VA Announces Awards for
Clinical Simulation Training, Education and Research
Innovations Result in Better Clinical and Customer Service Training
WASHINGTON (Feb. 3, 2011)- 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
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
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.