Last week, the Center for Medical Simulation hosted two Alaskan healthcare providers, Susan Davis, EMT, CHP-c, and Danita Koehler, MD. Susan and Danita came to CMS representing Eastern Aleutian Tribes, a healthcare corporation working alongside the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to provide health services to communities in the Aleutian Islands and on the Alaska and Kenai peninsulas. These programs are part of the Alaska Community Health Aide Program, which provides resources to a network of more than 550 healthcare providers serving more than 170 rural villages throughout Alaska. ANTHC is Alaska’s second largest healthcare employer, with over 2,500 employees.
Susan and Danita attended the CMS Comprehensive Instructor Workshop in order to further their goal of bringing simulation training to these healthcare programs. The Community Health Aides / Practitioners who work in the CHAP program are the primary providers in their communities, working with limited resources to provide health education, prevent disease and injury, and ensure safe water and sewer services. These community providers work in conjunction with remote providers at hospitals, using teleconferencing to examine patients, discuss treatment options, and determine whether medevac resources are required in critical situations.
Simulation training will allow these frontline providers to safely train on and improve response times to many potential clinical situations, including early recognition of crucial signs and symptoms for issues like shock, sepsis, and psychiatric distress. Having spent a week at CMS training with an international and interprofessional team of healthcare providers, Susan and Danita are now better equipped to create, operate, and evangelize simulation programs for their healthcare organizations and their communities.