2015 SIM Expo

Annual celebration of the healthcare simulation community a terrific success at 2015 SIM Expo

It was a full house at the 2015 SIM Expo – an annual celebration of the accomplishments, dedication, and contributions of the entire healthcare simulation community. On December 14 and 15, healthcare professionals from across the globe united to take part in interactive demonstrations and workshops, learn about the latest advancements in simulation technology, listen to inspiring keynote speakers, and share knowledge.

The 6th annual SIM Expo was held at the InterContinental Toronto Centre hotel, and welcomed guests from all healthcare professions across Canada and beyond. This year’s theme – Simulation & Integration – stimulated important discussions around the progressive, qualitative shift in many institutions across North America in integrating simulation into healthcare curricula.

Chatting with Platinum Sponsor Laerdal

“The annual SIM Expo is Canada’s premiere gathering of simulation enthusiasts. It is a true multidisciplinary conference, which hosts everyone from the healthcare simulation community – from a variety of professions – including clinicians, researchers, and educators. It is a unique, annual opportunity for great minds in healthcare simulation to unite, collaborate on current issues in simulation, share knowledge, and advance simulation,” says Susan Lenard, president and CEO, SIM-one. “The success of the 2015 SIM Expo shows that, five years into its inception, it is an unprecedented conference that captures the attention of the healthcare simulation community not only in Canada, but the rest of the world. SIM-one looks forward to maintaining the fantastic momentum of its annual expo in 2016 and beyond.

SIM-one thanks LaerdalGaumardGeorgian CollegePocket NurseMichener InstituteCAE Healthcare, and Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) for their generous sponsorship and support of the 2015 SIM Expo.

Kicking off with inspiring speeches from simulation experts

The 2015 SIM Expo kicked off with insightful presentations from two leaders in healthcare simulation. Opening day one was Dr. Teresa Gore, president of the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation & Learning (INACSL). Dr. Gore inspired the audience with a global perspective on best practices in simulation. One participant commented that her talk led to “great takeaways”.

Opening day two was Dr. Teodor Grantcharov, Canada Research Chair in simulation and surgical safety, professor at the University of Toronto, and creator of the surgical black box. Dr. Grantcharov led a captivating discussion around the clinical impact of modern simulation on enhancing performance and patient safety. Participants raved at Dr. Grantcharov’s keynote speech with feedback that included “amazing” and “excellent”.

“I was very pleased with the level of engagement from participants at the 2015 SIM Expo, from thoughtful questions for our keynote speakers, to active participation in the Communities of Practice Lunch and interactive demonstrations. The theme of Simulation & Integration resonated well with our guests, given this very important and timely topic in the simulation community today,” says Dr. Bruce Ballon, director of education, SIM-one.

“The 2015 SIM Expo offered an excellent opportunity for simulation experts from the U.S. and Canada to collaborate on the fundamentals and cutting edge of simulation training, and where this is going as a training methodology. Keynote presentations from President of INACSL, Dr. Teresa Gore, and surgical safety expert Dr. Teodor Grantcharov offered phenomenal learning opportunities for all guests. We’re grateful that we were given the opportunity to continue to expand our relationships with the simulation community in Canada at the 2015 SIM Expo.”

Joe Salem, Studiocode Group

“As a newbie in simulation, it was a relief to see the simulation community represented by diverse industries all within the healthcare realm. This was my first time at the SIM Expo and it did not disappoint! The knowledge and expert contacts gained were extremely valuable. The most important takeaway for me was in Dr. Gore’s talk, in which she underlined simulation as not being about the technology but the technique. Time well spent at the Expo!”

Tess Koerner, Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare

A world of simulation under one roof

A total of 28 exhibitors and sponsors took part in the annual healthcare simulation conference, displaying their fantastic range of products and services. Participants were not shy to ask questions, spend time watching demonstrations, and to speak with exhibitors. This year, SIM-one also welcomed two not-for-profit organizations – Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) and Drexel University – who informed guests of the various learning opportunities in healthcare and simulation.

At the end of the event, two lucky guests took home a fabulous prize. This included a $100 gift card, courtesy of Studiocode, and a SMASH IV training arm valued at $1,600, courtesy of silver sponsor Gaumard.

“Lecat’s Ventriloscope has been attending the SIM Expo for a number of years. Each year, we are made to feel special and are graciously received. It is truly a joy working with the staff and attendees alike. We receive a great deal of positive feedback from participants that visit our booth. October will be here before long and we are eager to return in 2016!”

Laura Andrews, sales manager, Lecat’s Ventriloscope

“We’ve been an exhibitor at the SIM Expo for several years now and it is hands down the best simulation conference we have ever attended. We had our management team from the U.S. attend this year and they were blown away by the interest from attendees with our resources and the constant traffic at our exhibit booth. The SIM Expo is a unique opportunity for businesses to meet key simulation decision makers for accountsMost importantly, they get to meet you and hear about your new resources and products. We are already signed up for next year’s 2016 conference!”

Kimberly Tyson, nursing specialist, Wolters Kluwer

Outstanding simulation showcases and live demonstrations

In addition to exhibit booths, participants got active by taking part in various simulation demonstrations during the Simulation in Action, Virtual Simulation and Industry showcases. From playing a serious simulation game to volunteering to hear their heart beat live in a room full of peers, the learning opportunities were endless. Guests eagerly rotated through dedicated breakout rooms to participate in interactive demonstrations from Lecat’s Ventriloscope, Georgian College, Women’s College Hospital, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and more.

