News and Events


November, 2021

13th Annual CISL Symposium

CISL conducted our 13th annual CISL Symposium virtually on November 3rd. This year’s keynote was presented by Komal Bajaj, MD, MS-HPEd, Chief Quality Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and Clinical Director for NYC Health + Hospitals Simulation Center.

Dr. Bajaj’s presentation, Harnessing the Power of Silver Linings: Learning from Failure, explored how failure, as a product of values, context, and perspectives, is non-binary. Dr. Bajaj highlighted the importance of talking about failure and gave concrete strategies on learning from failure. In breakout rooms, participants worked to identify barriers to learning from failure at their organizations and discussed actions they can implement in the next 6 months to improve learning from failure.

During the second half of the symposium, Associate Dean, Susan Eller, MSN, RN, CHSE, moderated a panel discussion to further the discussion on learning from failure.  The multi-disciplinary panel brought expertise from their various backgrounds:

  • Dr. David M. Gaba, MD, Associate Dean for Immersive & Simulation-based Learning and Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine Stanford School of Medicine
  •  Sara Singer, MBA, PhD, Professor of Medicine (Primary Care & Population Health) at Stanford School of Medicine and Professor by Courtesy of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Komal Bajaj, MD, MS-HPEd, Chief Quality Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and Clinical Director for NYC Health + Hospitals Simulation Center

The panelists began the session by sharing their own impactful stories of learning through failure. Together, they discussed the importance of organizations committing to learning from failure and celebrating the creation of cultures that permit this to happen.

CISL is grateful to everyone who attended virtually. Information on future events will be posted to this News and Events webpage. Please direct any questions to

September, 2021

Susan Eller, MSN, RN, CHSE, Accepted into the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Academy as a New Fellow 

The Center for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning in conjunction with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), is pleased to announce Susan Eller, MSN, RN, CHSE, as a Fellow of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Academy (FSSH).

This global group of professional healthcare simulationists are recognized for their sustained contributions and impact on the field of healthcare simulation and to SSH. Their work, dedication, and passion has helped shape the current art, science, and practice of healthcare simulation, and is helping to shape its future. A full list of Fellows of the SSH Academy is online.

Since 2016, 101 individuals from 12 countries have been awarded this prestigious recognition.

“Fellows of the SSH Academy are professionals whose expertise in and dedication to simulation is incredible,” said Beth Mancini, RN, PhD, NE-BC, FSSH, FAHA, ANEF, FAAN, Chair of the SSH Academy Board of Governance. “The commitment of the individuals in this group to quality simulation and an increasing recognition of simulation as an education and research tool is indeed impressive.”

Fellows of the SSH Academy are selected through a rigorous peer-review process that evaluates the summative work and contributions in both healthcare simulation and to SSH. To achieve this designation indicates the very high level of contributions and impact that has been made by the nominee. The designation as a Fellow of the SSH Academy is prestigious and important to the healthcare simulation community as one of the fastest growing fields in healthcare education.

For more information about the SSH Academy and Fellows program, please contact

About SSH

The largest healthcare simulation organization in the world, the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) is a 501(c)3 organization with more than 5,000 members from more than 60 countries. SSH was established in 2004. SSH’s purpose is to serve a global community of practice enhancing the quality of healthcare.

The Society for Simulation in Healthcare

  • Serves our members by fostering education, professional development, and the advancement of research and innovation
  • Promotes the profession of healthcare simulation through standards and ethics
  • Champions healthcare simulation through advocating, sharing, facilitating, and collaborating

July, 2021

Dr. David M. Gaba Recognized as a 2020 Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award Recipient by National Quality Forum, The Joint Commission 

David M. Gaba, MD, has been recognized with the prestigious John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award in the Individual Achievement category. Dr. Gaba is Staff Anesthesiologist and Director of the Patient Simulation Center of Innovation, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and Professor, Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, and Associate Dean for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning, Stanford University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Gaba is honored for his seminal contributions in patient safety research, innovation, and dissemination. His work and experience include safety experimentation, developing and advancing theory, teaching, editing, as well as being a scholar and an institutional leader. His prolific bibliography has over 125 peer-reviewed publications in organizational safety theory, human factors, and safety culture. Dr. Gaba’s contributions are innovative and lead the field in three areas: 

