New Surgery Center

Oaklawn Dedicates The Rob Covert Surgery Center of Excellence

         On Thursday, February 2nd, over 700 people turned out for two open houses as Oaklawn Hospital celebrated the culmination of more than 14 months of construction and over two years of planning, with the dedication of The Rob Covert Surgery Center of Excellence. The following Monday the four new state-of-the-art operating rooms (ORs) opened for business.
       In a 25-minute ceremony, Chairman of the Board Bruce Rasher highlighted the enormous growth and accomplishments that have occurred under Covert’s 35 years as President & CEO of Oaklawn.  “In 1976 when Rob became CEO,” stated Rasher, “Oaklawn was delivering about 300 babies a year, had a staff of 10 physicians and roughly 150 employees. Today Oaklawn delivers close to 700 babies a year, has close to 150 doctors on active status, and has added well over 750 jobs.” Covert began at Oaklawn in 1972 and has announced his retirement for next January.
       “In addition to these impressive figures,” Rasher continued, “Rob established a Quality Improvement Department that has been instrumental in having Oaklawn consistently rank in the top 5% of the nation in Patient Satisfaction scores, and it is often one of the first hospitals in the state to purchase the latest and most technologically advanced diagnostic and surgical equipment. While this new surgery center is the 12th significant expansion or renovation that has taken place at the hospital during Rob’s tenure, there have also been 14 outpatient facilities added in other Marshall locations, as well as Albion, Homer, Olivet, Tekonsha, Beadle Lake, and Bellevue.”
       Dr. Tom Neidlinger, former Board Chair and senior member of the medical staff also spoke admiringly of Covert. “Those of you who have turned out today and been such great supporters of the hospital are certainly aware of the enormous advancements in medical care and services that Rob’s leadership has brought to Oaklawn. So when he announced that he’ll be retiring next January - despite the pleas of the board not to - we all felt that it would be extremely fitting to name this outstanding new surgery center in his honor.”
        Over the course of four hours, a steady stream of employees and visitors toured the nearly 45,000 sq.ft. surgery center and learned about the many outstanding features of the expansive, ultra-modern ORs, including a system of cameras and monitors that allows the digital recording and worldwide sending of high-definition images to any lab or consulting specialist as the operation is taking place. Michael Muscara, Regional Sales Director for Olympus Medical Systems, was in attendance to explain Olympus’s involvement in the new ORs and stated. “I sell equipment to hospitals of all sizes throughout the Midwest and these ORs are as large and technologically advanced as any that I’ve seen.”
       Visitors were also able to view the 18 new private pre-op/recovery rooms that are fitted with televisions, chairs for family members, and sliding glass doors with privacy curtains. To learn more about Oaklawn and the new surgery center visit

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