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Gifts for the 2014 St. Joe's Holiday Ball will support the Clinical Simulation Program for the Advancement of Patient Safety at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor.


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Photos courtesy of Laerdal Medical. All rights reserved.

From inpatient care to robotic surgery and from the Emergency Room to Labor & Delivery, patients and families rely on Saint Joseph Mercy Health System for high-quality and safe services, compassionate and coordinated care, and satisfying patient experiences and outcomes.

St. Joe's has a long history of using simulation in many specialties to help train health care providers in safe medical care, and to improve teamwork and communication. Just as simulation in the airline industry has made flying much safer, health care simulation allows health care students, physicians, practitioners, nurses to train in a controlled environment without risk to patients. These St. Joe's programs have recently been integrated into a single Clinical Simulation Program and given a new "home" in a state-of-the-art remodeling of the E. Thurston Thieme Education Center at St. Joe's Ann Arbor.

Creation of this new space is supported by an educational collaboration between St. Joe's and Eastern Michigan University (EMU).

Hands-On Training Without Risk

Simulation translates experience into learning in an immersive and memorable way. Using high-tech patient simulator manikins and trained patient "actors," medical and surgical residents, clinical students, and even practicing physicians and staff can undergo advanced, hands-on training to:

  • Develop and strengthen clinical skills
  • Master medical and surgical technology and equipment
  • Respond to a patient's specific needs
  • Manage crisis situations

One simulation training technique uses computerized manikins, which are life-like – anatomically accurate and able to talk, breathe, bleed and react to external stimuli and clinical interventions. The simulators (whose actions are controlled by either a technician or by computer programming) can be operated with gradient levels of difficulty to present a wide variety of scenarios that mirror what clinicians might face in a patient care setting. The ability to frequently practice and manage complex medical situations helps to:

  • Build confidence and competence
  • Prevent medical errors
  • Improve response times
  • Foster leadership skills and communication
  • Promote teamwork and coordinate resources

Debriefing, Learning and Improving

Simulation allows mistakes to be accurately identified and corrected without harm to real patients. High-risk situations that may occur only rarely in an actual patient setting can be repeated using simulation until they are mastered by multiple providers.

  • The Simulation Center has 6 simulation rooms designed in the likeness of a hospital room, an obstetrics room, the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) resuscitation room, and outpatient exam rooms – all outfitted with audiovisual equipment so an instructor or technician can observe and record the session without impeding its progress.
  • The sessions are reviewed in one of the Simulation Center's three debriefing rooms, allowing teams to identify difficulties and develop strategies for improvement.
  • A large classroom is available for group instruction.
  • Many of the designated rooms can be flexibly "morphed" into other settings, such as a trauma bay in the Emergency Department, or even an operating room.
  • The Simulation Center is also outfitted with a Skills Lab. Laparoscopic simulators are available for surgical and ob-gyn residents to refine surgical aptitude and master surgical equipment. Residents use robotic simulators to learn the skills used in real-life operations.

Building a Community of Health Care Experts

Your gifts for the Simulation Center would help support training for more than 3,000 St. Joe's and EMU students, residents and practitioners annually. This technological advancement enhances the education and capabilities of our current and future health care workers resulting in the best possible care for patients and families in our community.

St. Joe's hopes to expand its current routine simulation training for all of its clinical staff and residents:

  • More than 2,500 clinical staff at the Ann Arbor Hospital
  • More than 250 clinical staff at the Brighton and Howell locations

EMU currently estimates 200 students will participate annually from a variety of programs including:

  • The new Physician Assistant Program (training in a Simulation Laboratory is required)
  • Nursing
  • Exercise Science
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Orthotics and Prosthetics

St. Joe's will provide simulation training to more than 200 medical and surgical residents annually. The residency programs currently in place at SJMHS include:

  • Internal Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • MOHS Micrographic Surgery
  • Family Medicine
  • Addiction Medicine
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Dermatology
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery PA Residency

Simulation is now a required part of the final examination administered by the United States Medical Licensing Examination® to obtain a license to practice medicine without supervision (12 cases per examination). The Simulation Center and expanded training capabilities will enable St. Joe's to maintain its well-earned status as a competitive Medical Residency Program that attracts high caliber residents.

The Simulation Center and clinical education partnership creates a local talent pool of highly skilled health care professionals – the majority of both EMU students and St. Joe's physician residents continue to live and work in our community and state.

As a secondary audience, local healthcare providers, such as first responders, police and fire professionals, and educational institutions will have opportunities to access simulated laboratories which will provide a broader, richer training experience to our community as well.

Your gift will support simulation training and interprofessional education, foster the mastery of high-risk procedures in a safe environment, and prepare physicians and clinical teams to manage crisis situations, gain equipment knowledge, strengthen skills, and become experts who successfully deliver exceptional health care.

To make your reservation today or for more information contact:
Melissa Sheppard, Director of Special Events, at 734-712-4079 or
Lynn Williams, Manager of Special Events, at 734-712-3192 or via e-mail at

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St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor | 5301 McAuley Drive, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 | 734-712-3456