Simulation Champion Award March 2018


The SimGHOSTS Simulation Champion Award nomination for March 2018 has been awarded to Mark Searra, Clinical Simulation Technologist at Vancouver Coastal Health.

Mark was nominated by a colleague who used the following examples to highlight Mark’s exemplary performance in his role.

“Mark has a knack for seeing what types of fidelity improvements will help educators to achieve their learning objectives. He works with educators in an effort to understand the learning objectives of the simulation-based education and then builds unique tools/equipment that meets the need. Mark suggests fidelity improvements that could enhance not just the simulation, but more importantly, the ability for learners to achieve the learning objective. He knows where to target improvements and collaborates well with educators to help them achieve their goals. His resourcefulness opens up opportunities for fidelity improvements that are cost effective and easily reproducible. He is a huge collaborator and shares his knowledge and creations freely. He is an asset to the simulation community locally and internationally”.

Mark’s achievements include:

  • An IV drainage bag system that is completely made out of available IV supplies found in hospitals. This newly developed system allows learners to add IV lines that are more realistic and decreased the confusion about the tubing and bag under the bed. This is an affordable, reproducible system that works.

  • Enhancement of the Edus2Idea open source ultrasound system. Mark upgraded both the software and hardware in order to make this system easier to use as well as offering improved fidelity. He worked with the Edus2Idea developers, other techs and physician users in order to improve this affordable product. This offered more simulation programs the ability to add realistic ultrasound to their scenarios.

  • Collaboration with a physician to create an ultrasound phantom that is used to practice ultrasound guided pacemaker insertion. This is a cost effective, practice effective task training tool.

  • Development of a method for educators to run laparoscopic video from their smart phones, on the laparoscopic monitor. This enhancement improved realism significantly, making the mocked up OR feel more real, thus engaging the learners more fully in the scenario.

Mark is highly valued among his team for “adding creative energy that inspires us all to keep working on the leading edge of innovation for simulation”. Mark doesn’t just have the knowledge and skills required to be a great healthcare simulation technology specialist; it is his leadership and professionalism that led his colleague to predict that “He will be part of the future that produces high quality healthcare education that leads to changes in practice and improved patient outcomes”.

The SimGHOSTS team were also impressed with Mark’s dedication to supporting the Vancouver Coastal Health simulation program and agree that his performance exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding healthcare simulation technology specialist.

Mark will receive an Award Certificate and a 3 month SimGHOSTS subscription for his nomination. Each July, voting for the Simulation Champion Trophy is opened featuring the monthly award winners from the previous 12 months. The winner is announced at our USA event in August and receives a trophy and a free registration to a SimGHOSTS event of their choice the following year. If you would like to nominate a Simulation Champion, please fill out the nomination form here.