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A Transformative Investment: Introducing the Women’s Guild Simulation Center for Advanced Clinical Skills

When Women’s Guild fulfilled its $20 million pledge to the Lung Institute two years ahead of schedule, the organization considered a myriad of new funding opportunities. While they were all worthy of support, none really “grabbed” the Guild’s Board of Directors — until they visited the training facility housed in the new Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion.

“It was state of the art, it was forward thinking, and we all fell in love with it,” remembers Women’s Guild President Lorette Gross. The board soon had unanimous approval to fund the Women’s Guild Simulation Center for Advanced Clinical Skills.

The innovative Simulation Center looks, feels, and sounds exactly like an actual hospital setting. It has sleek operating and exam rooms, patient rooms, and delivery rooms. Everything is real and completely functional — except for the patients. Lying in the hospital beds, lifelike robotic mannequins breathe, blink, and cry out for help. Doctors and nurses must dive into unfamiliar scenarios in which they might deliver a (robotic) baby or conduct complex surgery.

“The Women’s Guild Simulation Center for Advanced Clinical Skills will serve to refine and hone the skills of veteran physicians, as well as resident physicians, allowing them to practice the newest technology and procedures before using them with patients,” notes Bruce Gewertz, MD, surgeon-in-chief, chair of the Department of Surgery, and the H & S Nichols Distinguished Chair in Surgery. “It also will enhance the core teamwork skills essential to all areas of medical practice.” In the astonishingly realistic environment, everyone from medical students to senior faculty learns technical procedures and hones communication skills. “The idea of providing continuing education for seasoned professionals, while also teaching new skills to their junior colleagues, really spoke to us,” says Gross. By constantly improving the skills of surgeons, nurses, and other medical staff, Women’s Guild provides an ongoing community service benefiting every single department at Cedars-Sinai.

Women’s Guild plans to fulfill the pledge of $10 million within five years. “It wasn’t the obvious project for us to embrace, because we were set on women’s health,” says Gross, “but as soon as we saw the Simulation Center, we realized that this project would impact healthcare in a big way and benefit everyone: patients, nurses, doctors.” Dynamic, advanced, and transformative on all levels — this has been Women’s Guild since 1957, and this new project carries on that tradition.