Category Archives: Community

Advancing Simulation Beyond Education

Simulation in health care has powerful potential. For years, it’s been utilized to educate and train those seeking a career in medicine. It’s also been leveraged as a way to provide insights into latent health system flaws such as communication issues among clinicians or whether a medical facility has all the essential tools it needs to provide the best care possible.

u-of-i-innovation-space OSF HealthCare, through Jump Simulation and the University of Illinois, is expanding its use of simulation even further by leveraging it to design novel solutions in health care. The idea is to simulate problems discovered throughout the health care system so that engineers and clinicians can observe and brainstorm ways to fix these issues.

Using simulation as a design tool is still fairly new to health care systems around the U.S. But Jump Simulation and U of I have been collaborating on this type of work since the opening of Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center, so much so that there are now dedicated labs for these collaborative efforts in the newly minted space within Jump called OSF Innovation.

Four Labs, One Purpose

All four labs are located on the fourth floor of the Jump facility. Two will be dedicated to the ongoing work Jump Sim has established with the University of Illinois’ Colleges of Medicine and Engineering through Jump Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (ARCHES). The other two rooms are committed to projects in Advanced Imaging and Modeling.

All four assignments pair clinicians and engineers to develop medical education technology that will advance the clinical agenda at OSF. This is part of a larger effort by the University of Illinois re-thinking how it innovates around curriculum.

Two of the projects utilizing innovation lab space were recently awarded a continuation of Jump ARCHES funding. One team of individuals from OSF HealthCare, U of I, Illinois Neurological Institute, and Bradley University is creating a device to teach young health care professionals to practice feeling and identifying abnormal muscle behaviors in patients with brain lesions. The goal is to expand training to more than just neurologists so that OSF can increase the number of patients served.

The second development is focused on producing an avatar-based system to communicate with patients at the time of discharge so they fully understand their medical instructions before going home. The system could also be used to train medical students to communicate with patients in a simulated environment. The
dikshant-pradhan-working-on-orthopedic-trainerultimate goal of the project led by clinicians and engineers from U of I and OSF is to reduce readmission rates at area hospitals.

The two labs devoted to work in Advanced Imaging and Modeling are leveraging virtual and augmented reality technologies like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive to revolutionize how clinicians and radiologists view anatomy and advance how human anatomy is taught to medical students.

Nurture, Validate and Disseminate

The intention of committing space for collaborative work among clinicians and engineers is to support teams with great ideas and provide technical and clinical expertise to advance their projects. Each of the teams selected to use the lab space within Jump will get to do so for up to a year. From there, these ventures can be validated within the simulation space at Jump and throughout the OSF Healthcare System.

Completed projects could eventually find a home within the University of Illinois’ curriculum and disseminated to its various medical campuses. It’s this ongoing collaboration between OSF and U of I that makes Jump Simulation a one-of-a-kind facility.

A Champion for Medical Simulation

There’s a model in higher education used to describe different levels of assessment called Miller’s Pyramid. The idea is that educational objectives should go beyond recalling and understanding facts and basic concepts, giving learners the ability to apply knowledge; analyze and evaluate processes, procedures and principles; and eventually create new or original work.

Medical simulation fits in the higher levels of this pyramid because it allows physicians and nurses-in-training to take what they learned in the classroom and apply it in a realistic, but safe wprismay. To me, it’s an essential part of medical education. And even now as an emergency medicine physician at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, I strive to learn more about simulation to not only demonstrate its benefits but create new ways to utilize simulation to improve health care.

I recently joined Jump Simulation as part of a two-year fellowship where I will learn to be a health educator and how to make simulation a productive tool. It’s my future goal to understand how to make a unique environment such as Jump Sim work and apply that knowledge in rural areas that aren’t typically exposed to centers like these.

Finding My Path

My mother was a nurse, but getting into the health care industry was never a given for me. In fact, I initially resisted the field because I wanted to pave my own career path. A couple of mission service trips overseas opened my eyes to the importance of medicine. I was exposed to so many people who don’t have access to health care and were unable to live normal lives. I knew I had to go to medical school to change that.

voz-podolejWhat I learned in medical school is that the emergency room is a great place to master the art of taking care of very sick people. It’s a place where decisions matter and time is of the essence. Learning life-saving procedures at the bedside isn’t the best option. It was in the ER where I came to discover the benefits of training for medical emergencies in a simulated environment, so we don’t put patients at risk.

I gained much more experiential knowledge through various simulation cases than I ever did reading a textbook, doing homework or taking a test because those cases were so formative for me.  An internship with Dr. John “Voz” Vozenilek during his time with Northwestern University’s Simulation Center peaked my interest even future.

It was Voz who taught me that deliberate practice makes technically competent doctors. Working with him helped me understand how using simulation to repetitively do something until you get it right makes you comfortable and safe dealing with patients, leading to fewer complications and better health care delivery.

Gaining Simulation Expertise

As part of my Fellowship here at Jump, I am working with various departments to identify gaps in knowledge among medical students and residents. The goal is to create well-thought-out educational interventions that could include classroom or simulation work. I’m also learning to create and implement simulations and assess learners.Simulation-3

One case I’m partnering with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center nurses on is to produce simulations around new American Heart Association guidelines for maternal cardiac arrest. Sometimes a C-section is needed if a soon-to-be mother goes into cardiac arrest. We are generating scenarios that will train residents and nurses to work as a team as they deal with that situation. I’m also working to make simulation scenarios for pediatric and behavioral health cases.

