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Home > News Room > Niagara Street School student wins Name the Robot contest

Niagara Street School student wins Name the Robot contest

“SAL” the robot has officially joined Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center’s Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery team.

The winning name chosen in Memorial’s Name the Robot Contest.  Sal is short for Save A Life.

Gabriella Baratta’s winning entry was selected by Niagara Gazette Publisher Peter Mio, right, and a panel of students from the robotics program at Gaskill Preparatory School. Gabriella is a fifth-grader at Niagara Street Elementary School. Both schools are in Niagara Falls.

“We wanted our Name the Robot contest to be a fun, educational experience for young people,” said Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo, second from left.  “We never expected to receive more than 800 entries from dozens of public and private schools all across Niagara and northern Erie counties. We are most grateful to each and every student and school who participated.”

“The quality of the entries was astounding,” said Ann Marie Tucker, Memorial’s Vice-President for Community Relations. “The children obviously gave a lot of thought to this and came up with some really creative names that reflected the robot’s purpose.   I am glad I didn’t have to judge!"

Last month, Memorial purchased a da Vinci Si Surgical Robotic System to be used by specially trained surgeons there for gynecologic, urologic, colorectal and general surgery. Patients who undergo robotically assisted surgery typically recover faster and experience less pain and less blood loss.  In addition, the risk of complications is significantly reduced.

“The addition of the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System also means that many cancer patients can now receive minimally invasive surgical treatment right here in Niagara County,” Ruffolo said.

Memorial Medical Center awarded Gabriella, who was accompanied by her mother, Kelly Baratta, a Kindle E-Reader as the prize for her winning entry.  Her class will receive a pizza party.

For more information about the da Vinci Si System, call Memorial’s Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Hotline at (716) 278-4492 or visit  

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