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NCH Healthcare System’s Simulation Program

awarded a $1 million challenge grant from the Schulze Family Foundation


The Judith and Marvin Herb Family Simulation Center at NCH Healthcare System in Naples, Florida has been awarded a grant opportunity of $1 million by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. To receive this grant, NCH must raise $1 million towards the Herb Family Simulation Center before May 1, 2023. Gifts of any size contributed within the allotted time period to the simulation program will count toward the Schulze Family Foundation challenge grant.


The Herb Family Simulation Center is an invaluable resource that dramatically improves patient outcomes at NCH. Comparable to flight simulation training used in the airline industry, simulation training provides realistic clinical scenarios that allow healthcare professionals to practice new procedures and explore cutting-edge technologies, as well as provide a collaborative space for complex problem-solving and community involvement.


“I am proud to invest in the Judith and Marvin Herb Family Simulation Center at NCH,” said Best Buy Founder Dick Schulze. “I have always been drawn to innovative and entrepreneurial ideas and solutions and believe this project will undoubtedly help improve the lives of patients and their families. My goal in issuing this $1 million challenge grant is to rally new donors who wish to multiply their gift to help raise the quality of care available to our community.”


A temporary facility was opened in May 2021, specializing in sector-leading simulation training, and has already had a marked improvement in patient care. In one example, medical professionals transformed and implemented protocols to cut the time it takes to treat a life-threatening heart attack by half.


The permanent 10,000-square-foot center is set to open in early 2023 and will build on the current success in using high-tech robotic “patients” to mimic real-world medical scenarios. Due to the astonishing complexity of these robots and their similarity to real humans, clinicians and community partners can perform life-like patient exams, care, and procedures. Simulation training results in 90% retention of learning material, compared to 10%-40% retention with traditional classroom lectures and clinical observation.


“We are incredibly grateful to the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation for this generous and visionary grant opportunity,” said Herb Family Simulation Center Medical Director, Douglas W. Harrington, DO, FCCP, and the Penny and Bill Allyn Endowed Chair in Simulation. “Simulation medicine is a transformational opportunity to elevate patient outcomes, safety, and experience to new levels. It’s an important and impactful investment in our team members, our health system, and our community.”


Beyond its primary use in training NCH medical professionals, the center also serves as a resource for local schools, universities, emergency medical services, police training, and private medical practices. To date, the center has provided training for the Collier County Flight Helicopter Team, Naples High School science department, and Collier County school nurses. Volunteer community members have also visited the center as actors, taking on the roles of patients to heighten the realism of training exercises.


In the short time it has been open, the center has proven itself to be an incredible asset for both NCH professionals and the broader community. This grant, which will only be possible through generous donations, will allow everyone involved to build upon this early success and maximize the impact of the center.


Contributions of all sizes are both welcome and greatly appreciated to help reach the $1 million goal. If you would like to discuss additional methods of giving or to make a major gift, please contact the Center for Philanthropy at 239.624.2015.


About the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation:

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation was created in 2004 by Best Buy founder, Dick Schulze, to give back to communities where he and his family live and work. The Foundation looks for meaningful investments that produce specific and measurable outcomes with a focus on human & social services, education, and health & medicine within the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area in Minnesota and the five counties of Southwest Florida which includes Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades counties. In all its activities, the Foundation embraces its founder’s vision to strengthen and support initiatives that lead to transformational change within our communities. For more information about the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, please visit SchulzeFamilyFoundation.org.




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