Senator-elect Jana Hughes tours UNMC

Jana Hughes tours UNMC's iEXCEL program with Benjamin Stobbe, assistant vice chancellor for clinical simulation with iEXCEL.

Jana Hughes tours UNMC's iEXCEL program with Benjamin Stobbe, assistant vice chancellor for clinical simulation with iEXCEL.

Jana Hughes, now a state senator-elect for the Nebraska Legislature, smiled when she put on a pair of 3D glasses in the laser cave at iEXCEL.

“This is nuts,” she said.

Hughes toured UNMC on Oct. 20 while a candidate seeking to represent District 24 covering Seward, York and parts of Polk and Butler counties.

Hughes met with several UNMC leaders, including Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, Heath Mello, NU vice president for external relations and Mark Bowen, UNMC director of governmental relations.

Her visit included a meeting at the Wigton Heritage Center, where she heard an update from Nikki Carritt, director of Rural Health Initiatives, on UNMC’s work in central and western Nebraska. She also toured the Davis Global Center’s iEXCEL program, which she said was above and beyond anything she could imagine.

“This really cements how important UNMC is to our state,” she said. “Nebraska has 1.9 million people in it, and look at what we’re doing.”

She said she was impressed by technology such as the iEXCEL helix and the 3D immersive labs, and by the students she observed participating in a clinical simulation.

“I’m blown away,” she said. “You don’t think something like this exists until you see it.”

Hughes said she enjoyed seeing the work that UNMC is doing to benefit the state as a whole.

Asked for a message to the UNMC community, she said: “Keep fighting the good fight. Nebraska is all about its people. Anything we can do to help our people is valuable. UNMC is a big part of that.”

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