• Guest Writer

The Judith and Marvin Herb Family Simulation Center

Offers hi-fidelity, realistic training equipment for new and seasoned NCH staff



The Judith and Marvin Herb Family Simulation Center (Sim Center) has revolutionized medical training and practice for NCH Healthcare System staff members, with state-of-the-art educational equipment that is highly realistic to the work environment, ultimately improving patient outcomes and experiences.



Sim Center Medical Director, Douglas W. Harrington, DO, FCCP, and the Penny and Bill Allyn Endowed Chair in Simulation says medical simulation training is comparable to flight simulation training used in the airline industry—where real-life issues and scenarios can be practiced in a controlled environment before a pilot ever gets the plane off the ground.

“It’s not only preparing for a problem, but it also runs a scenario when there’s been a problem,” said Dr. Harrington. “Just as an airline spends hundreds of hours training pilots before they take off the ground, we do the same thing in simulation.”


The Sim Center is used to optimize learning curves whenever a new piece of equipment is brought into the hospital or a new process is started, explained Dr. Harrington. “If an event could have gone better, we scrutinize it and prepare for better future scenarios,” he said.

Dr. Harrington said that only 10 to 20 percent of a lecture is retained in a classroom setting. However, when the same information is presented in a hands-on simulation setting, retention increases to more than 85 percent.


“I’d much rather be taken care of by a healthcare provider who has not only read about but has also performed the processes,” said Dr. Harrington. “Simulation is revolutionizing how we train our internal medicine residents. While many medical staff have completed post-graduate education, they still learn from simulation. And an experienced surgeon can use simulation and become better.”


According to Hope Goodwin, RN, MSN, CEN, CHSE, Sim Center Operations Manager, and Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator, nurse residents must undergo mandatory Sim Center training that allows them to train in a safe, controlled environment.


NCH’s Sim Center is a state-of-the-art facility with cutting-edge simulation equipment thanks to the generosity of donors like Julie and Steve Vanderboom, who donated both time and funding, and the Bill and Julia Van Domelen Foundation which enabled the acquisition of three high-fidelity realistic manikins, said Goodwin.


The Simulation Center recently was recently awarded a $1 million “match” grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. Donors interested in supporting the program will have the opportunity to double their impact thanks to this exciting opportunity.

“One manikin is a 27-week-old micro-preemie with high-end realism throat chords for intubation purposes, chest rise for breathing, stomach distention, pulses, crying, grunting, and can go cyanotic (blue baby),” said Simulation Technician Julio Irizarry, MA.




The Super Tory newborn, the most high-fidelity infant simulator on the market with articulate arms, legs, and face, offers venous access as well as access into the bone. It can also provide simulation for emergencies, CPR, intubation, can get a flat or bulging fontanelle (where the bones of the skull have not fully formed), and can also cry and grunt.


“The third and most high-fidelity birthing manikin can perform low occurrence, high-risk scenarios such as maternal hemorrhage, shoulder dystocia, and breech birthing not typically encountered by labor and delivery nurses,” says Goodwin.


An Anatomage™ Table allows comprehensive 3D visualization of the human body with an intuitive hands-on interface. This visualization allows staff to perform patient diagnosis with quick analysis and examination and can be used for medical education and dynamic presentations. Access to four digital cadavers allows staff a glimpse into the bodies of actual living people who died from cancer, pneumonia, and heart attack, as well as a death row inmate. Thousands of MRIs and CTs are stored in the system with the ability to download actual patient MRIs or CTs for educational purposes.


According to Troy Munn, Chief Development Officer, NCH Healthcare System, Inc., the NCH Hospital Ball chaired by Dianna and Doug Harrington, DO, held this past April at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, raised $1.5 million to benefit the 10,000 square-foot permanent Sim Center space and furnish it with more state-of-the-art technology and simulation equipment. Also announced at the event was a separate, significant endowment gift—the Penny and Bill Allyn Endowed Chair for Simulation. Philanthropist Bill Allyn created the endowed chair for the position of medical director that Dr. Harrington holds.


For more information on the Sim Center, contact Operations Manager Hope Goodwin, RN, MSN, CEN, CHSE at 239.624.1253 or email hope.goodwin@nchmd.org.


To make a donation to the Judith and Marvin Herb Family Simulation Center, please call 239.624.2015.

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