October 9, 2020
When St. Peter’s completes the $9 million Operating Room (OR) renovation project in November, Helena will have the most sophisticated, high tech operating rooms in the state of Montana. The six state-of-the-art surgical suites feature the latest in surgical technology including Indigo Clean® antibacterial lights, embedded communication technology and touchscreen access to medical records.
So far in 2020, St. Peter’s increased the amount of surgical procedures done locally by almost 25%. Four new surgeons have been added to the Medical Group team in the past 18 months.
According to Dr. Shelly Harkins, Chief Medical Officer and President of the Regional Medical Center, St. Peter’s made the decision to invest heavily in surgeon specialists, facilities and equipment so patients can stay right here in Helena and still receive high quality, specialized surgical care.
“Having a surgical procedure is challenging enough without the added pressures of having to travel,” Harkins said. “Our ultimate goal is to provide high quality medical and surgical care at the best value for our community. Offering more care closer to home creates a better health care experience for patients.”
In July 2019, St. Peter's launched its robotic surgery program with the introduction of the da Vinici Xi robot. Local surgeons trained to use the robot can now perform complex surgeries that are less invasive and result in faster recovery times.
Longtime St. Peter’s orthopaedic surgeon and Mayo-trained hip and knee replacement specialist, Dr. Kerry Hale has been named Medical Director of Perioperative Services and works to continually improve the patient experience before, during and after surgery.
“We’ve made tremendous improvements to advance the standard of surgical care,” Hale said. “It’s exciting to be able to live in a small community like Helena, yet still have access to the variety and quality of specialty care you would typically find in a larger city.”