University of South Florida

USF Health CAMLS celebrates 10 years of providing the best in simulation training

The USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) first opened 10 years ago in March 2012, where leaders from the community, education, industry, and simulation partners from around the world met for the grand opening in downtown Tampa.

Under one roof, the 90,000 square-foot, three-story facility houses the latest simulation technology and experiences to train the full spectrum of health care professionals as one of the nation’s top medical simulation facilities.

Part of the mosaic of USF Health’s expanded presence in downtown Tampa, CAMLS, is within walking distance of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in the Water Street Tampa urban development district.

CAMLS Grand Opening

“The goal was to build almost a Disney World for clinical providers who could travel from around the world to CAMLS to train with the best technology using simulation, incredible bio skills, fully realistic labs so that they can improve their procedural and clinical skills and then go back to their work and give the best practices both from USF Health experts but also utilizing the latest and greatest technology,” said Dr. Yasuharu “Haru” Okuda, MD, FACEP, FSSH, executive director for USF Health CAMLS and associate vice president for USF Health Interprofessional Education and Practice.

Until recently, CAMLS focused solely on training biomedical businesses and health care professionals. However, that initiative has expanded over the years to offer hands-on simulation training to USF Health students and faculty dedicated to advancing their clinical skills and improving patient safety and quality of care in Tampa Bay, Florida, the U.S., and the world.

“In the beginning, this advanced medical learning simulation was really focused around businesses and training and teaching health care professionals. But over the years, we’ve really evolved into a place where we conduct research in even more advanced training and education, like in virtual reality and augmented reality. We also now impact our future health care professionals by training students from our College of Medicine and College of Nursing both separately and as part of interprofessional teams,” Dr. Okuda said.

Dr. Charles Lockwood and USF President Rhea Law.

USF President Rhea H. Law and Charles Lockwood, MD, MHCM, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine (MCOM), have been active participants and contributed greatly to the success of CAMLS. President Law has been on the board of directors over the years and has continued to support the organization. Meanwhile, Dr. Lockwood has helped support the efforts of CAMLS around education, research, and innovation.

EMS instructors participated in a training class hosted by the USF Health CAMLS at the Pinellas County EMS Training Center.

Recently, CAMLS has been working on a new community outreach program called “CAMLS Without Walls.” The program was developed so the facility could go out into the community and deliver training through simulation-based education.

“The future of CAMLS is really bright,” Dr. Okuda said. “We have some incredible partnerships with startup companies in Tampa, where we’re building on our business relationships to innovate in areas such as virtual reality and augmented reality. We are also building our research teams to identify new technologies for training and education, and we’re publishing articles on that research. Now we are building a mobile training program called “CAMLS Without Walls,” so we are not bound by training only within CAMLS but can now go out into our community and deliver the training in hospitals in our rural environments and bring USF Health Expertise to places that need it the most.”

Story and video by Ryan Rossy, USF Health Communications and Marketing

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