Epworth’s new robots - thanks to La Trobe Financial

Epworth HealthCare is very pleased to announce that it recently received the largest benefaction since it was first established in
Richmond in 1920, enabling the purchase Epworth campuses six X model
da Vinci robots, and new surgical equipment for multiple Epworth sites.


Home-grown global financial services company La Trobe Financial, through its Foundation and its corporate social responsibility program, this year selected Epworth Medical Foundation for their major annual donation.


La Trobe Financial, established in Victoria Australia in 1952, has a long history of helping Australians achieve financial independence and giving back to the community. The company’s Foundation donates to significant nationwide organisations such as Lifeline, The Salvation Army and Australian Red Cross, and its staff volunteer program funds all 287 staff to work two days a year at a charity of their choice. 


La Trobe Financial President & CEO Greg O’Neill visited Epworth this month and humbly told a  story of the life-saving treatment he received at Epworth more than a decade ago, after a severe infection resulted from a knee injury.

“As well as the expert treatment I received to fight the infection, I was touched by the incredible kindness and dedicated professionalism of clinical staff and nurses, some of whom brought me a warm Milo every night during my long stay.


“In particular, I believe that Infectious Diseases specialist Dr Ian Jennens, who looked after me back then, is a genius and Australian of the decade in my book”, Mr O’Neill said.


His company’s generosity was warmly welcomed by Epworth staff, who demonstrated how the Xi da Vinci model operates, and displayed dozens of theatre implements, a surgical table and the most up-to-date equipment recently acquired.    


Mr O’Neill added that La Trobe Financial was very pleased to help Epworth continue their innovative work in robotically-assisted surgery in Australia.

“Our company considers this gift as an important way of giving back to the community and amazing staff at the Epworth. Knowing that Epworth patients and their clinical staff have access to a range of leading-edge, world’s best practice technology was important to us at the La Trobe Financial Foundation”, Mr O’Neill said. 


 “It is making a difference to people’s lives that matters to us, and on this issue we are totally aligned with the Epworth’s key mission”, Mr O’Neill added.


Epworth HealthCare Group Chief Executive Dr Lachlan Henderson said the generosity of La Trobe Financial is warmly appreciated by doctors and staff across hospital group.


“Epworth is delighted to continue providing the latest technology to patients in Victoria, with the new robots located at four sites - Richmond, Freemasons, Geelong and Eastern.”


“It also means we can continue our significant role in clinical research and training in robotic procedures across many surgical specialties,” Dr Henderson said.


About the da Vinci robot 


Robotic surgery continues to develop in Australia for a variety of procedures including:


  • ​Urology: radical prostatectomies, partial nephrectomy (removing cancer and preserving kidney) and pyeloplasty (repairing blocked kidney)
  • Gynaecology: hysterectomy, fibroid removal to preserve the uterus
  • Cardiothoracic: mitral valve surgery, removal of thymus gland
  • Colorectal: removal of rectal cancer
  • Endocrinology: thyroid removal


The benefits of robotically-assisted surgeries are many because the process is minimally-invasive, involving small incisions rather than a traditional, larger cut, which means lower blood loss and a reduced possibility of infection. The robotic arms, one with a 3D camera gives the surgeon a clear view and access to areas that are often restricted using traditional surgical methods.