The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) is working to substantially increase its use of simulation in medical training with the launch of mobile simulation initiative to serve rural Nebraska and plans to build a $102 million simulation center.

UNMC received $5.5 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to use mobile, high-tech simulation trucks to provide training opportunities on life-saving procedures for rural emergency medical providers and hospitals. The Simulation in Motion Nebraska grant includes the purchase of four customized, mobile simulation training trucks and 20 high-fidelity patient simulators that will be available to rural emergency medical services, hospitals and universities for training on advanced trauma and cardiac life support. The trucks are valued at about $500,000 each and the manikins are valued at almost $900,000.

The grant will help fund the program operation for three years – and private funding, partnerships, fee for services and state and federal grants will be sought to sustain the project. This grant adds a fourth sate to the Helmsley Trust’s Simulation in Motion program that is already at work in South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana.

UNMC’s other simulation initiative centers around the construction of its Global Center for Advanced Interprofessional Learning that will house and support the activities of UNMC's Interprofessional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning, known as iEXCEL℠. The 134,000 square-foot facility is designed to help transform how health science education and clinical care is delivered through competency-based learning and assessment.

It will have advanced simulation clinical settings and virtual immersive reality technology, an electronic learning media development studio able to deliver learning content to prepared remote locations, and surgical skills simulation space.

While based at UNMC's Omaha campus, the center will benefit the entire state, including UNMC campuses in Lincoln, Kearney, Scottsbluff and Norfolk, as well as UNMC's primary clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine, and its regional health partners. More than 20,000 learners are expected to use iEXCEL℠ in the first year of operation, with a projected 10 percent to 20 percent increase in each subsequent year – helping to improve patient care.

UNMC plans to begin construction early in 2017, and open the facility in 2018.