2012 Under Secretary for Health’s Excellence Award

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Dr. Haru Okuda presents Denise Cochran with the 2012 Under Secretary for Health's Excellence Award.

Denise Cochran, RN, BSN, a Malcom Randall VA Medical Center employee, received the 2012 Under Secretary for Health’s Excellence in Clinical Simulation Training, Education and Research Practice.  The award recognizes clinical leaders who have supported and advanced the VA’s strategic plan for clinical simulation.

Cochran serves as the Simulation Center Coordinator and was recognized with the award for her contributions in the field of clinical simulation.  Her accomplishments include leading the creation of the Interdisciplinary Simulation Education Center (ISEC), a simulation center for medicine, nursing, surgery, anesthesia and respiratory therapy.  She also developed simulation-based education and training to address patient safety issues, assists in the development of simulation-based curriculum for training residents, staff and students, and provides simulation instructor training.

“We are very proud of Denise and the work that has been accomplished through the ISEC,” said North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System Director Thomas A. Cappello.  “Since the center opened, thousands of clinicians and other staff have benefited from simulation training.”

Last year over five hundred staff trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support.  Other training included advanced airway management skills, invasive procedure training, code training for nursing, respiratory and radiology technicians, and dozens of mock code drills.

Cochran helped develop simulation components for pelvic and breast exams for the Mini-Residency Program on Primary Health Care for Women Veterans, and she is involved in several national VA clinical simulation projects to expand and promote simulation training.

“Everybody kicked in to develop the ISEC.  Some contributed equipment, and some contributed personnel,” said Ms. Cochran.  “Receiving this award shows it doesn’t take a lot to integrate simulation into programming.  Believe and put forward the effort.”

To learn more about the VA’s SimLEARN program, visit www.simlearn.va.gov.

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