Marcia and Gene Applebaum are among this community’s most highly respected humanitarians and philanthropists. Year after year, their gifts to health care institutions, universities, community-based charities and the arts have enriched lives. As visionaries in health care, their most generous gift to Beaumont established the Marcia & Eugene Applebaum Surgical Learning Center in 2006.
The center earned international recognition and is considered among the most comprehensive simulation learning facilities in the country. Using a unique blend of classroom learning and hands-on simulation training, more than 36,000 Beaumont health care students and professionals have attended classes there since it opened. This level of training ultimately led to advanced skills, increased patient safety, more precise surgical techniques, and improved clinical outcomes. In other words, the impact of the institute has been felt by both our clinical teams and our patients.
The Marcia & Eugene Applebaum Surgical Learning Center successfully captured the essence of the various hospital and operating room experiences. In 2007, the center became one of the first centers in North America to receive the American College of Surgeons’ prestigious Level 1 accreditation as a Comprehensive Education Institute and was re-accredited in 2010.
Since 2006, the focus has changed from being directed entirely to the operating room experience to one that is broader in concept and addresses the concerns of a variety of specialties. The mission also was expanded to include the training of all health care professionals at various levels of experience. This new vision has been supported by an additional substantial gift from the Applebaum family, allowing us to expand the center in size and scope. To reflect this much more ambitious endeavor, the name has been changed to the Marcia & Eugene Applebaum Simulation Learning Institute.
“The Applebaum Simulation Learning Institute will be the hub of education for all levels of learners, from first-year students to practicing professionals,” said Gene Michalski, president and CEO of Beaumont Health System.
The hands-on training and simulation technology has evolved from learning new surgical skills to include an integrated, cross-disciplinary, interactive team approach to medical/surgical and trauma care. The institute has been and will continue to be a critical component in the engagement of learners from all of the nursing and medical professions.
Beaumont has been training medical students from other universities for more than 45 years and will continue to do so through our affiliation with Oakland University to form the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB School of Medicine). An essential component of training for all medical students will be standardized patient care practices that will be taught in the simulation learning institute.
“Simulation training has revolutionized medical education,” said Felicia Ivascu, M.D., associate program director for the Department of Surgery.
The institute was cited as a “shining star” in the initial Liaison Committee for Medical Education approval of the OUWB School of Medicine. The students will have simulation skills learning built into the Arts and Practice of Medicine portion of their curriculum beginning in the very first year. These students will learn the scientific application of modern simulation technologies that will improve cognitive, communication and psychomotor skills.
“We want to assure that future generations receive the best health care education possible. We also want to see that well-trained doctors stay in the surrounding communities,” said Gene Applebaum.
Because of the continued generosity of the Applebaums, Beaumont will be adding much-needed space and simulation rooms to train the students, residents and fellows who will care for patients in critical situations. The difference here at Beaumont is that when these learners are assigned to the Emergency Center, they will have already had significant training in the simulation setting. Their first encounter in a crisis situation will not be their first encounter with an emergency. Our learners will already know what to do and how to respond appropriately in a broad range of life-threatening situations.
Simulation technology will remain at the core of the institute’s programs, helping it to prepare the physicians, nurses and technicians of tomorrow and, at the same time, ensuring that practicing physicians and students are able to hone their skills in the use of newly introduced technologies and procedures.
“Beaumont remains committed to education. The gift from the Applebaum family makes it possible for the best technology and teaching to occur,” said James Robbins, M.D., executive director, Marcia & Eugene Applebaum Surgical Learning Center.
The Marcia & Eugene Applebaum Simulation Learning Institute has made possible a whole new era of medical and surgical education. On behalf of the countless learners who will continue to benefit from the institute’s programs, we extend to the Applebaums our most sincere gratitude and appreciation.
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