SimLEARN Transitions to DEAN’s Umbrella - VHA SimLEARN
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SimLEARN Transitions to DEAN’s Umbrella

By Maggie Loughran, CAPM
Consultant, Atlas Research
VHA SimLEARN National Simulation Center

ORLANDO, Fla. – The year 2020 has caused shifts in many business practices, but one of the most exciting repositions for the SimLEARN organization is that it is now encompassed within the Office of Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks (DEAN) under the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Previously, SimLEARN was a part of VHA’s Employee Education System (EES), which is responsible for developing personnel within the network to better serve Veterans. Now, SimLEARN falls underneath the Office of Health Innovation and Learning (OHIL) in the DEAN umbrella, along with VHA Innovation Ecosystem. According to Director, Eric Bruns, “SimLEARN is energized by the opportunities that come with being part of the DEAN team. We thrive on driving the VHA’s evolution into a highly reliable, learning organization. Our ability to promote innovation using simulation for education has increased exponentially.” 

The new realignment represents a strategic move that will further support SimLEARN’s mission to enhance Veteran health care quality through the use and dissemination of simulation technologies, education, and training to facilitate workforce development. DEAN’s umbrella of four offices – Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA), Office of Health Advancement Partnerships (HAP), OHIL, Office of Research and Development (ORD), intertwine to collaborate and coordinate with facility-based educators, researchers, and clinicians to drive ongoing improvement in education, training, and advancements in scientific research. Each office operates with the broader goal to further integrate the VA research enterprise across the system, with clinical operations, and the broader clinical-research ecosystem, complimenting SimLEARN’s various training methodologies including distributed learning, Train-the-Trainer, and Train-the-Provider curriculums. The National Simulation Center (NSC) will be able to accelerate synergies within the DEAN offices to advance as the world’s leader in the application of clinical simulation-based strategies.  

Under the leadership of Dr. Carolyn Clancy, “DEAN is thrilled to welcome SimLEARN into our thriving community. Our vision is to establish this organization as the world leader of clinical simulation-based practices, and we could not conceptualize a better synergistic partnership than within our umbrella. The DEAN office is uniquely positioned to lead the effort to advance medical research and healthcare education for its professionals, with SimLEARN now at the forefront of this mission.”  

SimLEARN’s focus in 2021 is on collaborative simulation product development for clinical education with high-reliability organization goals, which directly support DEAN’s vision of raising the quality of health care available to Veterans everywhere.