Home » Topics » Academics » Only weeks old, the College of Health Sciences’ new simulation center earns a coveted regional designation

Only weeks old, the College of Health Sciences’ new simulation center earns a coveted regional designation

It’s a new sought-after regional designation, and only the Simulation Training and Applied Research (STAR) Center in the College of Health Sciences has it for our area.

The center’s new high-fidelity SimMom for obstetrics training.

It is one of only four statewide hubs to be named a Regional Training Center. What does that mean? For starters, higher levels of training for College of Health Sciences faculty to benefit students and the area health care community.

The designation by the Florida Healthcare Simulation Alliance arose because of the center’s outstanding instructors, stellar technology and cutting-edge academic programs. It means JU has the region’s premier facility to offer health care training for educators in Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties, as well as for continuing education for area hospital professionals.

“Because of the advanced level of our faculty, curriculum, collaborative partnerships and instrumentation, we will now receive the highest-quality materials and training from FHSA for our educators, which will increase our students’ skills and our area hospitals’ quality of care,” said Kathleen Kavanagh, director of the STAR Center and assistant professor of nursing.

“This also affirms we are now in the strongest position possible to receive additional external revenue and develop even more sophisticated training that creates experiential knowledge,” Kavanagh added. “That leads to students who are more capable to employers because of their higher level of functioning.”

Story continues below video of the STAR center:

Among its many features, the STAR Center, which opened in August in the College of Health Sciences’ new state-of-the-art, 30,000-square-foot building, includes 14 mid- and high-fidelity training mannequins that simulate CPR; vital signs; heart, lung and abdominal sounds; EKG changes; arrhythmias; dysphagia; and more.

The center’s new SimMom for pregnancy and delivery, for example, is newly updated by Laerdal Corp. of Norway and is an advanced, full-body birthing simulator with accurate anatomy and functionality for obstetric training.

“We can offer scenarios in our center that students aren’t often exposed to in the clinical setting, such as patient complications involving hemorrhaging, or someone in cardiac arrest,” Kavanagh said. “This is what improves higher-level critical thinking, decision-making, communication, confidence and assessment skills, so our graduates are more prepared.”

The designation also will lead to more on-site conferences for professionals, as well as community training, preventative care workshops and disaster response scenarios, Kavanagh said.

College of Health Sciences Dean Dr. Christine Sapienza said the FHSA designation continues to demonstrate JU’s commitment to innovative academic delivery models for health care education, flexibility and high-level training environments that are critically important.

JU’s STAR Center joins Palm Beach State College, Pensacola State College and State College of Florida in Manatee-Sarasota as part of the elite FHSA Regional Training Center group.