VA secretary, deputy secretary tour VHA SimLEARN National Simulation Center - VHA SimLEARN
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VA secretary, deputy secretary tour VHA SimLEARN National Simulation Center

By Gerald Sonnenberg
EES Marketing and Communication

ORLANDO, Fla. – Staff at the SimLEARN program recently welcomed VA Secretary Robert McDonald and VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson to the VHA SimLEARN National Simulation Center (NSC) here. McDonald visited the NSC Feb. 27, and Gibson toured the facility March 31.

During both visits, Dr. Manny Dominguez, Employee Education System (EES) deputy chief learning officer, first briefed them on new developments, like the VA Virtual Medical Center (VMC) and the SimLEARN Portal. The VMC integrates medical consultation, expanded clinical care delivery, patient education and continuing education for staff in a 3-D virtual world. The SimLEARN Portal provides the VHA medical simulation community of practice with a centralized, web-based presence focusing on medical modeling, simulation training and education.

Dr. Haru Okuda, SimLEARN national medical director, then briefed the visitors on the VHA national simulation network and its next steps, provided an overview brief of SimLEARN, delivered a demonstration of the simulator and gave them a short tour of the simulation center.

"Ongoing projects, including the VMC, training standardization products under development and the growing collection of online-based best simulation practices, are important to the future of VA health care," said Gibson, during his visit. "VMC is an avatar-based system that allows Veterans freedom of choice in selecting virtual avenues of Veteran controlled care. It is a ‘best practice tool’ for collecting, assembling and offering a single point for videos, vector-based simulation clips, process and practices in a one-stop environment."

VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson (right) observes a mannequin during a simulation presented by Dr. Haru Okuda, SimLEARN national medical director (center). Dr. Manny Dominguez, Employee Education System deputy chief learning officer, also observes. (VA photo by Mike Strickler)