$250,000 to benefit STEPS Center

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Health Plan recently presented a $250,000 gift for the West Virginia Simulation Training and Education for Patient Safety (WV STEPS) Center at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center.

“Each year we make it a priority to reinvest in initiatives that benefit our communities, particularly in students,” Philip D. Wright, president and chief executive officer for The Health Plan, said. “Our insurance network officially covers all of the state of West Virginia, and we hope that this gift will provide much needed equipment to expand training and teaching opportunities for our state’s health professions students.”
WV STEPS includes a state-of-the-art, hands-on simulation laboratory equipped with realistic manikins programmed to mimic life-threatening medical conditions that assist clinical learners in improving their analytical, diagnostic, communications, and crisis-intervention skills.

By utilizing a variety of patient simulators, or virtual humans, capable of reactions such as trembling, crying, bleeding, and giving birth, clinicians have the opportunity to learn, rehearse, and perfect procedures.

“We must ensure that our best and brightest students are not leaving West Virginia to pursue their healthcare education and training elsewhere,” Arthur J. Ross, III, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the WVU School of Medicine, said. “By making this investment in the WV STEPS Center, The Health Plan is ensuring that the WVU Health Sciences Center will continue to deliver innovative, state-of-the-art, inter-professional healthcare training to nursing, medical, pharmacy, and dentistry students, who can then contribute to growing a healthier West Virginia. For that we are forever grateful.”

“We are so thankful to The Health Plan for sharing our vision of providing the most technologically advanced teaching tools for our students,” David Wilks, M.D., medical director of WV STEPS and assistant dean for technology in medical education in the School of Medicine, said. “Simulation training offers so much to our students. They can practice in a risk-free environment, learning critical skills while also developing a greater understanding of other team members’ roles.”

The 4,000-square-foot WV STEPS Center began operating in October 2009. The second phase of the program is expected to add 14,000 square feet of teaching space to the center. WVU Healthcare professionals also may use the WV STEPS center for continuing education to refresh and improve clinical skills.

The gift was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $750 million comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2015.

Photo caption: Philip D. Wright, president and CEO of The Health Plan (second from left), presents a $250,000 check to WVU School of Medicine Dean Arthur J. Ross, III, M.D., M.B.A. (second from right), for the WV STEPS Center. Also present were David Wilks, M.D., WV STEPS medical director (far left), and Daniel Summers, R.N., WV STEPS director.
For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
tds: 03-18-14