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April 16, 2008

Clinical Learning & Simulation Facility Opens

Winnipeg Sets the Way of the Future in Medical Training

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine, and the Province of Manitoba have brought the Winnipeg health region to the forefront of healthcare training with the development of the Clinical Learning & Simulation Facility (CLSF) at the U of M Bannatyne Campus.

The $4.6-million, 11,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility was officially opened on Friday, April 11, to media, students and health care stakeholders.

At the official opening Dr. Emőke Szathmáry, University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor, indicated the simulation facility is an incomparable facility in Canada in, "a seamless location between Health Sciences Centre and the University’s Medical Program, which reinforces collaboration."

CLSF is a realistic hospital-like environment with 17 examination rooms, each equipped with a diagnostic headwall of blood pressure cuffs, otoscope, thermometer and medical gas columns, heart rate monitors, and intravenous carts. Five anatomically correct robotic mannequins (two adults, a birthing mother, infant and a child) that can breathe and have a pulse and reflexes are permanent patients. Haptic-based software, which combines sense of touch and movement with visual and audio responses (much like a Wii), allows simulated procedures to mimic the look and feel of real medical procedures and surgeries.

Medical students, post graduate students, and practitioners in Medicine, School of Medical Rehabilitation, Pharmacy and Nursing, along with faculty members and Winnipeg health region health teams and emergency personnel will learn and train in the environment which closely duplicates the urgency, complications and uncertainty of real-life medicine.

Dr. Brian Postl, Chief Executive Officer of Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said the new centre, developed in partnership with Manitoba departments of Health and Science, Technology, Energy & Mines, is an essential tool for education and patient safety. "It will allow students to practice the skills they need before actually using them on patients."

Jim Rondeau, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy & Mines added, "The facility is an example of the innovation that flourishes here."

- Kathryn McBurney

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