Saint Francis Receives CHEFA Grant for Simulation Studio

$74,735 to support technology and training enhancements  

(Hartford, Conn. February 16, 2015) – Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has received a $74,735 grant from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) to provide new technology that will enhance the simulation-based medical education capabilities of the Saint Francis Simulation Program.  

Of the grant, $41,000 will be used to create a simulation studio at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, located at 490 Blue Hills Avenue, Hartford. Like the facility at Saint Francis, the Mount Sinai studio will be used to create simulated scenarios that, in addition to clinical skills, focus on communication, teamwork, workflow, and safety. These sessions are videotaped to allow clinical and other Hospital staff to receive feedback on their performance.  

About $13,000 from the grant will go toward upgrading the equipment, technology, and the video recording capability to maximize the learning experience related to debriefing in the Nurses’ Simulation Lab located at Saint Francis.  

“All of these additions and upgrades will allow us to expand our program and better serve our staff by providing an exceptional educational experience,” said Robert Craig, Simulation Program Supervisor at Saint Francis.  

The Simulation Studio, located in the Innovation + Learning Center at Saint Francis, is a high-fidelity, 1,141 square-foot facility that includes three patient bays, a production/recording room, and three large adjacent conference rooms for post-session debriefings. These conference rooms have the capability to stream live or recorded video of the simulation session onto large screens inside the debriefing rooms.  

A prior $75,000 grant from CHEFA in 2013 helped establish the original simulation studio as one of the most advanced simulation-based medical education facilities in Connecticut. 

“We are truly grateful for the continued support of CHEFA.  Their commitment allows us to purchase and install the latest technology designed for simulation-based medical education, thus improving patient safety,” said Lynn B. Rossini, Chief Development Officer, Saint Francis Foundation. 

The studio is equipped with numerous task trainers, i.e. specialized technology that can simulate a wide variety of medical procedures and situations. This allows students and veteran practitioners to master new medical equipment and technology on mannequins before using it on patients. They also receive feedback from the mannequin/patient, thereby improving the culture of patient safety throughout the Hospital.      

The highly flexible space can be quickly set and re-set to replicate any clinical setting (e.g. emergency department, operating room, Intensive Care Unit, inpatient room, radiology unit, primary care office, etc.). The studio is equipped with three video cameras and all simulations are videotaped for use in the debriefing sessions following the medical simulation. 

The video recording uses a simulation-based medical education software program, StudioCode™, which is able to highlight specific components of the simulation scenario based on specific learning objectives. StudioCode enhances the debriefing sessions by allowing instant access to coded or “tagged” sections of the video that are the focus of the advanced learning planned by the simulation instructor. In the same building, there are two smaller simulation rooms, one specifically for use by nurses and nursing students, and one for simulating rehabilitation scenarios.  

“A major focus in the studio is the improvement of teamwork skills and team protocols, efforts intended to support Saint Francis in our focus on delivering high-quality healthcare in the community we serve,” said Nancy Krafcik-Rousseau, Ph.D., Chief of Staff to CEO Christopher Dadlez. “Saint Francis is focused on delivering the best patient experience possible and using simulation helps us to accomplish our vision.” 

About the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) 

The Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) recently announced $1.25 million in grants to 18 of its nonprofit client agencies throughout the state.  CHEFA is a quasi-public agency created by the State Legislature to help Connecticut healthcare and educational institutions, and other not-for-profit entities obtain tax exempt financing.  CHEFA is self-sustaining and receives no taxpayer funds.  For more information about CHEFA, visit 

About Saint Francis Care 

Saint Francis Care is an integrated healthcare delivery system established by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, an anchor institution in north central Connecticut since 1897.  Licensed for 617 beds and 65 bassinets, it is a major teaching hospital and the largest Catholic hospital in New England.  Other major entities of Saint Francis Care include The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center, the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research, and Saint Francis HealthCare Partners.  Johnson Memorial Medical Center, parent organization of Johnson Memorial Hospital, Evergreen Health Care Center, and Home and Community Health Services is also a Saint Francis Care Partner.  Saint Francis Care’s services are supported by a network of five major Access Centers and eight additional medical office centers sited throughout the region.  For more information, visit