WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees Dr. David M. Gaba and Timothy W. Liezert were recently named the first-ever recipients of the Under Secretary for Health’s Awards for Excellence in Clinical Simulation Training, Education and Research.
“This award honors individuals who have made a national impact through the direct provision of innovative clinical simulation training, education and research in VA,” said VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert A. Petzel. “Dr. Gaba’s influence on the skills of clinical staff throughout VA has benefited the millions of Veterans cared for in our health care system.”
Petzel presented each with the award at the International Meeting of Simulation in Healthcare in New Orleans on Jan. 24.
Gaba describes simulation as a technique – not a technology – to replace or amplify real experiences with guided experiences that evoke or replicate substantial aspects of the real world in a fully interactive manner.
Simulated learning enhances patient safety by ensuring clinicians receive experience on virtual “patients” to improve procedural performance. It also improves team functioning through training scenarios in emergency rooms, operating rooms and intensive care units where entire medical teams need to act seamlessly under tremendous pressure. Recordings of simulated scenarios allow teams to review how they work together and assess how they might improve their performance.
Dr. Gaba was recognized with the 2011 Excellence in Clinical Simulation Training, Education and Research Practice Award for his numerous contributions to the field of clinical simulation over the past two decades. He created the first modern mannequin-based fully interactive simulator, which has since been commercialized and, along with his curricula, is in use in thousands of simulation training and education programs around the world. He has also conducted ground-breaking research in Crisis Resource Management (CRM) in clinical care settings and has designed CRM-oriented simulation instructor training designed to improve patient safety outcomes.
Gaba is staff anesthesiologist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Calif., and Associate Dean for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning and Director of the Center for Immersive and Simulation Based Learning (CISL) at Stanford University School of Medicine in California. He is also editor-in-chief of “Simulation in Healthcare,” the official journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.
In receiving the 2011 Clinical Simulation Training, Education and Research Executive Leadership Award, Liezert was recognized for his role in championing clinical simulation practice at the Orlando VA Medical Center (VAMC), and in support of VA efforts to establish its Simulation Learning Education and Research Network (SimLEARN) as a program of peerless excellence. An active contributor to the vibrant and nationally renowned Orlando simulation community, he has established strong relationships with simulation leaders in industry, government and academia that are greatly benefiting VA clinical simulation programs.
Committed to simulation excellence in clinical and non-clinical settings, Liezert has applied simulation methodologies to customer service training. “Tim Liezert is truly a model leader for VA in the arena of clinical simulation,” said Petzel. “His tireless efforts to lead the way in establishing simulation as a learning modality for health care education and training is significant, and is duly recognized by this award.” Liezert is director of the Orlando VA Medical Center, Fla.
The strategy of VA’s SimLEARN program is to improve clinical outcomes for America’s Veterans by providing a safe and supportive environment in which practitioners master skills, practice protocols, learn system-based practices, apply critical decision making and promote communication and interpersonal skills. To learn more about the SimLEARN program, visit www.simlearn.va.gov.