Georges Shares Advice

Dr. Angelo Georges, chief medical officer of Wheeling Hospital, offered some good advice to six area high school students who were chosen to participate in a simulation of robotic surgery Thursday.

Georges, an internist who grew up in Shadyside, related that he switched his major in college from journalism to history to philosophy before choosing pre-medicine as his course of study in his junior year.

“Keep your mind an open book and be open to new ideas,” he told the students.

The students, representing six area high schools, were selected to participate in a training exercise using one of the hospital’s three new da Vinci robotic surgical systems.

Taking part in the demonstration of the new robotic devices were Luke Phillips, a Wheeling Park senior who is interested in engineering; Griffin Stenger, a Wheeling Central Catholic senior with an interest in biology; Chad McCool, a John Marshall senior with an interest in sports medicine and related surgery; Elizabeth McConn, a River sophomore who is interested in biology; Bailey Kinder, a Martins Ferry junior with an interest in robotics; and Emily Holzopfel, a Buckeye Local senior who is interested in biology.

After the students finished their practice with the robot, I also got a chance to operate the robotic console. Several people have asked me what the experience was like, and I would compare it to moving the controllers of a 3-D video game. The console is equipped with a 3-D screen and a pair of hand-held controllers to operate the system’s mechanical arms that hold surgical instruments.

For this experiment, a plate containing little mound-like objects and tiny plastic rings was placed on the device, to replicate a surgical field. Using the controllers, each person could pick up the plastic rings and move them onto the mounds or place them on the surface of the dish.

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To continue the observance of St. Patrick’s Day, Gerard O’Neil, Duquesne University’s assistant archivist and author of “Pittsburgh Irish: Erin on the Three Rivers,” and musician Gerard Rohlf presented a Lunch With Books program at the Ohio County Public Library earlier this month.

After sharing stories of the region’s Irish heritage, O’Neil opened the floor to questions. An inquiry by the Rev. Jeremiah McSweeney, a retired Wheeling priest who hails from Ireland, led to a lively discussion about the definitions of “lace curtain Irish” and “shanty Irish.” O’Neil then quipped that perhaps the many meanings of “lace curtain Irish” should be the subject of his next book.

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“Wild, Wonderful and Weird Stories of Wheeling” is the theme for the upcoming People’s University course at the Ohio County Public Library.

The series begins April 9 and continues through May 28. Organizer Sean Duffy remarked that the presenters will offer “the odds and ends” from previous programs to explore lesser-known aspects of the city’s 250-year history.

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If prizes were given for tasty ingenuity, one should go to the West Virginia bakery that has created “pothole” cupcakes.

The treat features a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting, sprinkled with chocolate crumb “cinders.” The frosted top, though, has a deep indentation filled with chocolate topping to simulate a pothole. To complete the seasonal tableau, an orange candy “traffic cone” is placed next to the “pothole.”

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer.net

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