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Tara Lemoine, DO, FAAP
Executive Director
Tara Lemoine Headshot

Tara J. Lemoine is dual board certified in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. She earned her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the University of North Texas Health Science Center. In 2018, she completed an additional fellowship in Simulation Medicine through the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada and KidSIM.

Prior to joining the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation, she served as the Medical Director of Interprofessional Simulation at Valley Children’s Hospital in Central California where she helped build one of the first fully accredited simulation programs between San Francisco and Los Angeles. During her 10 years in California, she cared for trauma, medical and surgical patients as an attending physician in a tertiary level Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Additionally, she held clinical faculty appointments with the University of San Francisco and Stanford University and also served as a faculty member within the Graduate Medical Education department at Valley Children’s Hospital. External to the Intensive Care Unit, Tara held the position of Medical Director for Respiratory Care where she served in a leadership role for the respiratory care team and department.

For the past two years prior to joining UTHSC, Tara held the position of Vice Chair of the Central Valley Simulation Alliance in Central California. Her experience in simulation medicine spans more than 15 years, and she has been a long-standing member of the Society for Simulation in Health Care, International Pediatric Simulation Society, and the California Simulation Alliance as well.

Tara’s simulation-based research and projects have been presented internationally through the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare IPSS as well as the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. She most recently completed a grant project focused on Diversity Equity and Inclusivity using simulation through the California Simulation Alliance that was presented internationally as well. Her most recent efforts include co-authoring two chapters for a Simulation in Nursing textbook and contributing to a publication on ECLS simulation.

Her primary simulation interest centers around Interprofessional Simulation across healthcare disciplines and patient safety focused communication.

Jamie Pitt, BA, MMHPE, CHSE
Director of Education

Jamie Pitt is the Director of Education for the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation at UTHSC. She is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator and received a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Lindenwood University and a Masters in Medical and Health Professions Education from Eastern Virginia Medical School. She has been a simulation educator since 2007. 

Before joining the UTHSC team in 2018 as the Assistant Director of Education, she spent over 10 years at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO as the Standardized Patient Program Manager. She has been involved for many years with both the Association of SP Educators and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, where she is part of several committees, and special interest groups. She is a co-author of a chapter on The Human Simulation Continuum Model, found in the textbook “Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation, Implementing Best Practices in Standardized Patient Methodology,” co-author of a chapter on Simulation Case Design in the textbook, "Defining Excellence in Simulation Programs" and a co-author of the chapter Professional Development Opportunities for Older Adult SPs in the textbook, "Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Geriatric Simulation Training." 

Ms. Pitt is an award-winning professional actor 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 educational improvisational performances and classes. Her 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 the Director of Education, she oversees the educational aspects of all healthcare simulation activities at CHIPS.

Jarrod Young, MBA, BSE, CHSOS-A, FSSH 
Director of Operations/Technology and Business Development
Jarrod Young Headshot

Mr. Young oversees the operations of all healthcare simulation activities and technology for the 45,000 square foot facility that collaborates with 6 colleges on University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) campus as well as external partners in the community. Mr. Young joined UTHSC in 2016 as the Simulation Operations Lead for the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS). Mr. Young received his bachelor’s in biomedical engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2012 and his master’s in business administration from the University of Tennessee-Martin in 2020. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety from UAB, a certification as a Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist- Advanced (CHSOS-A), as well as the Technical Apprenticeship in Healthcare Simulation offered by the Center for Medical Simulation in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

In his role at CHIPS, Mr. Young ensures operational efficiency to meet the accreditation demands and required outcomes of the multiple stakeholders. With a strong focus on process management, operational efficiency, and quality improvement methodologies, Mr. Young organizes the day-to-day operations of CHIPS. This includes support and guidance of the individuals that make up the logistical and operational team.

Prior to his time at CHIPS, Jarrod served as a Clinical Simulation Specialist 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. Before entering the field of healthcare simulation, Jarrod worked as a rehabilitation engineer where he specialized in rehabilitation assistive technologies, including ergonomic considerations, product design, and product modifications. 

