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New-Era Technologies to Train Health Care Teams and Advance Research Discoveries in Re-Imagined Facility

NEW ORLEANS — LSU Board of Supervisors Chair Jimmie Woods and LSU President William F. Tate will join LSU Health New Orleans Interim Chancellor Dr. Steve Nelson to formally open the Center for Advanced Learning and Simulation (CALS) on the LSU Health New Orleans campus on Thursday, December 7, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. (The address is 2021 Perdido Street, but the entrance is on South Prieur Street between Perdido and Gravier Streets). Tours of the $68M renovation of the former Hotel Dieu and Interim LSU hospitals will follow the ceremony.

“We are ushering in a new purpose for this facility – one that stays true to its storied history of healing and innovation,” says Dr. Nelson. “The new-era education and research space takes the complementary healing arts to the next level and will benefit your family and mine well into the future.”

The eight-floor, 321,637 sq. ft. building brings the most sophisticated simulation technology for multiple disciplines under one roof to foster interprofessional education. The interdisciplinary hospital skills lab, along with 10 specialized simulation rooms, will greatly expand and diversify nursing education. CALS also boasts a 16-station demonstration lab and 6 specialized simulation rooms that will increase medical education capability. Standardized patient training includes 16 clinical rooms, “patient” training, large control room and support debriefing classrooms. The Campus Testing Center will accommodate large classes, and 7 private testing rooms will support special needs. More than 350 private and semiprivate clinical faculty offices, reception areas, classrooms, large presentation rooms and an expanded Wellness Center with cardio, weight training, group fitness and meditation rooms complete the space.

Taking a page from the airline industry, LSU Health New Orleans pioneered medical education with human patient simulators in the state, quickly becoming a national leader more than two decades ago. High-fidelity simulation supplies a realistic, safe learning environment where students can encounter uncommon clinical situations and learn from “mistakes” without repercussions. The curriculum provides students with hands-on experience solving sophisticated patient scenario cases that can be practiced until perfect. Studies have shown that medical simulation enhances clinical competence at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Advantages also include improved patient safety and reduced health care costs through the improvement of competencies.

The largest and most comprehensive health sciences center in Louisiana, LSU Health New Orleans established interprofessional education more than a decade ago. According to the World Health Organization, “Interprofessional education occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. Once students understand how to work interprofessionally, they are ready to enter the workplace as a member of the collaborative practice team. This is a key step in moving health systems from fragmentation to a position of strength.”

“We’re especially grateful to former Senator Edwin Murray and former Representative Helena Moreno, along with current legislators Senator Jimmy Harris, Senator Royce Duplessis and Representative Alonzo Knox of the Louisiana State Legislature and US Senator Bill Cassidy for securing funding for the renovation,” notes Dr. Nelson.


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