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Business Observer Monday, Mar. 7, 2022 8 months ago

Rise of the machines: Hospital appoints robotics program chief

Lee Health has been upgrading its robotics program for several years.

FORT MYERS — Lee Health, one of the largest community, nonprofit medical systems in Florida, has named Dr. Fia Yi the medical director of its System Robotics Program.


Yi, a leader in the robotics medical field with more than a decade of specialized surgical experience, now oversees a robotic-assisted surgery program that features the most advanced technology in the field of robotic surgery, say hospital officials.  

Yi comes to Lee Health from The Colorectal Institute, where she will continue to serve as a colorectal surgeon for the practice with the offices in Southwest Florida, according  to a statement. Prior to that position, Yi spent several years at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio as chief of colorectal surgery. Additionally, Yi was appointed as the colorectal surgery consultant to the surgeon general of the Air Force from 2018-2020. She completed her time in service as a lieutenant colonel.

In her new role, which she began in late January, Yi will be responsible for Lee Health’s robotic surgery program, engaging with robotic surgeons to encourage their training and growth in robotic surgery. “When we decided to expand our already successful robotics program, we knew we would need a dynamic physician leader with exceptional surgical experience,” said Dr. Jonathan Velez, chief physician and operations executive for Gulf Coast Medical Center. “With all of her experience and expertise, Dr. Yi was the perfect choice for this crucial role. I look forward to the program continuing to grow under her leadership.”

Lee Health’s robotic-assisted surgery program features the da Vinci Xi Surgical System, designed to help surgeons perform minimally invasive surgeries, such as colorectal surgeries and unique surgeries in the areas of gynecology, urology, ear nose and throat and general surgery. Since Lee Health began bolstering its robotics program, the health system has added da Vinci robots to all of its four acute-care hospitals, bringing the total number of machines from two to six.

A nonprofit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health includes four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care.

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