In addition to his responsibilities at CHIPS, Mr. Young volunteers in many different roles and committees within the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). In 2023, he was recognized as a Fellow of the SSH Academy for his growing impact in the field of healthcare simulation. He is currently a volunteer Accreditation Site Reviewer for SSH and the Chair-Elect for the SSH Accreditation Council. He is also a current member of the SSH Governance Committee and the SSH Board of Directors. Mr. Young also served as a Planning Team Member for the SimOps 2021 conference in Tampa, FL, and the 2023 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) in Orlando, FL.

Sophia Mosher, MPA, CHSE
Simulation Educationalist
Sophia Mosher

Sophia Mosher is the Simulation Educationalist for the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation. She first joined the CHIPS team in November 2019 as the Simulation Logistician where she was responsible for the project management of all events occurring in CHIPS. Previously, she worked in the Office of Equity and Diversity, coordinating the office’s strategic programs. Earlier in her career, she worked as an English, Theater, and Speech teacher in Arkansas. 

As Simulation Educationalist, Sophia collaborates with faculty facilitators to develop and implement excellent simulation scenarios, overseeing both manikin and procedural simulation in CHIPS. Sophia’s background in project management and education informs her approach to supporting faculty through the full life cycle of their simulation-based educational events. She is active in the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and the Association for SP Educators. 

Sophia is originally from northern Michigan and is an alumna of Michigan State University’s James Madison College, where she received a BA in Comparative Cultures and Politics. She earned her Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificate in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Memphis in 2017. 

Tim Dotson, BA
Standardized/Simulated Patient Educator
Tim Dotson Headshot

Tim Dotson’s first involvement in simulation-based training at UTHSC was as a standardized patient in the Kaplan Clinical Skills Center in 2014. Mr. Dotson joined the CHIPS team in May 2019 as a Standardized/Simulated Patient (SP) Trainer. A native Memphian, he brings a unique sensibility to his educational practice, drawing on his creative background as a poet, actor, and playwright, as well as his work providing urban and low-income youth access to the arts and valuable mentorship. He is known for continuous efforts to create inclusive, safe, immersive, and realistic learning experiences for UTHSC and the surrounding community.  In September 2020, he co-founded the Health Justice Collective on UTHSC campus composed of staff, faculty, and students to start a dialogue and create action steps to reduce gaps in access, resources, and knowledge of healthcare.  

In May 2022, in collaboration with his CHIPS team, Dotson was the recipient of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mini-Grant from the office of Inclusion, Equity and Diversity to organize a town hall gathering at UTHSC. The theme was “The Power of We: A Community Conversation on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Simulation Education.” Dotson was also responsible for creating a short documentary titled "Putting Our CHIPS on the Table.” 

As a member of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) and the Association for SP Educators (ASPE), Mr. Dotson has been a presenter at the international conferences held for both organizations. In June 2023 he was nominated by ASPE for the “Emerging Leader Award.” This award recognizes simulation educators who have made significant contributions to the field.  

Tim has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Tennessee State University. Mr. Dotson looks forward to serving CHIPS clients, taking advantage of his creativity, and broadening his knowledge in the world of healthcare simulation.  

Amy Rush, MA
Standardized/Simulated Patient Educator
amy rush

Amy Rush brings years of experience in theater and improvisational comedy, workshop leading, university-level teaching and simulation work to her role as a Standardized/Simulated Patient Educator at UTHSC. She earned a BS in journalism from The University of Kansas, an MA in dramatic arts from University of Connecticut and completed a graduate-level certificate program at Portfolio Center in Atlanta, where she studied graphic design. She performed regularly at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, in many venues while living in New York and she participated in English language theater and improv comedy when she recently lived in Prague, Czech Republic. Amy is very active in the Memphis theater community, having won an Ostrander Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2022. She is an active board member of New Moon and LoneTree Live theater companies. Emory University’s SP program is where Amy got her start in medical simulation, and she has worked many years as a forensic actor in child abuse forensic interviewing protocol training sessions for the state of Georgia. 

Amy started working on the CHIPS team in the fall of 2020. Since that time, she has been an active member of the Association for SP Educators (ASPE) and Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) and has presented at both organizations’ international conferences. She is an active member of the ASPE Communication committee and the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice committee. Internally, Amy is happy to assist with the CHIPS social media team and help onboard new SPs as an HR Liaison. 

