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Director’s Corner: Exciting Events

By: Eric Bruns, MBA, Executive Director, SimLEARN

June was a busy month for SimLEARN. On Friday, June 18, we were privileged to host Secretary Denis R. McDonough at our National Simulation Center (NSC) in Orlando, FL. After giving an overview of SimLEARN, our impact on VHA, and Veteran healthcare, we led Secretary McDonough through the NSC to highlight the innovative simulation technologies we research and develop. We showed him the Operating Room that displays simulated surgical spaces with high-fidelity simulated manikins. In the Emergency Room, Secretary McDonough observed our technicians, who provided a live demonstration of the patient lift system moving a simulated bariatric patient from one location to another and applying safe patient handling and mobility practices. Lastly, in the NSC’s Innovation Room, our interprofessional team of VA emergency department providers, healthcare architects, and simulation experts created a full-scale mock-up of multiple individual treatment areas, including a representation of equipment and supplies from the new VHA design guide. We were honored for the Secretary to have taken such interest in the NSC immersive environment that aims to facilitate simulation technologies and provide a platform to develop and evaluate clinical curriculum and processes before implementation at VA medical facilities.

A recent example of this aim is SimLEARN Outreach Network’s (SON) ongoing partnership with VA’s Office of Construction and Facilities Management (CFM). Led by Associate Director LeAnn Schlamb, this partnership seeks to design and test new emergency room layouts in an immersive simulated environment. The results from these activities help us evaluate safety and functionality and any subsequent impact on workflow. Moreover, they create cost savings and improve resource management before execution in an active clinical setting. Read more about this exciting partnership in LeAnn’s article here.

Above: VA Secretary McDonough tours NSC's Operating Room with Mr. Bruns. Photo courtesy of Ramon Boty Garcia.

Below: Mr. Bruns and Secretary McDonough looks at SimMan 3G manikin and its functions (eg sweating, pupillary reactions). Photo courtesy of Ramon Boty Garcia.

Below: The Secretary concludes his visit thanking employees for the tour and handing out his Challenge Coins. Photo courtesy of Ramon Boty Garcia.