  • Invention, use, and commercialization of modern mannequin-based simulation. Dr. Gaba's mannequin-based simulators first evolved from work undertaken by his group. While originating in anesthesiology, such simulators are now used in intensive care, emergency medicine, trauma, neonatology, cardiac arrest or rapid response teams, and surgery. 
  • Adaptation of crew resource management (CRM) from aviation to use within anesthesiology. This was adapted by Dr. Gaba’s group in the late 1980s as part of simulation-based training. The first such courses were conducted in 1990 for residents and for board-certified anesthesiologists. Since then, CRM-based approaches have spread directly and indirectly from this work. 
  • Creation and promulgation of multi-event cognitive aids for real-time use in time-critical, life-threatening situations. Dr. Gaba and his colleagues published this pioneering content as a textbook in the 1990s (with a second edition being released in the 2010s). 


Giving hundreds of presentations worldwide and influencing and encouraging mentees, Dr. Gaba’s achievements have spread internationally and across many disciplines and domains of health care. 

An Eisenberg Award panelist noted Dr. Gaba’s work is “an extremely important set of contributions, spanning both simulation and CRM. This is truly foundational work. Dr. Gaba’s contributions span decades, with demonstrated impact on a very broad scale.” 

The Eisenberg Awards bring together the quality community to recognize groundbreaking initiatives in health care that are consistent with the aims of the National Quality Strategy: better care, healthy people and communities, and smarter spending. 

The awards, presented annually by The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum (NQF), recognize major individual, local, and national achievements in health care that improve patient safety and health care quality.

Other award recipients include:

  • The Veterans Health Administration for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the National Level for its VHA Rapid Naloxone Initiative that reduced opioid overdose deaths by increasing the rapid availability of naloxone.
  • Northwestern Medicine for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the Local Level for the development of the Northwestern Medicine Academy for Quality and Safety Improvement (AQSI) to prepare individuals across multiple departments and professions to lead quality improvement (QI).


The patient safety awards program, launched in 2002, honors the late John M. Eisenberg, MD, MBA, former administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). An impassioned advocate for health care quality improvement, Eisenberg was a member of NQF’s founding board of directors, chaired the federal government’s Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force, and personally led AHRQ’s grant program to support patient safety research. 

NQF and The Joint Commission will host a virtual award ceremony on July 20 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET to celebrate the 2020 awardees and their accomplishments with the quality ecosystem. This celebratory event is open to the public and interested parties can register to attend at no cost.


September, 2020

CISL Celebrates Healthcare Simulation Week 2020

In honor of Healthcare Simulation Week 2020, CISL compiled a video to share some of the ways in which our team has adapted to the pandemic, wildfires, and other challenges this year. 

April, 2020

Karen Thomson Hall Performs in “Stuck@Home” Virtual Concert

On April 23rd, CISL’s Director of the Standardized Patient Program, Karen Thomson Hall performed with her husband Colin in Stanford Medicine’s weekly “Stuck@Home” virtual concert series.

Karen, who has been with CISL since 2008, volunteered to showcase her incredible talent as a professional actor and singer with the online community after much encouragement from Assistant Dean Susan Eller. 

Karen embraced the opportunity to perform with her husband, Colin, whom she met in 1997 when they were paired as a married couple in the Sondheim musical Company.  Together they chose a song that was both relevant and uplifting given the current COVID-19 health crisis. 

Karen and Colin performed “Follow Your Heart” by Hollmann & Kotis from the 2001 musical Urinetown. The song’s timely and moving lyrics resonated with the couple such as, "We all want a world filled with peace and with joy," and "Love is kind and considerate, Love is peaceful and fair... No anger or badness, Just laughter and gladness... If only you follow your heart." Colin, whose father is a retired cardiologist, also found these lines especially fitting for the Stanford medical community: “Someday I'll meet someone whose heart joins with mine, aortas and arteries all intertwined. They'll beat so much stronger than they could apart: eight chambers of muscle to hustle the love in our heart.”

Stanford’s Department of Medicine and the Medicine & the Muse Program began the online “Stuck@Home” concert series in late March of 2020 to bring together the Stanford community during shelter-in-place. The weekly presentations spotlight performances by Stanford Medicine faculty, residents, staff, and students as they showcase their diverse musical and artistic talents.

