ROMEO, Doc ’n‘ Roll Join the Team


The winners, Susan Munroe and Dr. Chad Tartar.

Meet the newest members of NorthBay Healthcare’s high-tech stroke response team: ROMEO and Doc ’n‘ Roll. Those are the names that rose to the top during a “Name the Robots” competition, which elicited nearly 500 suggestions from NorthBay Healthcare staff and the community at large.

The winners—Dr. Chad Tartar and Susan Munroe—now have new iPads for their efforts. Dr. Tartar’s suggestion was ROMEO, which stands for Remotely Operated Medical Examination Organizer. Susan, a dosimetrist at the NorthBay Cancer Center, suggested Doc ’n‘ Roll.

“While we love the names the panel selected, it wasn’t an easy choice,” says Diane Barney, director of Public Relations. “There were a lot of great suggestions; it was very competitive.”

Names were submitted via e-mail, and also during meet-and-greet sessions held in both hospitals and at community events. A license plate bearing the names of ROMEO and Doc ‘n’ Roll will be created by InTouch Health, the maker of the RP-7, to be placed on both ’bots.

The two robots are slightly different in appearance, although both are wireless and mobile and allow for offsite neurological specialists at Mercy Neurological Institute of Greater Sacramento to examine patients and consult with NorthBay emergency room physicians at a moment’s notice, explains Kathy Richerson, vice president and chief nursing officer.

ROMEO, the robot at NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield, stands about five feet tall, is blue and moves on wheels. It is remotely controlled by staff at Mercy. Its “head” is a video screen which projects the image beaming in from Mercy. On top of the screen are two cameras, which allow the Mercy representative to “see” a wide-angle shot or close up.

Doc ’n‘ Roll, the robot at VacaValley Hospital, has similar head gear, but is known as the desktop model. He lives on a metal cart and is easily pushed into action whenever called.

“We were really touched by some of the suggestions,” said Barney. “Some folks mentioned on their entry that a loved one had died from a stroke, and that if our program had been in existence then, it would be a different story. There were many encouraging comments with the entries.”

One individual suggested the robots be named Bob and Marley, after musician Bob Marley. He explained that he was inspired by a Bob Marley song that says, “Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing is going to be all right.” He suggested that was the way NorthBay patients should feel, thanks to the stroke robots.

Other robot names that the judging panel liked included: Dr. Techno, Botley, Brainiac, Well-bot, Medibot and Bunny—named after the original hospital established in Fairfield, which later became Intercommunity Hospital and finally NorthBay Medical Center.

A few folks suggested two names together that worked well, and judges considered them as a package deal: Nuts and Bolts, Mercy and Percy, Ola (Hawaiian for life) and Kokua (Hawaiian, meaning to help), Arty and Cora—“Coronary artery, get it?” the contestant wrote.

“The contest was a lot of fun and engaged both staff and community, which is just what we wanted,” said Diana Sullivan, service line director for the Heart & Vascular Program. “Now we’ll shift our focus to educating the community to recognize the signs of a stroke, so treatment can begin as soon as possible. Our staff is trained, the robots are ready, and we are here to serve.”

The Five Telltale Signs of a Stroke

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance
    or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

If you or someone with you has more than one of these symptoms, call 911.

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