SIM-NE hosts training on coronavirus for rural hospitals

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC public relations | April 10, 2020

Image with caption: From left, Eric Ernest, M.D., Shelly Schwedhelm and Doug Dekker participate in the Facebook Live training event.

From left, Eric Ernest, M.D., Shelly Schwedhelm and Doug Dekker participate in the Facebook Live training event.

The UNMC Simulation in Motion-Nebraska program recently provided free virtual training on the coronavirus to rural regional and critical access hospitals (CAH).

More than 350 providers from critical access hospitals registered for the Facebook Live event, which focused on how to protect health care providers and others when treating patients who may have coronavirus.

The virtual session included a panel discussion, questions and answers with UNMC and Nebraska Medicine experts, as well as a training video on the proper donning and doffing of personal protective equipment worn while caring for a suspected or diagnosed COVID-19 patient, said Doug Dekker, program manager of SIM-NE.

Panelists included Eric Ernest, M.D., UNMC/Nebraska Medicine emergency department physician and medical director of Nebraska's emergency medical services board, and Shelly Schwedhelm, executive director of emergency management and biopreparedness for Nebraska Medicine and director of the Global Center for Health Security at the medical center.

The training video was created by the UNMC iEXCEL visualization team in cooperation with the Training, Simulation and Quarantine Center at UNMC.

SIM-NE is a mobile training system that provides free statewide training, normally with four, 44-foot-long, customized trucks for rural EMS providers and health professionals in hospitals. The virtual training session was provided because the space within the mobile units does not allow for social distancing.

SIM-NE is working on plans for additional training. More information can be found on the SIM-NE website and Facebook.

Since the program's launch in 2017, SIM-NE mobile units have provided more than 20,000 hours of simulation training for more than 7,200 emergency medical providers in 87 of 93 Nebraska counties.

SIM-NE was initially funded with a $5.5 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Current sources of funding come from private funds raised in partnership with the University of Nebraska Foundation and carryover funds through a no-cost extension from The Helmsley Charitable Trust and training partnerships. SIM-NE continues to develop a long-term sustainability plan to ensure free, accessible training throughout the state to rural EMS providers and critical access hospitals.


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Jackie Ostronic
April 10, 2020 at 7:12 AM

Great work SIM-NE!