As someone who’s gone through medical school and residency, I understand why teaching hospitals and universities around the world are pushing to make simulation a rite of passage for anyone entering the field. There’s certainly a place in education for classroom learning, but there’s nothing like actually performing medical procedures or dealing with critically ill patients in a realistic, safe environment. The ability to practice until you achieve your educational goals instills learner confidence.

That’s why I’m excited that my simulation fellowship is taking place at Jump. It’s a unique space, especially with its connection to OSF HealthCare and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.  I believe Jump Sim is poised to make a big difference in health care, and I can’t conceive of a better place to learn the trade than right here. I’m really fortunate to be a part of this experience, learn from leaders in the medical education field, and put my ideas into use.


Meet Sister Angelita: My Calling that Never Ceased

I was at least 10 years old when I realized leading a religious life was my true calling. Born as Joan Marie Van Hoey, I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan in a large family with seven siblings. I attended Our Lady Refuge, a Catholic school where Felician Franciscan Sisters taught the elementary grades. I was impressed with their teaching methods and moved by their faith in God.

sister-angelita-w-sueI was 14 years old when I told my father, a physician and surgeon, my intention to enter the convent. My young age prevented me from making that commitment, and my father advised me to wait and experience life before making that decision.

It was two years later that my father died of a massive coronary heart attack at 54. Being the oldest girl in the family, I stayed home for 8 years and helped raise my younger siblings. This allowed my mother to work and support the family, and get us through those difficult years.

It was my father’s words, “to experience life,” and God’s divine providence that led me down my certain path.

A Pilgrimage that Changed My Life

I left home at 24 and was accepted to what was then known as the Kendall School of Design in Grand Rapids to study interior design, but paying for both school and supporting myself became too much to bear. I left after one semester to work in the service industry for 20 years.

At the same time, I volunteered on the weekends in my parish as a certified catechist for handicapped children for 18 years. This program enabled young children to learn basic faith. However, they also taught me the beauty of transcending their limitations and working with the capabilities and competencies they had. They taught me how to respect the dignity of their personhood. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this experience was the Lord preparing me for the future.

In 1992, a friend invited me to join an eight-day parish pilgrimage to Medjugorje (then part of Yugoslavia), where six children reportedly saw apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I had this desire to join the religious community, but honoring my father’s words of experiencing all that life had to offer was also of great importance to me. So, I accepted the invitation. It was during this trip I met with one of the six visionaries who saw the Virgin Mary. She prayed over each of us in the group.

Pondering the trip on the way home and what we had done, something in my heart stirred deeply. I realized it was time. I always had the religious vocation. The problem was timing. I was too young at first. But then there was also no guarantee the convent would accept a candidate at 48 years old.

After accomplishing all of my goals in the secular world, Jesus was asking me to, “Let Go.” I was straddling two different worlds: secular and religious life. It’s a very sharp contrast. However, I often said these words to myself, “Lord, with your grace and Your trust, You will guide accordingly.” I realized that my religious vocation had been confirmed and the next step was to search for a spiritual director.

Journey of Faith

I found a spiritual director and set off to go through a three-year discernment process, a necessity to find my religious vocation. This journey of discovery is where you determine what the Lord is calling you to do through prayer, meditation, and receiving the sacraments frequently. For me, that meant confirming I was indeed being asked to serve God through a religious vocation. I continued to pursue this by visiting different religious communities around the region in search of an order that spends a lot of time serving the community. I found that in Peoria with the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.

The completion of my discernment process led to a letter of acceptance from the vocational director of the formation program. I was approved to enter the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Peoria on Feb 2, 1995, and begin a seven and a half year journey of faith into the different steps of religious life. I took the Evangelical Vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. My vocation is continually being renewed in the commitment of service to living the Franciscan spirituality.

Volunteering in Our Healthcare Apostolate

Serving my community has always been of utmost importance to me. As part of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, our primary apostolate is healthcare—meaning my fellow sisters and I work within OSF HealthCare to help care for the sick and poor. My first mission was to serve in the Pastoral Care Ministry at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington, serving both the medical-surgical floor and patients on dialysis. I also completed two years of Clinical Pastoral Education, learning how to better serve in the apostolate.

I was then transferred to an ambulatory care clinic in Pontiac to help patients with physical, emotional, mental, and financial needs. It was Sister Judith Ann who appointed me to this role because she saw a need in having a sister’s presence within the medical group. I was able to incorporate my Clinical Pastoral Care education into the medical group office with staff, families, and patients. If one of the physicians had given patients difficult news, I was called in to be with the patient and pray with them. I also did a multitude of front office assistant duties and traveled to different clinics in the region. It helped to teach and exemplify by example, not so much by words, but by the example of the OSF Mission.

From there, I went to OSF St. Mary Medical Center in Galesburg to work in outpatient services. Then after 7 years, it was time for me to return to Peoria. It was then that I was encouraged to fill a need at Jump.

The experiences I’ve gained throughout the Ministry are invaluable as I serve as a receptionist at Jump. I can take all the lessons I‘ve learned from the Pastoral Care Ministry and apply them to the education, research, and innovation taking place that could lead to new and better ways to help the sick and poor.

I’m energized by the people here, the spirit, and the fact that members of the staff all work together. It’s an exciting adventure, and with the upcoming opening of the 3rd and 4th floor, it opens up a whole new world of creativity in medicine. I imagine this is what my father was thinking of when he told me I should experience all that life has to offer.