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Simulation Program

  

The Simulation for Pediatric Assessment, Resuscitation and Communication (SPARC) Program exists to educate multidisciplinary groups of pediatric clinicians in crisis teamwork skills, 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 and the “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center. 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.

The Simulation for Pediatric Assessment, Resuscitation and Communication (SPARC) Program continues to increase in size and scope. Kosair Children’s Hospital will soon be using the SPARC Program to provide educational outreach to local and regional emergency departments in order to improve the care of critically ill children and to enhance the delivery of education to families of medically fragile children.

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.

In 2011 the SPARC program was one of two recipients of the Paul Weber Awards for Departmental Excellence in Teaching. This award is given annually by the University of Louisville to educational programs demonstrating exemplary curricular achievement, teaching, collaboration, and research.

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

January 2012 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

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.

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
    Becky Volz, R.N., CPN 

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educators
    Lori Devlin-Phinney, D.O.
    Lia Gravari, M.D.
    Derrick Rollo, D.O.
    Rodica Turcu, M.D.
     
  • Nurse Simulation Educators
    Jodi Behr, MSN
    Leanna Magner, R.N., BSN
    April Sargent, R.N., BSN
    Gerri Young, R.N., BSN, CPN 

Emergency Department Educational Team

  • Physician Simulation Educators
    Frederick Warkentine, M.D.
    Megan Laniewics, M.D.
     
  • Nurse Simulation Educator
    Gregory Roution, R.N., MSN 

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

  • Physician Simulation Educator
    Julie McWhorter, M.D.
     
  • Nurse Simulation Educator
    Stephanie Nunn, R.N., BSN, CNOR 

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 Educators
    Pennie Maus-Granholm, R.N., MSN
    Lesli Carter, R.N.