Nick Brauer, BS, CHSOS
Senior Simulation Specialist
Nick Brauer

Mr. Nick Brauer is an accomplished professional with a rich background in the field of healthcare and education. Nick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Memphis, and his journey at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) has been nothing short of remarkable.

With his career spanning over two decades, Nick started his tenure at UTHSC in the year 2000. He initially served as a Senior Research Coordinator and Simulation Coordinator for Graduate Medical Education, showcasing his dedication to advancing medical training and education. In 2011, he made a transition to Interprofessional Education in Clinical Simulation (IPECS) later to become CHIPS, where his expertise truly blossomed.

Today, Nick stands as the Senior Operations Specialist, playing a pivotal role in orchestrating the operations of the comprehensive simulation program at UTHSC. This program serves the diverse needs of various professional programs, and Nick is at the forefront of its evolution. He collaborates closely with faculty and staff, particularly on the Memphis campus, to procure and implement a wide array of cutting-edge simulation technologies. This contribution enriches the training of students, residents, and healthcare professionals, making a lasting impact on the quality of healthcare education.

Outside of his work at UTHSC, Nick's dedication to the healthcare simulation community is unwavering. He sits on the board of directors at The Gathering of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists – SimGHOSTS, where his leadership has seen him take on roles such as vice president, community content director, and mentor / mentee program chair. In 2023, he also joined the Academy Archive as faculty for the operations section, solidifying his status as a respected authority in the field.

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

James Orr returned to UTHSC and joined CHIPS as a Simulation Specialist in 2016. He brings 39 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.

Prior experience includes service with UTHSC in the UT Bowld Hospital ER along with 18 years of ER experience. James is retired from the Memphis Fire Dept. after 25 years of service to the citizens of Memphis, TN. His experience also includes eight 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.

Katie Porcaro, BA, CHSOS
Simulation Specialist
katelyn porcaro

Katie Porcaro started with CHIPS in September of 2020. Having spent her whole life in Memphis, she graduated from Christian Brothers University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. Her education centered around both qualitative and quantitative statistics and the implementation of data in research. Katie served as the Psychology Laboratory Manager during her studies, where she supervised correlational and experimental research being conducted in the lab. She also had the opportunity to partner with faculty on various research experiments, which allowed her to gain knowledge of psychophysiological measures through hands-on experience.

After graduation, Katie spent the next five years climbing the corporate ladder in retail management at H&M. She had worked her way from entry level to store manager during her time with H&M, gaining extensive people management and organizational skills along the way. Her education and work experience positioned her for a successful career in healthcare simulation. In her time serving as a Simulation Operations Specialist, she has volunteered her time to advocate for the field through SSH, educated other Simulation Operations Specialists at conferences and webinars, and achieved certification in her role. Katie is currently working to achieve a master’s in business administration through the University of Tennessee at Martin.

William C. Tolbert III, BS
Simulation Specialist
William Tolbert Headshot

William Tolbert joined the CHIPS team in August 2022 as a Simulation Technologist. William comes from North Carolina where he graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a BS in electronic and computer information technology. Since then, William has worked in machine maintenance and technology in several different fields including industrial automated maintenance technology and telecommunications technology. His education, diverse experiences in machine maintenance, technology, and customer service, all enabled William to bring an innovative perspective to his role as a Simulation Specialist. 

As a Simulation Specialist at CHIPS, William has honed his expertise in creating lifelike scenarios that provide immersive training experiences for healthcare professionals. He effectively utilizes state-of-the-art simulation technology to facilitate realistic simulations and enhance learning outcomes. His meticulous attention to detail ensures that each simulation is accurately designed and executed. Using a collaborative approach, William has made significant contributions to the advancement of simulation training in healthcare. 

Jerdara R. Rudd, MEd
Simulation Technologist
Jerdara Rudd headshot

Jerdara R. Rudd currently serves as a Simulation Technologist for the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation at UTHSC. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a minor in Legal Studies and a Master of Education in Learning Systems Technology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Jerdara began her career at UTHSC through the University of Tennessee Foundation in November 2021 and transitioned to CHIPS in January 2023. Prior to her career with UTHSC, she worked for an Arkansas enforcement agency for 16 years as a caseworker, serving the last 3 years as a statewide Training Instructor for the agency. In that role, Jerdara helped develop, test, and implement new database procedures. She was also responsible for training the agency’s staff on those procedures. Wanting to expand upon her educational technology experience, Jerdara took an opportunity to join UTHSC.

