buck, PhD, a longtime hospital supporter. The donation is the largest individual gift—and the second from Buck—ever received by the Danbury Hospital Development Fund.

“We are honored and deeply grateful to receive this generous gift,” said Frank Kelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Danbury Hospital. “This magnanimous gesture will enable Danbury Hospital to provide patients a higher level of care with state-of-the-art robotic technology.”

Longtime support for a lifetime of care

The gift marks the second time that Buck has made a substantial donation to Danbury Hospital. Buck established Danbury Hospital’s first endowed chair in 2000, The Carmen L. and Peter Buck Chair of Surgery, which is held by Pierre Saldinger, MD, Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Danbury Hospital.

“I have tremendous confidence in Danbury Hospital and its ability to provide the highest quality of medical care. This gift will enable the hospital to remain on the forefront of technology,” said Buck, whose family has turned to the hospital for care throughout the years. “The doctors and nurses at Danbury Hospital have always demonstrated a great degree of compassion and skill,” he said.

The Danbury resident said The Carmen Lucia and Peter Buck Center for Robotic Surgery is a fitting tribute to his late wife, who instilled the spirit of philanthropy in his family. “She was a kind and generous individual who understood the importance and value of helping her community,” said Buck.

The da Vinci Surgical System

Danbury Hospital will use the endowment to acquire the da Vinci Surgical System and provide advanced training in robotic surgery to physicians and staff. “Our goal is to develop a leading program in robotic surgery,” said Saldinger. “It’s not just about buying a piece of equipment. This gift allows us to develop the robotic program to the highest level of quality in the Danbury Hospital tradition.”

Men with prostate cancer will be among the first patients to benefit from the new technology, said Saldinger. Jamie Bruno, MD, a urologist who is specialized in robotic surgery for prostate cancer, will be the first to perform robotic surgery at Danbury Hospital. Future plans include incorporating robotic technology in gynecological surgery, colon and rectal surgery, surgery of the esophagus and general surgery, said Saldinger.

Robotic surgery offers many patient benefits

The da Vinci Surgical System enables surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures involving complex dissection or reconstruction with unmatched precision when compared with conventional laparoscopy. The system offers surgeons superior 3-D visualization of the surgical site, enhanced 360-degree range of motion, greater control and dexterity, and ergonomic comfort.

Robotic prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate) is fast becoming the gold standard treatment option for men under 70 with early stage prostate cancer. With robotic technology, surgeons can easily access the hard-to-reach prostate and remove the gland while sparing healthy tissue and nerves.

For patients, robotic procedures offer all the potential benefits of a minimally invasive procedure, including:

  • Less scarring
  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Less need for blood transfusions
  • Fewer potential complications
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery
  • Faster return to daily activities

Reaching new levels of excellence

Saldinger said Buck’s gift recognizes Danbury Hospital’s efforts in recent years to establish a regional health care organization with a national reputation for clinical excellence and patient safety. “With this honor also comes great responsibility for the hospital to wisely invest and safeguard these resources,” he said.

Catherine Halkett, president of the Danbury Hospital Development Fund, agreed. “We greatly appreciate Dr. Buck’s generous donation, which enables us to provide the finest medical care possible to residents throughout the region. This gift allows Danbury Hospital to reach new levels of excellence well into the future by keeping pace with the rapid technological changes taking place in medicine.”

About Danbury Hospital

Danbury Hospital is a 371-bed regional medical center and university teaching hospital associated with New York Medical College, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Connecticut School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. The hospital provides centers of excellence in cardiovascular services, cancer, weight loss surgery, orthopedics, digestive disorders and radiology. It also offers specialized programs for sleep disorders and asthma management. Medical staff members are board certified in their specialties.

Danbury Hospital is ranked in the top 5 percent of hospitals in the country for overall clinical performance by HealthGrades&reg, a leading independent health care rating organization. It is the only health care facility in Connecticut ranked among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for overall clinical performance five years in a row.