“I didn’t know what to expect at the 2015 SIM Expo and was completely blown away. I attended the morning and afternoon workshops led by Cathy Smith – she was amazing and is terrific at what she does. Out in British Columbia we mostly use standardized patients, and I haven’t come across the software, manikins, and technology until now. The SIM Expo was a terrific learning experience and I’m excited to bring my takeaways from the conference out West.”

Charles Heffernan, program director, SIMED

“The SIM-one Expo has consistently been the best place for simulation and serious games developers to connect with people who are the most interested in them. I was overwhelmed with the amount of interest my work received this year!”

Robert Shewaga, masters of science, computer science, UOIT

A crawl through an amazing breadth of posters

Each year, SIM-one encourages the healthcare simulation community to submit posters on the conference theme or a simulation topic of their choice. The 2015 SIM Expo proudly showcased 30 posters (including a video), calling for an expanded Poster Park. Topics ranged from “Curriculum Design & Sim Integration”, to “Innovative Nursing Sims”, to “Sim in Hospitals”. Authors and co-authors were on site to speak further with and walk participants through their creative works.

“The 2015 SIM Expo was a wonderful opportunity to experience simulation in action, network with healthcare facilities and schools, and share information. The annual conference provided my team with resourceful and valuable information that we’ve brought back to our organization to disseminate. The poster presentations provided a diverse assortment of information on how simulation is used in schools, healthcare facilities, and emergency preparations. The SIM Expo is a valuable conference to attend and learn how to adopt, adapt, and ensure your organization has the tools required for successful implementation of simulation.”

Erin Landry, clinical nurse educator, cardiology, North York General Hospital

“I was happy for the opportunity to act as a moderator during the Poster Crawl at this year’s SIM Expo. Topics of posters included research in simulation technical and non-technical skills training, which provided a great look into meaningful simulation-based education work in various academic institutions and hospitals throughout Ontario. With such a wonderful diversity of perspectives and approaches, so many new simulation possibilities arise!”

Lawrence Grierson, department of family medicine, McMaster University

Special plenary panel on simulation integration into curricula

In line with this year’s theme of Simulation & Integration, the 2015 SIM Expo was pleased to welcome expert leaders in simulation from five Ontario institutions. Each one spoke about their experiences with and insights into integrating simulation into curricula.

“The 2015 SIM Expo was the best one yet. There were so many innovative and creative ideas shared at the plenary and throughout all of the sessionsI was left feeling renewed and inspired to go back to work and integrate more simulation into our curriculum and continue with my sim research.” (Karyn Taplay, assistant professor, department of nursing, Brock University)

Building lasting relationships

As always, there were plenty of opportunities to speak with other participants while browsing through posters, visiting booths, or participating in interactive sessions. To help solidify these meaningful connections, the SIM Expo offered dedicated networking times. Further, guests could sit down and discuss important issues concerning simulation – including advancing simulation research, seniors care, and mental health – with each other during the Communities of Practice Lunch.

“I had a wonderful time at the 2015 SIM Expo. It was a great opportunity to reconnect with colleagues in the simulation community, and speak with those I have not previously met with in person. This was my second SIM Expo and I’ve found it a valuable learning and networking experience.”

Barry M. Robinson, technologist, simulation centre, George Brown College

“The highlight of the SIM Expo was the opportunity to network with colleagues and share successes and challenges. The conference was a great time to discuss the limitless possibilities for research and practices related to the multidimensional educational strategy of simulation; so important for our ultimate goal of achieving the optimal healthcare experience for the patient, family, and caregivers.”

Marie McEwan, clinical simulation program advisor, Durham College/UOIT
Sharing insights and ideas during the Communities of Practice Lunch

Recognizing simulation leaders

A formal recognition of the 2015 SIM Citizenship and Student award recipients took place during the SIM Awards Ceremony, followed shortly by an industry-sponsored reception.

The 2015 SIM citizens are Judy Bornais, University of Windsor; Elizabeth Horsley, Brock University; and Tony Mallette, Lambton College. Runners up – Sabrina Boucher of La Cité, Raya Gal of York University, Sandra Goldsworthy of University of Calgary, and David Starmer of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) – were recognized with the Local SIM Champions award. Congratulations to these outstanding contributors to the healthcare simulation field!

“The 2015 SIM Expo was outstanding. The conference manages to improve every year, and this year was no exception. I was beyond thrilled and overwhelmed to be presented with the SIM Citizenship Award. To be recognized by my peers is so meaningful and inspires me to want to share my knowledge and passion for simulation with others. The SIM Expo is an annual event for me. In many ways, it truly is a “family” reunion, seeing so many wonderful and friendly faces.” 

Elizabeth Horsley, nursing learning resource centre coordinator, department of nursing, Brock University

“I was honoured to be the recipient of the 2015 SIM Citizenship Award amongst the esteemed colleagues with whom I was fortunate to share recognition. The SIM Expo was a great opportunity to network with colleagues across the country. The dissemination of research and learning opportunities was terrific, and I found this year’s vendor showcase the best to date. I enjoyed having the opportunity to see new products and test them for my future wish list.”

Judy Bornais, experiential learning specialist, faculty of nursing, University of Windsor

The 2015 SIM Student Award went to Paul Schnider of Georgian College for his submission “How healthcare simulation has become an integrated part of my learning and professional development”. Congratulations, Paul!

It was a pleasure!

SIM-one would like to thank everyone who helped make the 2015 SIM Expo a terrific success. From the SIM-one team to sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, and volunteers; your hard work, dedication, and commitment is much appreciated. We couldn’t have done it without you.

We would especially like to thank our community for your continued support of SIM-one and encouragement for the collective work that we do. Without your commitment, passion, and accomplishments, the healthcare simulation field would not be where it is today.

See you on October 6 and 7 for the 2016 SIM Expo!

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