Section: News

Queen’s New Surgical Robot Gets New, Noble Name


(Napa, CA) – "Sir Lancebot" was the winning entry in a recent contest held by Queen of the Valley Medical Center to name the Queen's latest hi-tech addition to its surgical team, a new surgical da Vinci robot. Six-year-old Austin Whitehead, a student at Napa’s Vichy Elementary School, submitted the winning entry.

A committee with members from the hospital’s marketing, mission integration and medical staffs, along with a representative from the Napa Valley Superintendent of Schools Office, reviewed more than 700 entries submitted by Napa Valley kids. The Queen’s "Robot Naming Contest" was open to Napa area children up to 10 years of age. Children were invited to participate through an ongoing media, direct mail and public relations campaign. Entry materials were also available from area schools and at Queen of the Valley Medical Center.

Austin's mother Melanie Whitehead isn't surprised by the nature of the name her son came up with.
"Austin has always been fascinated by medieval times," she says. "He’s wanted to learn everything he can about knights of the roundtable. So with the hospital’s ‘Queen’ name, he started thinking in that direction right away. And ‘bot’ seemed obvious to him."

"Austin's been very excited since the day he entered. So we were all thrilled when he got his big news." Melanie added that Austin is looking forward to meeting "Sir Lancebot" in person at Queen of the Valley. As one of the benefits for Austin's having won the contest, his class will take a guided tour of the Queen’s surgery department – where Sir Lancebot is already hard at work assisting with surgeries.

"The Queen has been performing robotically assisted surgeries since 2002," says Napa surgeon Dr. Susan Gonzalez. "Our new robot has provided our surgical patients and physicians with the very latest positioning, guiding and monitoring capabilities, which also enables us to perform additional procedures. All we needed was a new name. And all of us here at the Queen are grateful to Austin and the other kids who helped find just the right name for Sir Lancebot."

Austin’s first grade class at Vichy Elementary School received a Wii TM system and Wii TM Fit because of his winning submission and his school will also receive $500.

About Queen of the Valley Medical Center
Queen of the Valley Medical Center is a 191-bed, acute-care facility founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The Queen is the largest health care facility and one of the largest employers in Napa County. Services provided include: a Regional Heart Center, a Regional Orthopedic Center, a Cancer Center approved with commendations by the American College of Surgeons, a Women’s Center, maternity and infant care, inpatient and outpatient minimally invasive surgery, occupational health, and full-service emergency department, among many other specialty services. More information about Queen of the Valley Medical Center can be found at . To learn more about Queen’s robotics program, visit

Queen of the Valley Medical Center was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. Its mission is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange by continually improving the health and quality of life of people in the communities we serve.

For a free physician referral call 1-877-QUEEN LINE (1-877-783-3654) or visit

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