Lake State and War Memorial enter agreement for Healthcare Simulation Center

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Lake Superior State University’s Sault Sainte (LSSU) Marie, Michigan campus and War Memorial Hospital entered an agreement that will transform LSSU’s existing Superior Simulation Center into a regional center that will train and reach more healthcare professionals in the international Great Lakes region, and throughout North America.

The new facility will be called the Lake Superior State University-War Memorial Hospital International Medical Simulation Center. A half-million dollar gift from WMH underwrites relocating and upgrading the  Simulation Center equipment.

“LSSU’s Nursing Program is vital to the future recruitment of high quality registered nurses to WMH and this partnership will help expand the number of nursing students in the program each year,” says David Jahn, War Memorial Hospital president & CEO. “The agreement also provides more centralized education for our current healthcare professionals and it allows us to do simulations of high acuity situations using the Simulation Center and the ‘manikins’ which provide additional opportunities to improve our processes to ensure success in these highly stressful situations.”

At the Simulation Center’s core are wireless mannequins used for training LSSU students and medical professionals about various healthcare procedures. They include an infant and adult male mannequin, as well as an expectant mother that can deliver a baby. The mannequins blink, bleed, cry, sweat and express their symptoms to healthcare workers and students just as live patients might, and respond to treatment much like live patients would.

“These life-like patients simulate heart tones and other vital cues that when connected to monitors, provides real-time information to learners,” said Superior Simulation Center Director Kathy Berchem. “By practicing true clinical skills in a safe and regulated environment, future and current healthcare providers gain competence and confidence in their clinical patient care skills.”

The educational learning at the Sim Center will also serve as continuing education to the nursing staff at War Memorial Hospital.  “Through this partnership with WMH the Superior Simulation Center will be the regional resource for addressing health outcomes by providing an immersive learning laboratory environment using clinical simulation,” Berchem added.

The expanded collaboration with WMH will lead LSSU to develop new healthcare programs of study and will let the two institutions tap one another’s attributes to sponsor larger conferences that draw medical professionals from Canada, the U.S.A. and beyond, generating new revenue streams for both LSSU and WMH. The simulation center’s enhanced capacity for teaching – along with the inevitable growth of partnerships with War Memorial – holds promise to increase enrollment in the LSSU Nursing program by more than 30 percent.


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