“Stuck@Home” airs live via Zoom every Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. PT and is expected to continue for the duration of the shelter-in-place order. Please visit the Medicine & the Muse Program website for more information.

12th Annual CISL Symposium

On April 22nd, CISL’s 12th Annual Symposium brought together like-minded simulation professionals and partners from the communities of healthcare clinicians and educators to discuss pertinent issues in simulation-based education and research. Due to COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandates, the 2020 Symposium was held as an online webinar using Zoom technology. There were 68 attendees to the symposium from a variety of clinical backgrounds and including several international attendees.

This year’s keynote was presented by Elaine C. Meyer, PhD, RN, FSSH, Senior Attending Psychologist at Boston Children's Hospital and Associate Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Meyer’s presentation, The Art of Apology and Disclosure Conversations After Medical Error: Learning through Simulation, explored the healthcare context of apology and disclosure conversations and offered practical pointers to utilize and practice in the event of medical error.

During the second half of the symposium Assistant Dean, Susan Eller, MSN, RN, CHSE, moderated a panel discussion to further the discussion of error disclosure and apologies.  The multi-disciplinary panel brought expertise from their various backgrounds:

  • Dr. David M. Gaba, MD, Associate Dean for Immersive & Simulation-based Learning and Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine Stanford School of Medicine
  • Barbara Correia, MFT, Marriage & Family Therapist and Corporate Trainer Specializing in Stress Reduction and Debriefings for Critical Incident Management
  • Elaine C. Meyer, PhD, RN, FSSH, Senior Attending Psychologist at Boston Children's Hospital and Associate Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School
  • Elaine Ziemba, MHA, JD, Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, Stanford Healthcare/Stanford Medicine

The panelists utilized case studies and a Q&A session to explore apology and disclosure approaches that can be incorporated into simulation and education in general. The group provided guidelines for having these vital conversations in order to build trust with patients and families. Panel members recommended that providing psychological safety for clinicians, so that they will speak up about errors and against hierarchy, creates greater safety for patients and families. 

CISL is grateful to everyone who participated virtually, and looks forward to conducting the symposium live again. A special thanks to Education Program Manager, Carolyn Dodd, who coordinated such a successful event after starting her new role in February and being Sheltered in Place in March!

July, 2018

CISL Welcomes Jonathan Muddle, Director of Simulation and Education

Please join us in welcoming Jonathan Muddle as CISL's new Director of Simulation and Education. Jonathan will be managing the daily operations of the Simulation Team; partnering with faculty to design, run and evaluate mannequin-based simulations and other educational exercises; lead efforts to integrate new educational technologies into the Immersive Learning Center (ILC); and working with CISL leadership on accreditation activities for the ILC.  

Jonathan comes to us from Ohio Health, where he was the Simulation Supervisor; responsible for daily operations of multiple simulation sites within their system. Beyond managing people and resources, Jonathan was also able to develop and implement new onboarding programs and design troubleshooting simulations for his simulation specialist team. 

Jonathan also brings a great deal of technological expertise on a variety of educational systems; including training customers and faculty on Apple software. Jonathan is currently enrolled in a graduate degree for educational technology, and we are excited to see what new ideas he will bring to share with faculty at Stanford.  

June, 2018

CISL Attends the 17th Annual ASPE Conference

SP Program Trainer, Elias Escobedo, represented CISL at the 17th Annual ASPE Conference in Kansas City, MO. The Association of Standardized Patient Educators is an international organization of simulation educators and SP trainers. Elias co-presented with Joe Miller from the University of Minnesota about the opportunities and challenges of using social media as SP Educators. Elias shared his experience recruiting SP actors via paid job posts on Facebook and Twitter. He also discussed the benefits and limitations of creating the Facebook group, BASP - Bay Area Standardized Patients. His presentation was well received and several audience members stayed afterward to ask followup questions. 

Joe Miller and Elias Escobedo at the 2018 ASPE Conference

Elias also assisted CISL’s adjunct trainer Pamela Nemecek during her pre-conference workshop on the META Toolkit - Managing the Effects of Traumatic Activity, designed by Pamela and her company, PRN Consulting. The META Toolkit is a self-care protocol for working under stress designed to help SPs deliberately process, disengage, and decompress after a long day of portraying characters in crisis. More highlights from the conference can be found by searching #ASPE2018 on Facebook and Twitter - and by following @StanfordCISL, @ASPE_Tweets, and @Elias_415.

