Several rows of chairs faced a laser "cave" depicting the image of a typical doctor's clinic, complete with the model of a human skeleton dangling from a metal hook.
That's until Suzanne Houlden, the new legislative fiscal analyst for the state of Nebraska, donned 3D glasses and was immediately virtually transported inside that doctor's office, no longer facing rows of chairs but a door and hallway leading out into a lobby. Houlden takes over the role long held by Kathy Tenopir.
The more Houlden looked around the clinic space, the more she saw in the simulated environment -- one of many impressive technologies Houlden saw during her tour of the Davis Global Center at UNMC.
"The iEXCEL visualization and virtual reality technologies at the Davis Global Center are fascinating. I would imagine that the combination of technology, media, simulations and 3D models create a unique learning experience that allow for increased learning retention," Houlden said.
The more Houlden learned about the next level of health care education, training and research through the Interprofessional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning (iEXCEL) in the Davis Global Center, the more she said it made her want to be a student again.
The tour of the Davis Global Center was part of a day-long visit that Houlden made to UNMC, as part of her statewide visit to all four University of Nebraska campuses.
While at UNMC Houlden also visited the Wigton Heritage Center and McGoogan Health Sciences Library; toured the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and visited the new home of the Munroe-Meyer Institute.
"The layout of the Fred & Pamela Buffet Cancer Center is very patient-oriented, with all the services one would need close together and under one roof," she said. "The healing arts gardens and glass sculptures and paintings were awe-inspiring for me too. In fact, much of the entire medical center is like an art museum creating a great environment for patients and staff alike."
Houlden noted the importance of the relationship between UNMC and the state of Nebraska, saying that state funding not only pays salaries but also helps pay for renovation of outdated buildings that is critical for attracting students and faculty.
"UNMC also collaborates with other agencies and organizations in a way that multiplies the ways that Nebraskans can benefit," she said. "It's exciting to learn of the outreach that takes place to motivate rural students to go into medical fields and take those skills back to their communities."