CMS 2013 Year End Update

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2013 Update

Since June 30th marks the end of CMS’ 2013 fiscal year, We thought this would be a great time to look back at some of the key events that occurred during the past year.

Move to the Charlestown Navy Yard

I don’t believe it would be an understatement to say that the biggest event that occurred this year was our move to a new facility in the historic Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.  After ten years at our site on Landsdowne Street in Cambridge, we received notice from our landlord in January 2012 that our rent was going to quadruple. Needless to say this was going to have a significant effect on our finances. We were able to work out an arrangement where the full impact of the increase would not be felt until September, but we knew there was no way we could afford to stay there long term. This led to a mad dash to find new space. Fortunately, we were referred to an amazing realtor, Bob Richardson, and an equally amazing lawyer, Diane McDermott, who helped us find space and negotiate a new lease in record time so that by September of last year we had a lease for 13,000 square feet in the attic of a building at 100 First Avenue in the Navy Yard known as the Carriage House – Ordinance Shop that was built in 1866. It was a “funky” space with high ceilings, skylights and huge oak beams. It hadn’t been occupied for years and required a lot of imagination to see how it could work. Initially, even our Realtor was skeptical, but we knew the space was right for us.  At this point we had another stroke of luck and were referred to Wise Construction Corporation and two of their employees, Bill Olson and Rick Freedman. We had to vacate our old location by the end of December which meant the build out of the new space had to be completed in only three months. Everyone we spoke with said this was impossible, but under Bill’s and Rick’s supervision and with the help of our very patient friend and talented architect, Harvey Kirk, it was completed on time and on budget and we moved in right after Christmas.

In the end, an insane rent increase turned into a great opportunity. We now have a fabulous simulation center that’s double the size of our old location and at half of the quadrupled rent. We have more simulation space, plenty of storage, our own conference center and room to expand. Everyone who visits loves the space with its high slanted ceilings, skylights and huge exposed oak beams. If you’re in Boston come by and visit. We’re at 100 First Avenue, 4th Floor, Suite 400 in Boston. Click here to see pictures of the construction of the new site and our open house.

Institute for Medical Simulation

2013 was a banner year for our Institute of Medical Simulation. In addition to the Graduate Course and the seven, week long, Comprehensive Simulation Instructor courses held in Cambridge and Boston, we taught another ten courses at sites all over the world including Philadelphia, Denver, New York, Sydney Australia, Brisbane Australia, and Singapore. While in Australia we held our 200th course since starting the Institute in 2004. (If you’re interested in having CMS teach a course at your site email me at And, in December we introduced a new simulation instructor course for operating room teams.

Clinical Courses

Our clinical courses continued to grow. We recently held the 2,000th course since we first started in 1994. We held forty-one day long MOCA®/CRM courses in 2013 with anesthesiologists attending from as far away as California, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Florida, and western Canada. Attendance at our Labor & Delivery courses boomed as several hospitals and one of the state’s largest group medical practices started requiring all of their obstetricians and midwives to attend. And, we added a new Disclosure and Apology course in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital. The first D&A course was held in October to great success and we plan on holding several more in fiscal 2014.

Affiliate Program

Our Affiliate program expanded this year with the addition of the IMSAL/New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. We renewed our Affiliation with the Hospital Virtual Valdecilla in Santander Spain and in May we signed a letter of intent for the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine to become our newest Affiliate on July 1st, 2014.

IMSH 2013

CMS was well represented at the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare held in San Diego this past January. As in years past, CMS’ booth in the exhibit hall was well attended and the IMS Alumni reception was a huge success. Our own Jenny Rudolph was chosen to present the “Lou Oberndorf Lecture on Innovation in Healthcare Education.” During the meeting, Robert Simon, was honored with a Simmy Greatest Hits Award for Best Article. The article: Morey, Simon, Jay et al. Error reduction and performance improvement in the emergency department through formal teamwork training: evaluation results of the MedTeams project. Health Services Research. Dec 2002: 37(6): 1553-1581 has been identified as a seminal article in teamwork training. Jenny Rudolph chaired a State of the Art Meeting (SOTA) that brought together leaders from key healthcare simulation disciplines to examine simulation learning environments and simulation faculty development. Robert Simon, Janice Palaganas, and Roxane Gardner held a session during the Educational Symposium regarding In-situ simulation: how to keep safe while keeping your patients safe. Robert Simon hosted a talk show with his special guests:  Janice Palaganas and Roxane Gardner and eleven international callers, exploring challenges in in-situ simulation, as well as different models to address those challenges. Toni Walzer led this year’s workshop on debriefing as formative assessment with other CMS’ers (Jenny Rudolph, Robert Simon, Dan Raemer, Laura Rock, Elaine Tan and Jose Maestre). The workshop blended didactic and experiential approaches to provide participants with the concepts and experience to conduct formative assessments using debriefing.  The session was also run in Spanish by Jenny Rudolph and Demian Szyld along with Jose Maestre and Ignacio del Moral. Jeff Cooper and Gary Rossi participated in a panel discussion on issues that arise between Administrative and Executive Directors that featured panelists acting out vignettes of common issues.

Personnel News

In other news of note, Jeff Cooper, CMS’ Executive Director, was elected to receive the 2013 Distinguished Service Award at 2012 annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Jeff is the first non-clinician to receive the Society’s highest award which is given for meritorious service and achievement and is based on his outstanding career and his impact on anesthesia and patient safety. Jenny Rudolph, along with colleagues John Carroll and Brad Morrison, received The Jay W. Forrester Award.  The Forrester Award recognizes the best work in the field of system dynamics published in the previous five years.  Doctors Carroll, Morrison and Rudolph were recognized for their paper, “The dynamics of action-oriented problem solving:  linking interpretation and choice,” published in the Academy of Management Review in 2009 and was based on Dr. Rudolph’s doctoral dissertation conducted here at the Center for Medical Simulation. And last, but not least Janice Palaganas, PhD, RN, MSN, CRNP, CEN came on board in January as CMS’ newest Faculty member. Prior to joining CMS, Janice was the Director for Research & Development for the Medical Simulation Center at Loma Linda University.