CISL's Contingent SP Trainer Beverley Fagundes Retires

It is with very mixed emotions that CISL announces the retirement of our phenomenal contingent SP Trainer Beverley Fagundes in June 2018. Beverley has been working with the Stanford SP Program since 2007 and has been a stalwart member of our team and a guiding presence for SPs and students alike throughout her tenure here.

Hailing from Liverpool, England, Beverley studied ballet for 12 years as a child but grew too tall to be a ballerina. So instead, at age 17, she moved to Paris and performed as a dancer at the Moulin Rouge for two years. The bright lights of Las Vegas called to her and for the next ten years, she worked as a showgirl in the Lido Show at the Stardust Hotel. Then she and her husband moved to San Jose, and she has worked with Bay Area theatre companies for many years as an actor.

In addition to her work at Stanford, for the past four years she has been a volunteer at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley in the kitten nursery, and at the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley, rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing wildlife, as well as fostering baby opossums and squirrels. Beverley is looking forward to retiring to Sea Ranch where she plans to continue to work with wildlife and finish writing a children’s chapter book. An avid gardener for over 30 years, she is also excited to begin cultivating California native plants in her new yard overlooking the ocean.

Beverley has been such a constant with the Stanford SP Program, it’s nearly impossible to imagine the program without her, but we are very excited for her and this new adventure. We will miss her sunny disposition, her numerous insights as a trainer, her Mary Poppins-esque way of calming nervous students during an exam, and her wonderful sense of humor. We are full of gratitude for everything Beverley has done for us over the past 11 years and wish her all the best for a well-deserved retirement.

April, 2018

11th Annual CISL Symposium

The 11th Annual CISL Symposium, held on April 18, 2018 at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, brought together like-minded simulation professionals, and partners from the communities of healthcare clinicians and educators in one place to discuss pertinent issues in simulation-based education and research.

This year’s keynote by David M. Gaba MD, Associate Dean for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning, commemorated the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein. Dr. Gaba’s presentation, Simulation in Healthcare – What is a Monster?, examined themes triggered by the book that are mirrored in simulation; this talk was one of many events held this year at Stanford as part of “Frankenstein@200”.

During the morning session, CISL also convened a panel to discuss the ways in which virtual and augmented reality are being used at Stanford to educate students, professionals, and patients. The panel presentation titled: Virtual Creatures at Stanford Medicine - Current and Near Future VR-based Immersive Learning,  included the following topics:

Using AR/VR in Anatomy Education
- Sakti Srivastava, MDDB, MS, Director, Anatomy

Virtual Reality Congenital Heart Disease Training and Education: The Stanford Virtual Heart
- David M. Axelrod, MD, Associate Professor, Pediatrics-Cardiology

Virtual Creatures at Stanford Medicine – Current and Near Future VR-based Immersive Learning in Neurosurgery
- Harminder Singh, MD, FACS, FAANS, Associate Professor, Neurosurgery

Virtual Reality at CISL: The Implementation of SimX
- David M. Gaba, MD, Susan Eller, MSN, RN CHSE, John Fell, BA, CHSOS

NOTE: Presentations are available to view via streaming video (password required/Chrome is preferred browser):
Keynote Presentation: Simulation in Healthcare - What is a Monster?
VR Panel Presentations: Virtual Creatures at Stanford Medicine - Current and Near Future VR-based Immersive Learning

During the afternoon workshop, The Fiends of Fidelity - Making Monsters, Mannequins and Moulage, The CISL team, led by simulationist John Fell, Director of the Standardized Patient Program Karen Thomson Hall, and Assistant Dean Susan Eller, presented ways to augment immersive learning exercises using mannequin moulage/adjuncts for physical cueing, or the representation of patients or other roles by Standardized Patient Actors for emotional cueing.

Dr. Gaba closed out the day leading a tour of the Hon Mai & Joseph Goodman Immersive Learning Center (ILC), Stanford’s state-of-the-art facility equipped with resources for a wide range of immersive and simulation-based learning activities for learners of all levels, from medical students to experienced practitioners.

