High-tech UNMC facility generates benefits to state

Dr. Edwin G. & Dorothy Balbach Davis Global Center lit up in blue on April 2, 2021, to celebrate World Autism Day.

Dr. Edwin G. & Dorothy Balbach Davis Global Center lit up in blue on April 2, 2021, to celebrate World Autism Day.

Since opening in 2020, the Dr. Edwin G. & Dorothy Balbach Davis Global Center — and the work within UNMC’s high-tech simulation facility — has been an economic game-changer for the state of Nebraska.

According to a new independent analysis, the center generated a total $217.7 million economic impact on the state during its construction, and its operations and activities provided tens of millions of dollars annually in additional impact since its opening.

Those activities are driven by UNMC’s iEXCEL (Interprofessional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning) program. iEXCEL uses a range of simulation and visualization technology that allow health care professionals to learn and become proficient in caring for patients in a safe and simulated environment.

“We have seen firsthand the tremendous benefits this facility provides to our current and future health care professionals, as well as our military and industry partners,” said Pamela Boyers, PhD, associate vice chancellor for clinical simulation, iEXCEL. “This economic impact study further confirms how the financial support received from the state and philanthropic community has benefitted Nebraskans, while also accelerating the adoption of simulation in health care.

“We are very grateful to them for their investment and support of our vision to improve patient safety.”

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, agreed. “From elevating hands-on learning to robust new partnerships with military and industry leaders, iEXCEL has been a game changer for UNMC and the state of Nebraska. With UNMC’s expertise and innovation, we look forward to accelerating iEXCEL’s impact over the next decade and becoming the go-to for health care simulation and visualization technology resources.”

The report looked at data from the beginning of the facility’s design/construction through June 2022. Tripp Umbach, a national consultant with expertise in economic impact studies, prepared the report. Among its highlights:

  • The development and construction phase of the project generated $217.7 million, supported 1,638 total jobs and added $4 million in state and local tax revenue.
  • The center directly or indirectly impacts residents of Nebraska daily through clinical care services/activities and operational spending. Since opening in March 2020, more than 77,800 learners and visitors have engaged with iEXCEL.
  • Half of iEXCEL’s expected revenue in FY22 emanated from sources other than the state of Nebraska. The center has a long list of national and global companies – from the military and governmental agencies to medical and technology companies.
  • The total economic impact of iEXCEL on the Nebraska economy from operations, visitors and the commercial spin-off has grown by 61% over the past two years, from $13.3 million in FY2020 to $22.4 million in FY22.
  • Jobs supported in the Nebraska economy by iEXCEL has grown from 87 in FY20 to 150 in FY22. AVI-SPL, a global provider of technology solutions, credits the iEXCEL partnership for bringing the company to Nebraska, where it has established an office and grown to 24 employees.
  • IEXCEL has conducted more than 4,700 activities since opening in March 2020. Those activities include practicing skills using task trainers, training on how to respond to patient emergencies and engaging in team-based exercises that include the safe transfer of care.

“We’re proud of our iEXCEL staff and the faculty who have used the center to create innovative teaching experiences and for what they have accomplished together thus far. We are still realizing the unlimited potential with iEXCEL,” Dr. Boyers said. “Investments in iEXCEL and the Davis Global Center will continue to reap benefits as, together, we boost Nebraska’s image as a world leader in health professions training.”