A team comprised of UI College of Nursing faculty members Jacinda Bunch, PhD, RN; Cormac O’Sullivan, PhD, CRNA, ARNP; and April Prunty, MSN, RN; recently won funding to assess current and future educational opportunities for emergency medical services (EMS), rural hospitals and critical access hospitals in the state of Iowa.

The team was awarded a one-year, $236-thousand grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which will fund a Simulation in Motion – Iowa (SIM-IA) Needs Assessment study of rural providers around the state. Through the study, agencies that are interested in EMS responder and rural health care provider training and education will receive essential information to develop a comprehensive proposal to operate a state-of-the-art mobile simulation truck (e.g., high-fidelity manikins, audio-visual equipment, etc.) through a subsequent Helmsley Foundation grant.

“One of our key goals in this first step is to evaluate current educational resources, challenges, and learning preferences of EMS and rural health care providers, including responding to medical emergencies using evidence-based practices and protocols,” explained Dr. Bunch, PI on the grant. “The data and subsequent analysis generated by the SIM-IA Needs Assessment will assist organizations in developing a comprehensive mobile simulation strategy to improve professional education opportunities and professional competencies for Iowa EMS and rural health care providers, to enhance health care services and access in rural Iowa.”