As a Simulation Technologist, Jerdara supports faculty, staff, and students by providing technological support and by preparing and setting spaces for procedural skills practice. She also assists with standardized patient simulations. She is a member of the Society for Simulation Healthcare and attended the SimOPs 2023 conference in Providence, Rhode Island where she gained valuable experience and knowledge about simulation that will help her grown in her role. 

Harold Weaver, MS
Simulation Technologist
Harold Weaver

Harold Weaver joined the CHIPS team in August 2019. He came to CHIPS after an extensive career in the academic realm beginning at the University of Memphis in 1989 and continuing throughout the next three decades at various non-profit and for-profit colleges with a few stints in corporate training along the way. He holds a BS in Engineering Technology and an MS in Technical Education from the University of Memphis. In his free time, he volunteers his technical support and media skills in the Memphis theater community and his local church. 

Xavier Agee, MS
Simulation Logistician
Xavier Agee Headshot

Xavier L. Agee joined the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Simulation Program in the summer of 2018, as a Simulation Specialist. 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.

After a stint in Information Technology Services as a Distance Learning Coordinator, Mr. Agee rejoined CHIPS in October of 2022 as a Simulation Logistician. He looks forward to using his analytical and customer service skills to help provide quality simulation experiences in his new role.

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.

Carmen Kelley, JD, MSEd
Simulation Logistician
Carment Kelley headshot

Carmen Kelley serves as Simulation Logistician for the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS) at UTHSC. She earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Memphis and both Bachelor and Master of Science in education degrees from Baylor University. Carmen first began working with CHIPS in February 2019, where she worked as a Standardized Patient, Teaching Assistant and Proctor for a variety of simulated events working alongside faculty and learners from the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry and Pharmacy.

Carmen began her career as an attorney in Washington, DC, practicing complex civil and employment litigation, as well as both white collar criminal and professional liability investigation and defense. She served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia prosecuting cases and arguing appeals in both local and federal courts. After returning to private practice, Carmen served as her firm's Associate Development Partner responsible for training and coordinating workloads for new and developing attorneys in her firm's four offices. In that role, she planned and implemented simulated training opportunities for attorneys to practice interviewing, deposition, persuasion, and trial skills. She also enjoyed coaching professionals in simulated litigation and trial scenarios with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

Ultimately, Carmen returned to her hometown of Memphis and chose a profession that allowed her to give back to her community. She completed her teacher certification program as a Memphis Teaching Fellow and taught for Memphis/Shelby County Schools. She has since continued her commitment to education in a wide array of settings, including the Memphis homeschool community as well as here at CHIPS.

In her role as Simulation Logistician, Carmen manages CHIPS educational events across their life cycles. She not only works collaboratively to plan and implement events, she also works with event implementation teams to gather and analyze data in order to assess simulated experiences and develop the means to ensure improved outcomes. She joins her team members annually to provide simulated experiences during UTHSC’s campus wide IPE Day and will collaborate with colleagues to present a workshop at the 2024 IMSH Conference.

Jean Perdicaris, MPS, CAP-OM
CHIPS Administrator
Jean Headshot

Jean Perdicaris has been with UTHSC since fall 2016 and started her position as CHIPS administrator fall 2022. Her responsibilities include providing advanced level administrative direction, ensuring that program efforts are cohesive and effective as well as preparing regular financial reports to confirm internal and external stakeholders are well informed.

Jean graduated with a bachelor's degree in music education. She completed a certification in strategic leadership December 2021 and obtained a master’s degree in professional studies with a focus on strategic leadership May 2023. She is also CAP – OM certified (certified administrative professional with concentration on organizational management). Jean has spent years as a music professional, still directing multiple youth and adult choirs as well as performing in various vocal ensembles in the greater Memphis area. She is also board president of a local non-profit choral organization based in northern MS and counts all the above as her life’s calling. Jean grew up in Europe, Oklahoma, and Texas and is delighted to now call northern Mississippi home. 


Dec 18, 2023