Physician simulation learning leader from VHA named CAMLS Executive Director

Dr. Haru Okuda will also serve as USF Health’s first executive director of Interprofessional Education Simulation Programming

Haru Okuda, MD

Yasuharu (Haru) Okuda, MD, FACEP, FSSH, an internationally respected leader in simulation-based clinical education and training, has joined USF Health as the executive director of the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS). He has also been named the first executive director of USF Health’s Interprofessional Education Simulation (IPE) Programming.

Dr. Okuda comes to USF Health from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, where he served as the national medical director of the Simulation Learning Education and Research Network (SimLEARN) program based in Orlando, FL. He was also the VHA’s deputy chief patient care services officer, and held appointments as a professor of emergency medicine and director of simulation at the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Medicine.

Under the leadership of Carole Post, chief administrative officer of USF Health and chief executive officer of the Health Professions Conferencing Corporation (HPCC), CAMLS has achieved a sustainable academic and economic model poised for significant organizational advancement and accomplishment. Post will continue to serve both roles.

Dr. Okuda will work closely with USF Health and CAMLS leadership, and the Health Professions Conferencing Corporation Board of Directors, to continue building a robust model for the state-of-the-art health simulation learning facility. His responsibilities include leading the overall strategic direction of CAMLS, leveraging its existing strengths, identifying new opportunities for growth, and overseeing the day-to-day operations. He will also uphold the financial and operational stability experienced at CAMLS over the last 18 months and strengthen investments by cultivating academic and private sector partnerships.

As the first executive director of IPE Simulation Programming, Dr. Okuda will work with Post to develop strategic approaches for USF Health’s IPE simulation training, oversee USF Health’s Simulation Governance Consortium, and establish best practices for simulation education while pursuing scholarly work in this area of expertise. As a joint faculty member, he will also staff a few emergency medicine shifts each month at Tampa General Hospital.

Dr. Okuda spent the last seven years leading development of simulation-based curricula for the Veterans Health Administration’s interprofessional clinical workforce of 125,000 health care professionals.

Dr. Okuda spent the last seven years leading SimLEARN where he was responsible for the development of simulation-based curricula for VHA’s interprofessional clinical workforce, comprised of 125,000 health care professionals. He also established national strategy and business plans for simulation-based programs at more than 150 U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ medical facilities, and created six advanced interprofessional clinical fellowships in simulation at VA medical sites across the country. In addition to his role as medical director of SimLEARN, Dr. Okuda served as the deputy chief of patient care services officer for the VHA, where he was responsible for policy development and oversight of the national Office for Women’s Health Care, Community and Preventative Health, Social Work and Pharmacy Benefits Management. Before joining the VA, he was assistant vice president and director of the Institute for Medical Simulation and Advanced Learning for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the largest public health system in the United States. He also held positions as associate clinical professor, associate residency director, and director of simulation in the Department of Emergency Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

Dr. Okuda received his medical degree from New York Medical College, and a certificate in Healthcare Modeling and Simulation from the Naval Postgraduate School in California. He conducted an internship in emergency medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he was administrative chief resident, and then completed a clinical quality fellowship from the Greater New York Hospital Association/United Hospital Fund. He is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an inaugural fellow of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Academy. He has also served as a chair or member of several medical and simulation committees; most recently, Dr. Okuda was elected as a board member for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. He has authored or co-authored numerous textbooks, peer-reviewed publications and textbook chapters.

Dr. Okuda will work closely with USF Health and CAMLS leadership, and the Health Professions Conferencing Corporation Board of Directors, to continue building a robust model for USF’s state-of-the-art health simulation learning facility.

Known for his passion for teaching, innovation and business, Dr. Okuda received the 2017 Distinguished Educator Award by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Simulation Academy for the creation of the simulation-based training program SimWars; was named one of the top 25 Healthcare Leaders Under 40 by Becker’s Hospital Review in 2012; was selected as one of 40 Under 40 New York’s Rising Stars in Business by Crain’s NY Business Magazine in 2011; and was awarded the 2017 Healthcare and Medicine Leader of the Year by i4 Business Magazine.

-Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications and Marketing