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Yale Center For Healthcare Simulation

The mission of the Yale Center for Healthcare Simulation is to provide excellent patient care through innovative medical education, assessment, research, systems integration and outreach. Our state-of-the-art center strives to provide members of the Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS) and Yale School of Medicine (YSM) communities with an ideal learning environment that fosters self-reflection, mutual respect and an integrated, interdisciplinary team spirit to optimize healthcare delivery and engender a culture committed to patient safety. The Yale Center for Healthcare Simulation promotes the acquisition of basic and advanced clinical skills that are essential for healthcare providers to master for both supervised and independent practice. It also offers a variety of simulation-based systems analysis services that apply simulation strategies to new facility designs and testing. The center also performs environmental and workflow analysis, and integrates new systems into an already complex healthcare system. The simulation center contributes to YNHHS/YSM’s research mission by identifying more effective educational methods and evaluation tools as well as using simulation technology to answer the most pressing issues in healthcare. The Yale Center for Healthcare Simulation is committed to providing educational research opportunities to all members of the Yale healthcare community.


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Leigh Evans, MD is Executive Director of Yale Center for Healthcare Simulation, Associate Professor and Medical Simulation Section Chief in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She graduated from Washington University School of Medicine and did her residency training in Emergency Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital where she was chief resident. She has received multiple teaching awards including the Bohmfalk Teaching Prize, the Alvan R. Feinstein Award and the American College of Emergency Physicians National Emergency Medicine Faculty Teaching Award. Her research interests are in the transfer of simulation skills to the clinical setting and the use of simulation for medical student resident clinical assessment. She was the Principal Investigator for an AHRQ grant “Simulation Training for Ultrasound Guided Central Venous Catheter Insertion” and she is currently the PI for an AHRQ RO1 "Improving patient and clinician safety during COVID-19 through a rapidly adaptive simulation intervention."

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Marc Auerbach is Director of Pediatric Simulation. He is Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Yale. He is the founding co-chair of INSPIRE, the world’s largest simulation-based research network. His academic work focuses on the use of innovative techniques and technologies, such as simulation, to measure and improve the quality of pediatric emergency care. His overarching goal is to ensure that all children, no matter where they live, go to school or travel, receive the highest quality emergency medical care. In July 2020 Marc started in a national role with EMSC on the EIIC executive committee and co-leading the EIIC Knowledge Management and State Partnership Domains as the Connecticut Center Director. Prior to this role he served as the CT EMSC State Partnership Grant Medical Director for seven years and as an investigator on four different EMSC targeted issues grants. He was also the leader on the EIIC Prehospital Emergency Care Collaborative. His projects involve working closely with prehospital and hospital emergency care coordinators leading pediatric efforts in community EDs and community EMS agencies.

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Chris Banziruk is a Simulation Operations Specialist. He designs and coordinates the implementation of simulation technology to meet education needs throughout the health system. Prior to joining the team, he spent over 6 years working as a Collections Technician II in the Biomedical Division of the American Red Cross where he took on additional roles specializing in team management, project tracking, process implementation and employee safety development. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Western Connecticut State University and his experience brings a blend of clinical proficiency and technical insight to the team.

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James Bonz is Director of Procedural Simulation and the Director of Yale Simulation Academy and Outreach Programs for local high school students. He oversees multiple procedural training programs for physicians in Yale New Haven Hospital and medical students in the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Bonz’s area of interest is Just in Time (JiT) teaching and in procedural micro skills.


Sam Buck is a director of Medical/PA Student Simulation and an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine, Yale School of Medicine. He is a physician educator in the Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Buck graduated with a BA in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Buck completed his residency training at Yale New Haven Hospital, serving as chief resident in his final year, and continued at Yale for fellowship in medical simulation. Since his time in fellowship, Dr. Buck has worked to develop innovative simulation curriculum for the Yale medical and PA students including a longitudinal simulation experience for the medical students during their pre-clerkship years.


