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Innovative Health Care Training Center Opens

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Author Staff | Publish Date August 14, 2009

The Colorado WIN Partners at the University of Colorado Denver's School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics is contracting with the Colorado Depatment of Labor and Employment to manage the operation of the Work, Education and Lifelong Learning Center (WELLS Center), a state-of-the-art health care simulation training facility at the Colorado Science and Technology Park at Fitzsimons in Aurora.  Key leaders from the health care industry, education and workforce development established the WELLS Center in 2005 to develop and deliver health care simulation curriculum and training incorporating highly sophisticated human patient simulators for hands-on training application.

“We are excited to have Colorado WIN Partners carry on the work of the WELLS Center,” said Donald J. Mares, the Executive Director of the Department of Labor and Employment and Chair of the Center’s Governance Board.  “We have tremendous respect for what they do and we know they have the expertise to increase the number of workers in health care occupations, to improve the quality of that workforce and to reduce the time it takes to produce that quality workforce.”

Colorado WIN Partners has been charged with expanding the WELLS Center’s unique simulation training activities to offer new specialty training such as Operating Room training and Emergency Room training and to further incorporate services for youth.  They will also explore the ability to create credit and credentialed courses and classes for the WELLS Center and collaborate with the Colorado Workforce Development system to create new training opportunities at the Center.  As the WELLS Operator, Colorado WIN Partners will provide not only a focus on simulation in nursing training but also simulation in related allied health training.  “We are very excited about this new opportunity with the WELLS Center,” said Judy Emery, Director of Colorado WIN Partners.  “We look forward to working with the WELLS Center and their partners and to expanding our relationship with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and Colorado’s Workforce Development System.”

The human patient simulators at WELLS can be fully programmed to demonstrate specific training scenarios on demand, such as heart attack, child birth, accident victim or other events that require medical care. The simulators are comprised of males, females, toddlers and infants that have a pulse, veins that can be injected, moving eyes, voice capacity and a heart and lungs with audible beating and breathing—all of which are programmed to change with the condition being simulated. The WELLS Center has both a simulated operating room and an emergency room, giving students the opportunity to learn and gain confidence in practicing surgical techniques or working in a critical care room.  WELLS also offers access to the unique Visible Human Dissector as part of the training curriculum for anatomy and physiology.

To stay on top of a myriad of complex techniques, health care practitioners and educators use the WELLS Center simulation technology so that students can have greater access to clinical practices and can demonstrate procedures without jeopardizing human life.

About The WELLS Center:  WELLS stands for Work, Education and Lifelong Learning Simulation.  The WELLS Center serves as a model project with national visibility for addressing the health care crisis and shortage of health care workers in Colorado, particularly through use of patient simulation and technology.

About Colorado WIN Partners, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Denver's School of Medicine:  Colorado WIN Partners’ expertise and involvement has been requested in numerous projects and initiatives over the years, including various disability-related issues including building collaboration between agencies and coalitions; program evaluation design and implementation; and employment for people with disabilities.