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UTHSC Simulation Program

The Simulation Program is committed to fostering education, research and professional development with a focus on enhanced clinical skills and patient safety through the use of simulation. The Program is supported by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), in conjunction with a generous grant awarded by the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation. Some activities are also supported by a grant from the Assisi Foundation.

The Simulation Program supports and facilitates the integration or expansion of clinical simulation (encompassing the use of standardized patients/family members/colleagues, task trainers, high fidelity human patient simulators, or virtual reality simulations) into professional degree programs and residency training programs across the UTHSC. One major focus is the development and implementation of interprofessional learning opportunities with the expressed purpose of bringing together learners from two or more health professions to learn from, with, and about each other, building healthcare teams that work more effectively and improve patient outcomes.

Meet Our Staff

 

Chad Epps, MD
Executive Director of Healthcare Simulation
Chad Epps

Chad Epps, MD trained in Anesthesiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and completed a fellowship in Human Patient Simulation at Mount Sinai's Human Emulation Education and Evaluation Lab for Patient Safety and Professionalism. He joined UTHSC in 2016 as the Executive Director of Healthcare Simulation. As a fellow, faculty, and director of simulation he has been active in simulation education, research, assessment, and center management since 2004. He has successfully implemented high quality interprofessional simulations across both Universities and Health Systems. Dr. Epps is the President of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and in the past served as Chair of the Council on Accreditation of Healthcare Simulation Programs. He is published in the areas of simulation-based interprofessional education and co-edited the recently released textbook Defining Excellence in Simulation Programs (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014).

Teresa Britt, M.S.N., R.N.
Director, Interprofessional Education and Clinical Simulation
Teresa Britt

Ms. Teresa Britt, M.S.N., R.N., is the Director of Interprofessional Education and Clinical Simulation (IPECS) for the UTHSC. Ms. Britt oversees the daily operations and functions of the IPECS Center (located in 920 Madison on the 5th, 6th and 7th floors) and facilitates the integration of interprofessional opportunities and clinical simulation into the programs offered across the UTHSC. Ms. Britt has been a nurse since 1977, in nursing education since 1982, and specifically in clinical simulation development since 1992. Previously she served as the Director of Nursing Simulation for the UTHSC College of Nursing.

In this new position, Ms. Britt will be overseeing the development and implementation of clinical simulations, using both standardized patients and a range of simulation technologies, designed to support education of professional students at UTHSC. Ms. Britt will be working with faculty and staff across the professional programs to support curriculum development and coordinate faculty development in both interprofessional education and clinical simulation.

Jarrod Young, BSBME
Simulation Operations Lead
Jarrod Young

Jarrod Young joined the UTHSC Simulation Program in 2016 as the Simulation Operations Lead. Mr. Young received his Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and has experience in laboratory, educational, and clinical settings. As a former rehabilitation engineer, Jarrod worked with rehabilitation assistive technologies, including ergonomic considerations, product design, and product modifications.

Mr. Young entered into the field of healthcare simulation at UAB’s Office of Interprofessional Simulation (OIPS). During his time with OIPS, Jarrod was project lead on multiple OIPS strategic priorities, including product design projects with the School of Engineering, and was responsible for training and supervising simulation specialists, simulation technicians, and work study students in OIPS. Mr. Young also holds a Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety from UAB and has experience with quality improvement methodologies such as: Lean, Six Sigma, PDSA, and DMAIC. He has also completed the Technical Apprenticeship in Healthcare Simulation offered by the Center for Medical Simulation in Charlestown, Massachusetts. In his current role, Mr. Young manages all operations and activity in the UTHSC Simulation Program.

Xavier L. Agee, MS, CHSOS
Simulation Specialist
Xavier Agee

Xavier L. Agee, MS, CHSOS joined the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Simulation Program in the summer of 2018. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from the University of Southern Mississippi in May of 2012. He also received his Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology from the University of Southern Mississippi in December of 2017. Xavier has the honor of becoming the first person in the state of Mississippi to obtain the Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist certification.

Mr. Agee comes to the UTHSC from the University of Southern Mississippi College of Nursing where he held the position of Simulation and Instructional Technology Specialist for nearly six years. During his time at USM’s College of Nursing he was influential in the new nursing building’s construction in the area of A/V design in classrooms and simulation areas. He looks forward to broadening his knowledge in the world of healthcare simulation here at the UTHSC Simulation Program, and offering his talents to help provide quality simulation experiences.

Nick Brauer, BS
Simulation Specialist
Nick Brauer

Mr. Nick Brauer, BS, started his new position as the Assistant Director of Clinical Simulation on December 1, 2011. Mr. Brauer graduated with a biology degree from the University of Memphis and has been with the UTHSC since 2000 (serving initially as a senior research coordinator from 2000 through 2009). For the past two years he has serves as the Simulation Coordinator for Graduate Medical Education in the College of Medicine. Mr. Brauer has also served as an Emergency Services Officer for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office since 1999, where he supervises teams on emergency medical and trauma calls throughout the county.

As the Assistant Director of Clinical Simulation, Mr. Brauer will coordinate the operations of an emerging comprehensive simulation program at the UTHSC, serving the needs of its professional programs. He will work with faculty and staff across UTHSC, particularly on the Memphis campus, in securing and facilitating the use of a wide range of simulation technologies to enrich the training of students and residents.

James Orr, NRP, FP-C
Simulation Specialist
James Orr

James Orr, NRP, FP-C recently returned to UTHSC and joined the Simulation Center as a Simulation Specialist. He brings 33 years of prehospital EMS and aeromedical experience to the program. His background in EMS coupled with previous simulation experience provides valuable insight into the application of scenario based simulations.

Previously employed with UTHSC in the prior UT Bowld Hospital ER contributed to 18 years of prior ER experience. James recently retired from the Memphis Fire Dept. after 25 years of service to the citizens of Memphis, TN. His experience also includes 8 years in prehospital aeromedical service as a flight paramedic. The experience gained during his career is incorporated and accentuates the application of scenario based simulations in our program.

Jonathan Spagnoli, BS
Simulation Technologist
Jonathan Spagnoli

Jonathan Spagnoli, B.S., started his position as a simulation technologist in June of 2018. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Georgia and moved to Memphis shortly after his graduation to join the CHIPS team. As a part of his degree program, Jonathan had the opportunity to conduct research through the Department of Chemistry to help develop novel nanotechnology-based platforms for the treatment of brain and lung cancers. He is currently co-authored on a review paper discussing the current and upcoming uses of nanotechnology in the field of neuroscience. Through his extended research experience and coursework in Chemistry, Jonathan has had numerous encounters with various technologies. Additionally, his interest in medicine led him to have multiple experiences observing in both primary care and surgery settings. The skills gained from these experiences will help Jonathan implement the simulation center’s various technologies in clinical simulations across disciplines.

Natalie Ensminger, MA
Standardized Patient Training Manager
Natalie Ensminger

Natalie Ensminger has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Christian Brothers University and was the Executive Director of the Indie Memphis Film Festival. She uses her background in education and energy for working with creative people to help the Kaplan Clinical Skills Center prepare future healthcare providers by providing learning opportunities with realistic patients.

Jamie Pitt, B.A., MMHPE
Assistant Director of Education for Standardized/Simulated Patients
Pitt

Jamie received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO and will receive a Masters in Medical & Health Professions Education in 2019 from Eastern Virginia Medical School. Ms. Pitt is an award-winning professional actor, and improviser with national tours for Missoula Children’s Theatre and Metro Theatre Company. She is a founding cast member of Paper Slip Theatre Company specializing in improvisational performances, workshops and classes for all ages. Before joining the UTHSC team in 2018, she spent over 10 years at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO as the Standardized Patient Program Manager. Her recent research focuses on identifying the key behaviors that drive team performance as well as patient and team satisfaction across different health disciplines, to provide individualized coaching that improves the performance of healthcare teams. In her role as Assistant Director of Education for Standardized/Simulated Patients, she oversees all aspects of the Standardized Patient program and educational activities utilizing this methodology for UTHSC.

Venus L. Claxton, M.P.A.
Program Administrator
Venus Claxton

Ms. Venus L. Claxton, M.P.A., started her new position as the Program Administrator for Interprofessional Education and Clinical Simulation in March 2012. Her responsibilities include overseeing budgets, managing the day-to-day operations of the office and emerging simulation center, and preparing regular financial reports to ensure key stakeholders are aware of the progress made. She graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Masters’ Degree in Public Administration.

Last Published: Aug 31, 2018