Jim Chernesky is a Senior Simulation Learning Consultant who has over 35 years of experience in corporate training, performance management, organizational development and consulting. He has been a member of the YNHHS Simulation team for six years responsible for developing and implementing medical simulations throughout the YNHH system. He has served on a variety of special projects, committees and outreach programs including Hospital at Home and Telehealth. Jim has written and delivered Faculty Development training programs and tracks and consults on new simulation programs submitted to the Simulation Center. Jim holds a MS degree in Instructional Technology and a BS degree in Education from Southern Connecticut University. He has also obtained process master and facilitation certifications a certificate for Strategic Health Care Leadership through Cornell University.

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Luis Cruz is a Senior Simulation Specialist with over a decade of experience in simulation operations. He has participated in workshops at the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare and has obtained his Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist certification (CHSOS) from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Prior to coming to Yale, he spent over 20 years in a business/corporate setting working in IT as a Unix Systems Engineer


Janine Doucette is the Simulation Data Coordinator and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Healthcare Management. She has 20 years of experience in project coordination, executive support and data analytics within healthcare. Janine joined Yale New Haven Health in 2013 and transferred to the simulation center in 2018. She specializes in collecting and managing data to produce reports that are accurate, meaningful and timely for stakeholders.


Christian Gonzalez is a Simulation Operations Specialist. His educational background in biomedical science was integral for the quality and clinical engineering positions he practiced for four years. He gained experience in medical device testing, product validation, and tissue handling in both settings. With this experience, he provides in-situ simulation support across YNHHS hospitals with the goal of strengthening learner outcomes through behavioral and simulation assessments. When he is not in simulation, he is pursuing a master’s degree in neuroscience and he is a member of the Medical Reserves Corps of Fairfield County.

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Joy Grabow is the Simulation Manager, and she has worked in simulation for over seven years, coordinating and supervising the general activities that occur within the center and acting as the liaison between the various departments and the sim center faculty. She has professional experience as an Educational Trainer, Regional Sales Trainer, Office Manager and Program Director. Joy was a professional actress for 25 years and is currently a Theatrical Director/Acting Coach. Joy’s background in theater has prepared her well for the “medical theater” involved in healthcare simulation. Joy studied Theatre Arts at the University of Wisconsin.


Antonietta Hallet is the Simulation Development & Strategy Administrator. She has extensive experience in corporate and regulatory compliance, employee relations, leadership development, strategy, change management, public relations, event management, communications and marketing. She has been employed in both the corporate and the non-profit sectors and, with a diverse background, brings a great deal of innovative experience to the team. Antonietta holds a Master of Communications degree and an HR Management Certificate, both from Fairfield University. She also holds an Executive Healthcare Leadership Certificate from Cornell University and an Executive Transformational Coaching certificate.

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Jeff Hoffman is a Simulation Operations Specialist with eight years of experience. He majored in Digital Media and Television Production at Daytona State college. His experience, working at ESPN for almost seven years, allows him to bring extensive A/V knowledge to the team.


Karen Lombardi is a Simulation Learning Consultant who identifies opportunities for improvement, innovation and development of initiatives for the integration of simulation in clinical education and curriculum. Karen’s experience as one of the co-leaders of the Regional Neonatology Bootcamp at Yale provides her the scope to network with other simulation programs at local, state, regional and national levels to develop and utilize best practices for program development. Her clinical background and simulation experience provide developmental and operational guidance through all stages of program design and implementation. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a respiratory therapist for Yale New Haven Hospital. Karen is currently pursuing her master’s degree.


Cheryl Mayeran is a Senior Simulation Learning Consultant who develops curriculum and designs and implements healthcare simulations. She conducts faculty development courses in basic and advanced debriefing and serves as a preceptor for new simulation faculty. Cheryl has extensive experience in program development, project management, emergency medical services education, emergency management operations and planning, and public health administration. She holds a BS in biology from Fairfield University, and a MS in public health administration from Boston University School of Medicine.

