NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center Opens the Mary Kathryn and Alex Navab Cardiothoracic Robotic Surgery Center

Oct 27, 2017


NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center celebrated the opening of the Mary Kathryn and Alex Navab Cardiothoracic Robotic Surgery Center on Wednesday, Oct. 25, making the hospital one of the first in the nation to offer a dedicated robotic cardiothoracic surgical suite for minimally invasive heart, lung and esophagus procedures.

A generous gift from the Navabs has allowed the hospital to equip the suite with its own da Vinci® Xi Platform Robot, a fifth-generation robotic surgical system that greatly expands NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center’s ability to offer these procedures on a daily basis. The new suite, a completely rebuilt operating room, features the latest technology, including cutting-edge monitoring, lighting and safety features to support robotic surgery. Patients treated with robotic surgery – a minimally invasive surgical method that requires only tiny incisions and the use of small dexterous robotic instruments that allow for greater precision – typically report less pain and experience a speedier recovery and faster return to their normal routines.

“This generous gift from Mary Kathryn and Alex Navab will help our patients receive the very best in cardiothoracic care,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian. “Their vision in supporting this center will make a tremendous difference in providing minimally invasive procedures that allow for quicker recovery times and an improved patient experience.”

“We are so pleased to help NewYork-Presbyterian realize its vision for this state-of-the-art center for robotic cardiothoracic surgery,” said Alex and Mary Kathryn Navab. “We are strong believers in NewYork-Presbyterian’s mission of providing the highest quality and most compassionate care, and we are excited to support the hospital in helping people for generations to come.”

The Mary Kathryn and Alex Navab Cardiothoracic Robotic Surgery Center is staffed by a highly skilled team experienced in the robotic surgical approach, which has been revolutionary for patients requiring mitral valve repair, coronary bypass, lung and esophageal surgery, and more. Thoracic surgeons will also be focused on helping patients with cancer, using robotic surgeries to treat esophageal cancer and to remove lung tumors. Patients treated this way typically see improved breathing function earlier than they would from open surgery and require less pain medication.

“We are extremely grateful to the Navabs for their generous and meaningful support of our robotic cardiothoracic surgery program,” said Dr. Leonard Girardi, cardiothoracic surgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the O. Wayne Isom Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine. “NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center is a pioneer in innovative and complex robotic procedures, and this state-of-the-art center makes it possible for us to treat more patients using a minimally invasive approach to provide lifesaving care.”

Alex Navab has been a trustee of NewYork-Presbyterian since 2013. He and his wife, Mary Kathryn, are longtime supporters of the hospital and are actively involved in many philanthropic, educational, community and national organizations.

The Navabs attended the dedication ceremony, and were joined by Dr. Corwin, Jerry I. Speyer, vice chair of the Board of Trustees at NewYork-Presbyterian, and other distinguished guests.


NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation’s most comprehensive, integrated academic healthcare delivery systems, whose organizations are dedicated to providing the highest quality, most compassionate care and service to patients in the New York metropolitan area, nationally, and throughout the globe. In collaboration with two renowned medical schools, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian is consistently recognized as a leader in medical education, groundbreaking research and innovative, patient-centered clinical care.

NewYork-Presbyterian has four major divisions:

  • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is ranked #1 in the New York metropolitan area by U.S. News and World Report and repeatedly named to the Honor Roll of “America’s Best Hospitals.”
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Regional Hospital Network comprises hospitals and other facilities in the New York metropolitan region.
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Physician Services, which connects medical experts with patients in their communities.
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Community and Population Health, encompassing ambulatory care network sites and community healthcare initiatives, including NewYork Quality Care, the Accountable Care Organization jointly established by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia.

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Media Contact:

Jessica Mikulski 212-821-0560