Banner Health Team of Surgeons Excel in Robotic Surgery


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McKee Medical Center recertified as Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery

Banner Health’s McKee Medical Center in Loveland has been recertified as a Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery by the Surgical Review Corporation.

This designation is based on volume, patient outcomes, and the number of complex procedures offered within a program. Robotic surgery offers a minimally invasive surgical option to many patients facing a surgical procedure. The robotic approach offers the surgeon magnified, high-definition vision with the ability to control surgical instruments much like a human hand to see and access the anatomy.

This allows surgeons to operate using three to five incisions about 1⁄2-inch long. Procedures done with the assistance of robotic technology at McKee include hysterectomies, uterine prolapse, fibroids, gynecological cancer staging, hernia, colon, and other general surgeries. During the recertification, gynecologic surgeon John Crane, MD, and general surgeon Thomas Blomquist, MD, were acknowledged by the reviewer as having a high level of expertise and mastery of robotics. Both were named Master Surgeons, which is a surgeon who meets the Surgical Review Corporation’s accreditation requirements and who is verified through an inspection.

Additional robotic surgeons at McKee include:
• Elizabeth Holl, MD, board-certified in general surgery
• Ellie Knotts, MD, board-certified in obstetrics/gynecology
• Robin Lacour, MD, board-certified in gynecological cancer surgery
• McKenna Li, MD, board-certified in obstetrics/gynecology
• Saskia Thompson, MD, board-certified in obstetrics/gynecology
Dr. Crane helped start the robotics program in 2009 and has completed nearly 2,500 robotic surgeries. This has led to Boston Scientific naming McKee a Center of Excellence for specific robotic pelvic surgeries. In addition, McKee was designated as an Epicenter for Robotic Complex Surgery by Intuitive Surgical Inc., the maker of the da Vinci surgical robot. McKee is one of only a few programs in the country with this designation and has been honored to host more than 100 surgeons from around the world for case observations.

The reviewers also noted the contributions of Kathleen Miller, RN, who has 20 years of experience as a First Assist. A first assistant works with the surgeon anticipating needs and helping the surgeon complete technical tasks. Because of her accomplishments and excellent patient care, she was named a Care Specialist in Robotics by the Surgical Review Corporation team.

To learn more about the Surgical Review Corporation recognition, visit
McKee Medical Center, opened in 1976, is a fully accredited, private nonprofit facility in Loveland, Colorado. McKee is owned by Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 30 hospitals in six states. It offers emergency care, cancer care, heart care, orthopedics, surgery, rehabilitation, intensive care, lab, and medical imaging. For more information, please visit