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Tatiana Moylan is an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine, Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Moylan took a different path to medical school. After growing up in Puerto Rico, she moved to the US, eventually studying Asian languages in Australia and Japan. She became a Spanish language translator before attending medical school at Boston University and completing her Emergency Medicine residency at Yale New Haven Hospital. Dr. Moylan is currently completing a medical simulation fellowship, with a focus on using simulation as an outreach tool. She helps run an after-school program for high school students, encouraging them to explore healthcare as a career path. With a strong belief in the importance of diversity and inclusion in healthcare, Dr. Moylan is dedicated to training medical professionals who are able to provide respectful and mindful care to a diverse patient population.


Tony Polcaro is a Senior Simulation Technical Specialist and brings almost 20 years of experience to the role. He demonstrates a balance of technical engineering and business management expertise from previous positions with ION Media Networks as regional operations manager, as well as CBS and World Wrestling Entertainment. Tony attended Thames Valley State Technical College for electrical engineering and received his technical services certification from Laerdal Medical Corporation.


Dennis L. Shung is the Director of Applied Artificial Intelligence. He is Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of Digital Health in the Section of Digestive Diseases and Biomedical Informatics & Data Science at Yale School of Medicine. He received his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts from Rice University, attended Baylor College of Medicine and received his Master of Health Science in Clinical Informatics and PhD in Investigative Medicine with a focus on unsupervised machine learning and deep learning from Yale. He completed his Internal Medicine internship, residency and Gastroenterology and Hepatology fellowship at Yale. He currently runs a lab, Human+Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, with a focus on leveraging generative AI to enhance human-AI teaming. He has pioneered pipelines and protocols for developing and testing generative AI systems for clinical decision support in simulation to train the next generation of physician trainees to develop digital competence.  

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Anthony J. Tomassoni, MD, MS, FACEP, FACMT is the Director of Simulation Toxicology. He practices and teaches Emergency Medicine and Toxicology at Yale University. Dr. Tomassoni received a BA degree in Science Education and a MS in Human Biochemistry. He received his MD from UMDNJ – New Jersey Medical School and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine and a fellowship in Medical Toxicology at the University of Cincinnati. While at UC he served as an EMS medical director and as a flight physician for five years. In his previous position, Dr. Tomassoni contributed to the growth and certification of the collaborative Northern New England Poison Center for which he served as Medical Director. Dr. Tomassoni’s research focus is on medical education, particularly with respect to simulation, toxicology and disaster medicine. The theme for most of his work is injury prevention and consequence mitigation through education, planning and medical response. Through Yale New Haven Health, he serves as Medical Director of the Yale Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP).


Samreen Vora, MD, FACEP, MHAM, CHSE, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and Director of Interprofessional Simulation at the Yale Center for Healthcare Simulation.  She is the recipient of the Children’s Minnesota Child Advocacy Award (2022), Minnesota Physician Community Caregiver Award (2019) and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Emerging Leader Award (2019). Dr. Vora’s research interests are focused on simulation in the areas of racism and implicit bias in healthcare, human factors design in healthcare delivery and simulation-based mastery learning. She most recently published “Recommendations and Guidelines For the Use of Simulation to Address Structural Racism and Implicit Bias.”

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Ambrose Wong, MD, MSEd, MHS, is the Fellowship Director and the Director of Simulation Research. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia in Microbiology and Immunology and attended Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Wong is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine. He is the current president for the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine's Simulation Academy and helped create the Fellow Executive Position as well as the Young Physician's Subcommittee. Ambrose obtained his Emergency Medicine residency training at NYU and Bellevue Hospitals Center in New York City, serving as chief resident physician in his final year. He subsequently completed a medical simulation fellowship at NYU School of Medicine and New York Simulation Center for the Health Sciences. He received a Master of Science in Health Professions Education at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions.