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June 20, 2007

New Facility to Promote Excellence in Learning, Teaching, Patient Safety Research Receives $3.6 Million in Funding

Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today the province and its partners will invest $3.6 million to construct a clinical learning and simulation facility (CLSF). The state-of-the-art facility will bring medical, nursing and allied health-care students and professionals together to practice medical and surgical procedures prior to contact with patients.

"When health-care providers have access to training that improves their clinical and surgical skills, it translates into better health care for patients in Manitoba," said Oswald. "In the simulation facility, students and professionals will be able to practice life-saving procedures, developing their clinical skills while improving team communications and enhancing patient safety."

Medical, nursing and allied health students and professionals will use the facility to practice technical and complicated procedures while using highly advanced and innovative equipment. The facility will recreate clinical practice environments including examination rooms that resemble outpatient care facilities and simulation labs that recreate critical-care settings. The facility will enhance students' ability to communicate effectively and efficiently with patients and families, and improve their interviewing and clinical assessment skills.

"This new educational facility will directly benefit patient-centred care in Manitoba," said Dr. J. Dean Sandham, dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba.

The University of Manitoba's Faculty of Medicine, its students, alumni, staff, corporate friends and partners have committed $1.6 million and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has committed $1 million for the development of the facility. Manitoba Science, Technology, Energy and Mines is providing $1 million through the Manitoba Research and Innovation Fund for the purchase of simulation teaching equipment.

Potential benefits to the health-care system through the use of medical simulation include more extensive education when it comes to patient safety and the fostering of shared problem-solving and teamwork.

"We're pleased to partner with the Faculty of Medicine to create and implement this exciting new learning opportunity for health-care students and professionals in Manitoba," said Dr. Brian Postl, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. "The chance to practice their skills and learn by doing will benefit, not only the professionals and students, but the patients they care for."

Since it began in 2003-04, the Manitoba Research and Innovation Fund has provided more than $50 million for research and development projects, and research infrastructure and innovative support activities in areas such as health, agriculture, advanced materials and manufacturing, aerospace, cultural and new media industries, and alternative energy developments.

The new education facility using simulation equipment will be located at the University of Manitoba's Brodie Centre. Construction is now underway.

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