Chad Epps, MD, executive director of healthcare simulation for the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, is the first simulation educator and administrator from Tennessee to be selected as a Fellow of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) Academy.
He is among 11 selected for the Class of 2019 and one of only 61 honored globally with a SSH Academy Fellow distinction. He will be inducted in January at the SSH Academy’s International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare held in San Antonio.
“I believe the Fellow status is both an honor and a responsibility,” Dr. Epps said. “It is an honor to be recognized for contributions to the field and the society, and also an honor to be in the company of distinguished Fellows. I also, however, see this as a responsibility to continue giving back to the field of health care simulation. I envision my role in the academy as one of service, where I can continue to mentor, lead, and continue to work on projects that further the mission of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Academy.”
Fellows are chosen based on continuous contributions and improvements in the development, growth, and evolution of the field of health care simulation and education.
Dr. Epps was recruited to UTHSC from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2016 to lead the new $39.7 million UTHSC Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS). The 45,000-square-foot facility is the first-of-its-kind for the campus and the only facility in Tennessee built for and fully dedicated to simulation education.
An anesthesiologist, Dr. Epps completed his residency and a fellowship in Human Patient Simulation from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He has more than a decade of experience in interprofessional simulation education, research, center management and assessment, including modalities involving simulators and standardized patients across different fields in health care.
Dr. Epps said, his favorite aspect of simulation education is the opportunity to improve patient safety and health care delivery by ensuring graduates are well prepared for everything they will experience in the clinical setting.
“This recognition by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare is a testament to Dr. Epps’ leadership in the field of health care simulation,” said Lori Gonzalez, PhD, vice chancellor for Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs at UTHSC. “Under his direction, the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation provides our students with an extraordinary learning experience that can positively impact patient outcomes.”
The Society for Simulation in Healthcare globally serves the practice, quality, and improvement of health care by reducing errors in patient care through simulation education. It was established in 2004 and has a membership of more than 3,700 physicians, nurse technologists, professors, and specialists, who advocate for health care simulation education, research, and practice. Dr. Epps is a past president of the society.
“Health care simulation has morphed over the past decade from a craft to a profession,” Dr. Epps said. “Continued development, including certification, and formation of a professional academy, has contributed greatly to the maturation of our profession.”