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M Simulation Makes their Move to the New Health Sciences Education Center

After months of meticulous planning, and then adjusting those plans in the midst of a pandemic, M Simulation recently made their move to the new Health Sciences Education Center (HSEC). As the hub for all the health sciences, HSEC’s spaces promote interprofessional education and interaction as well as foster a culture that values student and faculty well-being. At 202,000 gross square feet, HSEC is one of the most comprehensive interprofessional education facilities in the country, and the premier training site for tomorrow’s health professional.

M Simulation is located on the 5th and 6th floors of HSEC and offers 18 clinic rooms furnished with ambulatory care equipment and supplies, seven inpatient rooms, two operating rooms, acute care and trauma rooms, plus several Gateway rooms that serve as touchdown, orientation and debrief spaces. M Simulation is also outfitted with a Technology Lab with high fidelity technical trainers; a Skills Lab to practice procedural skills; and an Innovation Space to promote industry partnerships and research.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, M Simulation staff have been instrumental in pivoting instruction online to meet the needs of learners and educators alike.

"COVID-19 has significantly impacted our operations these past few months which have moved online, but it didn't dampen our enthusiasm for moving into our amazing new simulation center in HSEC!" said Anne Woll, MS, education director for M Simulation.

"This move also unites our two teams who were previously split across three facilities into one center," said Woll. "We're excited to welcome these first learners—and all those who will follow—into this beautiful new center."

M Simulation works collaboratively with faculty to support students across the health professions to learn together, solve problems together, and develop real-world working relationships in active, team-based learning settings. Their mission is to collaboratively develop and implement simulation-based educational opportunities for trainees to learn safely in preparation for or to enhance clinical practice. The M Simulation team achieves this mission by melding innovation with applying best practices of simulation methodology to all aspects of their work including curriculum design, operations, assessment and evaluation, and for psychological and physical safety of all stakeholders. The result is high quality simulation training for learners that expands the definition of what constitutes simulation.

Lou Clark, PhD, MFA, was appointed the executive director of M Simulation in March and has since hit the ground running, creating the Facebook group, Simulation Online 2020, now with over 1,200 members. The Facebook group is a hub for simulation professionals to exchange ideas, strategies for simulation event implementation, and support as a community of practice dealing with COVID-19.

Additionally, Clark launched the webinar series, “Healthcare Simulation Online: COVID-19 Response in 2020 & Beyond!” which highlights the innovative work of M Simulation team members. The first webinar presented on March 27, 2020, “Zooming with SPs,” details how the team brought human simulation online. Three hundred participants attended the presentation live, and since that time, more than 1,000 attendees in over 35 countries have accessed it along with the other webinar sessions from the M Simulation website.

Dr. Clark also led the creation of the M Simulation Flexible Operations Plan, which provides specific guidelines for educational partners seeking to implement simulation events online or, more recently, on-site in the new HSEC facility.

"Our sincere thanks to stakeholders at the state level and across the University for their support in making our new M Simulation facility possible. We are proud stewards who plan to return that support starting now with essential training for incoming residents and with PPE training for our health sciences students returning to clinical environments in the COVID-19 response,” said Clark.

“This beautiful facility will also allow us to expand interprofessional training opportunities for all UMN health sciences schools and for community members in the Twin Cities, the state of Minnesota, and beyond."

Within one week of moving in, M Simulation held an obstetrical skills training for Family Medicine residents as well as their first manikin simulation for new surgery residents in HSEC as part of their surgery bootcamp program. In the coming weeks, M Simulation already has several training sessions lined up in their new home for learners to prepare for the demands of clinical practice and patient safety. 

M Simulation Fellow, Zia Rasool, beside family medicine residents.

M Simulation team member, Anna Preston, making final preparations for the first cohort of learners in the new space.

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