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Robot name a cut above
South Effingham Elementary School class wins Effingham Health System contest
Name the Robot
Effingham Health System CEO Dr. Fran Witt hands out goodies to students in Ashleigh Barefield’s class Friday. Witt congratulated the students for winning the Name the Robot Contest. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

GUYTON —  The winning entry in Effingham Health System’s Name the Robot Contest proved to be a cut above the rest.

Fourth graders in the Gifted & Talented program at South Effingham Elementary School suggested that the hospital’s Da Vinci Surgical System be called “Surgio.”

The students learned that they were the contest winners after lunch Friday when they returned to their classroom to find Effingham Health System CEO Dr. Fran Witt and other hospital personnel awaiting them.

“We must have won the robot contest,” one student said.

Teacher Ashleigh Barefield beamed broadly after the announcement made their victory official.

“We have been calling it all sorts of things,” Dr. Alexander Wynn said. “Every other day it has a new name. But, finally, we have a name to put on it and we will know what to call our robot.”

Wynn has used the Da Vinci Surgical System hundreds of times since it was acquired in late 2018. It provides a minimally invasive option for surgery, leading to quicker recovery times.

Community & Operations Coordinator Joe Tallent told the class that a nameplate will be affixed to the robot.

“Everybody will know that it’s called ‘Surgio’ because of y’all,” he said.

The contest was open to all elementary Gifted & Talented classes in the county. They were asked to design a visual aid and present a name for the robot, plus an explanation for their choice.

Barefield’s class received a pizza and ice cream party, plaque and a souvenir cup filled with candy. In addition, the school received a $100 donation.

Every participating class also received an information packet about “Surgio.”

“We are so excited about the name ‘Surgio,’” Witt said. “I am so proud of all of you.”

Witt said the competition was “tough” and several excellent names were recommended

One of Barefield’s students called the winning entry “profound.”

“It’s very profound,” Witt said. “You are absolutely right.”