Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Simulation in Motion-Iowa (SIM-IA) program held an official launch and ribbon cutting at the Capitol in Des Moines on June 21. The first of three custom-built mobile simulation units, which will be housed in Swisher, Iowa and serve the eastern third of the state, was unveiled at the event.

“SIM-IA is like nothing the state has ever seen,” College of Nursing Dean Julie Zerwic told attendees. “Three custom-built mobile simulation units will soon be traversing the rural roads of Iowa, bringing high-quality, real-world clinical simulation education to healthcare providers. Whether the providers are in Adams County or the town of Zearing, SIM-IA allows us to bring this education to their doorstep.”

University of Iowa Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Kregel reminded the audience of the UI’s commitment to community engagement and leveraging its resources to serve the people of Iowa and beyond.

“Meaningful engagement starts with effective communication,” Provost Kregel said. “And that is one among many reasons we’re so proud of the SIM-Iowa project. It began with the College of Nursing reaching out to communities and personnel across the state to learn where they had the greatest need, and it will be built on that foundation, with each SIM visit tailored to the needs of those attending.”

The program is funded for the first three years by an $8 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The Trust’s Rural Healthcare program has granted more than $500 million to partners across the upper midwest, and Iowa is the fifth state in which they have launched a Simulation in Motion program.  

“Simulation in Motion works,” said Trustee Walter Panzirer, who attended the launch. “The team at the University of Iowa has incredible passion and expertise, and Helmsley was excited to award [the grant to] make Simulation in Motion a reality in Iowa.”

The western-most simulation unit will be housed at Sioux City Fire and Rescue (SCFR) in Sioux City, IA. SCFR EMS Training Officer Terry Ragaller made the nearly three hour trip to Des Moines for the celebration and shared his excitement about the program with RadioIowa. "If you don’t have the training, then you aren’t going to have good results. And a lot of the small rural agencies - they don’t even have training officers up to the speed where they should be," Ragaller said. "[This program is] going to up the game for the training. They’re gonna see mannequins and equipment they’ve never seen before. This is a huge game changer.” 

Event News Coverage

SIM-IA EMS education trucks roll out, University of Iowa

University of Iowa reveals mobile simulation units, ABC5

Three mobile medical simulation training trucks to cover state, RadioIowa

University of Iowa Debuts Simulation in Motion Program, CBS2