The Grainger Foundation has committed $5 million to Evanston-based NorthShore University HealthSystem to support research and professional training in leading-edge surgical techniques.

The grant will provide significant funding to the NorthShore Center for Simulation and Innovation, which will be named the Grainger Center for Simulation and Innovation.

“We thank The Grainger Foundation for its extraordinary commitment, which is an ongoing vote of confidence that builds on their previous support,” said Mark S. Talamonti, MD, Chairman of Surgery and the Stanton and Margaret Rogers Palmer Chair of Surgery.

The center, Talamonti said, will become “the preeminent destination for those in healthcare seeking to improve their surgical skills using state-of-the-art technology and research that will improve patients’ lives.”

Led by Co-directors Michael Ujiki, MD, and Ernest Wang, MD, the Grainger Center for Simulation and Innovation offers physicians and surgeons courses in medical and surgical disciplines, led by senior fellow practitioners and backed by the latest research and technological innovations.

These courses form an integral part of NorthShore’s surgical residency program with the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, especially since the American College of Surgeons has recently made the study of surgical simulation a mandatory track in surgical residencies nationwide.

NorthShore surgeons will also partner in the development and testing of new surgical instruments and simulators with industry providers, engineering faculty and senior surgeons around the region.

The Foundation’s commitment will also support NorthShore surgeons in developing new applications of minimally invasive surgery. MIS allows surgery to be performed either through very small incisions or, most recently, entirely internally via natural body orifices.

Surgeon researchers will seek to apply MIS to new complex surgical sites like the heart or brain where currently relatively risky open incisions are still often the norm.

Thanks to the simulation laboratory’s extensive array of simulators, surgeons are able to acquire the increased dexterity and skills necessary to develop and rehearse complex new operations before they are used in the operating room.

NorthShore’s surgical simulation programs are led by nationally recognized surgeons specializing in MIS, such as Dr. Michael Ujiki; Sangtae Park, MD, MPH; Jin-cheng Zhao, MD, MS; Joseph Muldoon, MD, FACS; and Yuan Ji, PhD.

Over the next five years, surgical leadership will use this funding to support and expand its team of education specialists, physicians and researchers that will have the Grainger Center for Simulation and Innovation be a world-class destination for surgical simulation and training.

In turn, patients will receive the benefits of new surgical tools and simulators and less invasive surgical techniques, quicker post-operative recoveries, and faster returns to daily life and less long-term effects on quality of life. Surgical simulation also enables newly-trained, and experienced surgeons, to safely become experts in new techniques and technologies.

The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation based in Lake Forest, Illinois, was established in 1949 by William W. Grainger, founder of W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Source: NorthShore University HealthSystem.

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