The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) community officially celebrated the dedication of the Dr. Edwin G. & Dorothy Balbach Davis Global Center, an interprofessional simulation facility, made possible by public-private partnerships. Due to COVID-19, the ceremony was livestreamed to a global audience.

The facility houses iEXCEL (Interprofessional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning) – a model for health professions education that incorporates advanced simulation and visualization technologies in realistic, simulated health care settings to improve the outcomes of patient care – and the Global Center for Health Security – encompassing biopreparedness training, infectious diseases and high-consequence infections research, education and clinical care.

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During the dedication, Dr. Gold was joined by Vice Admiral Charles Richard, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command in Bellevue, Nebraska; Robert Kadlec, MD, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and most recently, commander at USSTRATCOM; as well as Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert.

Located on UNMC’s Omaha campus, the Davis Global Center serves as the hub for a statewide network of interconnected education centers for faculty in Scottsbluff, Kearney, Norfolk and Lincoln to promote experiential and interactive training opportunities.

“Simulated training improves human performance and ultimately patient care because it enables health care professionals at all levels of training to collaborate as teams and master clinical skills and medical technologies in safe simulated environments,” said Pam Boyers, PhD, associate vice chancellor for clinical simulation and iEXCEL. “At the same time, the facility’s unique design promotes interdisciplinary collaboration, team training and the ability to practice the transfer of care throughout the current health care system.”

iEXCEL also promotes and fosters synergistic relationships between industry, academia, government, military and the community, Dr. Boyers said. Such collaborations yield mutual learning and grant opportunities, specialized training activities, AR/VR and holographic content creation, and new and enhanced products and services.

The current pandemic, she said, already has highlighted the tremendous value of the Davis Global Center. This facility with its technology, special design and sufficient space has allowed the medical center to continue providing vital simulation training at a time when it has been most needed.

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The 192,000-gross-square-foot building became fully operational in early 2020 when the National Quarantine Unit housed and monitored guests from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The 20-bed quarantine unit – the only designated federal quarantine unit in the U.S. – is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Training, Simulation & Quarantine Center.

“With this purpose-built facility and the synergies between iEXCEL and the Global Center for Health Security, we’re able to systematically help support the federal government and other agencies that need to train health care professionals as well as quarantine individuals with high-risk exposures,” said Chris Kratochvil, MD, executive director of the Global Center for Health Security.