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Simulation Program

  

The Simulation for Pediatric Assessment, Resuscitation and Communication (SPARC) Program exists to educate pediatric clinicians in crisis teamwork skills, procedural skills, pediatric physiology and the delivery of difficult news to patients and families. Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and pharmacists participate in these sessions.

Sessions are conducted in multiple locations around the hospital, including the Emergency Department, OR/Recovery, “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center, and all pediatric floors.  A typical session starts with an introduction to the skills that will be needed for that particular situation. Critical events are simulated using one of two high-fidelity patient simulators. After each simulation, participants are debriefed by program faculty and given time to observe their performance via video recording. During this time they reflect on their actions and discuss development strategies to address any issues.

Family interactions are portrayed using standardized patients as part of the Program for the Approach to Complex Encounters (PACE), the communication skills arm of the SPARC Program. Here, clinicians learn important techniques for dealing with the delivery of difficult news to patients and their families. Video-assisted debriefing allows participants to deconstruct and reflect on their experiences, teaching them how to approach such conversations more effectively in the future.

Other SPARC activities include the provision of procedural training to pediatric residents and nurses, and ongoing educational outreach to local and regional emergency departments.   The SPARC Program was one of two recipients of the 2011 Paul Weber Awards for Departmental Excellence in Teaching, and has also received awards for innovative simulation research.  The SPARC Program participates in the INSPIRE Pediatric Simulation Research Collaborative.

Those interested in learning more about the program can contact Aaron Calhoun, M.D., at (502) 852-3720 or by e-mail (aaron.calhoun@louisville.edu). The simulation program is funded by the Children's Hospital Foundation and has received grants from the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics, the WHAS Crusade for Children, and the Kentucky Hospital Association. 

Click here to see an example of pediatric medical simulation in action and to hear more about SPARC from the program director.

January 2015 Program Faculty

Senior Advisors
Kimberly Boland, M.D.
Vicki Montgomery, M.D. 

Director
Aaron Calhoun, M.D.

Nursing Director
Megan Boone, R.N., MSN, CCRN

Assistant Director
Megan Laniewicz, M.D.

Associate Director of Outreach Education
Melissa Porter, M.D. 

Associate Director of Communication Skills Education
Eleanor Peterson, M.D.

Associate Director of Neonatal Education
Lori Devlin-Phinney, D.O.

Associate Director of Procedural Education
Keith Cross, M.D. 

SPARC Unit-based Educational Teams

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educators
    Aaron Calhoun, M.D.*
    Melissa Porter, M.D.
     
  • Nurse Simulation Educators
    Megan Boone, R.N., MSN, CCRN*
    Jennifer Miller, R.N., MSN, CCRN

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educators
    Lori Devlin-Phinney, D.O.*
     
  • Nurse Simulation Educators
    Jodi Behr, MSN
    Leanna Magner, R.N., BSN
    Gerri Young, R.N., BSN, CPN* 

Emergency Department Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educators
    Amy Hanson, M.D.*
    Frederick Warkentine, M.D.
    Megan Laniewicz, M.D.
  • Nurse Simulation Educator
    Shannon Hogan, APRN, CPNP*

4W/7E Inpatient Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educator
    Rishi Laroia, M.D.*
     
  • Nurse Simulation Educator
    Barbara Furey, R.N.*

Fifth Floor Inpatient Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educator
    Rishi Laroia, M.D.*
     
  • Nurse Simulation Educator
    Ann Truman, R.N., MSN, CPN* 

Surgical Services (OR,OPS,PACU,Sedation) Educational Team 

  • Nurse Simulation Educators
    Stephanie Nunn, R.N., BSN, CNOR*
    Mauria Rowan, R.N.
    Brittany Spurrier, R.N. 

Program for the Approach to Complex Encounters (PACE) Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educators
    Aaron Calhoun, M.D. 
    Eleanor Peterson, M.D.*
    Olivia Mittel, M.D.
    Melissa Porter, M.D.

Simulation Outreach Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educators
    Melissa Porter, M.D.*
    Aaron Calhoun, M.D.
    Karen Orman, M.D.
     
  • Transport Clinician Educator
    Pennie Maus-Granholm, R.N., MSN*

Hematology/Oncology Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educator
    Karen McGowan, M.D. *
     
  • Nurse Simulation Educators
    R. Maureen Gray, R.N.
    Susan Yancey, R.N.

Outpatient Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educators
    Amber Pendleton, M.D.*
     
  • Nurse Simulation Educator
    Audra Rankin, DNP, APRN, CPNP*

Procedural Training Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educators
    Keith Cross, M.D.*
    Tracey Wagner, M.D.

ECMO Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educators
    Teka Siebenaler, RRT*
    John Hardin, RRT

*Denotes Team Leaders