Mary Ayers Celebrates 25 Years at Stanford

Congratulations to Mary Ayers, CISL Director of Operations, who celebrates her 25th anniversary working at Stanford today, April 19!

 We are so grateful for Mary's leadership, her amazing institutional knowledge, and her welcoming presence within CISL. Mary first came to work at the School of Medicine as an Executive Secretary in the Dean's Office. A few months later, she was recruited by the Office of Medical Education where she served as Course Administrator for the Preparation for Clinical Medicine courses (now POM) and Evaluation Specialist until 1997, when she transitioned to working with medical students in their clinical years in her role as Clerkship Program Manager. 

In 2000, Mary was recruited by SUMMIT (Stanford University Medical Media and Information Technologies) manage two Wallenberg Projects in collaboration with the Karolinska Instiutet in Stockholm, Sweden: ISP/VL (Interactive Simulated Patient/Virtual Learning) and PharmaPac. When the projects were complete in 2002, Mary moved into the role of Learning Facilities & Scheduling Manager for the School of Medicine. 

In 2016, the Learning Spaces Team was shifted from working under the Information Resources and Technology department's EdTech team to the Educational Programs and Services department's CISL (Center for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning) team, where Mary was promoted to Director of Operations for Learning Spaces and the Immersive Learning Center. In 2016, Mary received the School of Medicine Dean's "Inspiring Change Leadership Award" for her work on a Lean Launch project in collaboration with other CISL team members.

Mary has completed both the Stanford Manager Academy and Stanford Technical Leadership training programs. She is currently a participant in the Stanford Lean Leadership Training Program which will conclude later this summer.

Thank you, Mary, for all that you do to make operations run smoothly for the CISL team, faculty, and students.

CISL 2017 Accomplishments Report

CISL is pleased to announce that our 2017 Accomplishments Report is now available to download!

We invite everyone to explore and learn all about the exciting events that took place during the past year by and with the simulation community who create and conduct powerful activities for teaching, learning, and scholarship in our world-class, integrated center, where modalities of immersive and simulation-based learning exist. 

Report highlights include:

  • Reports on ILC’s vast and varied educational simulation activities, including conferences, trainings, bootcamps and research initiatives
  • Spotlight interviews with key School of Medicine faculty and staff
  • Recent publications and presentations
  • Immersive Learning Center user activity data for FY17
  • Team accomplishments and awards

Visit our Accomplishments Reports website page to view this and all our previous reports. We hope that you share our pride in CISL's accomplishments and thank you for your continued support.

CISL Welcomes New Simulationist, Dishita Patel

We are very pleased to welcome Dishita Patel, MS to the CISL team starting April 16, 2018. In her role as Simulation Specialist 2, Dishita will be working in the Immersive Learning Center with CISL’s other simulationists assisting faculty with designing, running and evaluating mannequin-based simulations, and other experiential learning sessions within the ILC. 

Dishita comes to CISL with five years of immersive learning experience at Vanderbilt University. In her role as a Biomedical Engineer 2, she ran simulations for a variety of learner populations. Her background in engineering enabled her to assist with new device development and testing, and we anticipate her valuable participation on current and future SoM innovation projects. Dishita also has some experience with setting up Virtual Reality (VR) labs, so we are happy to have her joining us as we begin to implement our new SimX system. 

Dishita's contact information can be found here.

January, 2018

CISL Staff Present Work and Research at the 2018 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH)

From January 13-17, 2018, simulation professionals from around the globe will convene in Los Angeles for the annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH), sponsored by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

The conference brings together industry leaders for five exhilarating days, as researchers and practitioners share the latest innovations in this dynamic field.

CISL staff and faculty associates will be presenting the following work at this year’s conference:

Meet the Fellows: Current Work of the SSH Academy, Session #1
CISL Associate Dean David Gaba presenting
Monday, January 15, 10:00am-11:30am

Speed Mentoring Program in Healthcare Simulation Research
Facilitated by CISL Assistant Dean Susan Eller
Monday, January 15, 11:45am-1:15pm

Family Presence During Clinical Emergencies: A Simulation-based Training Program for Family Presence Facilitators
Rapid-fire session led by Cynthia Shum
Monday, January 15, 1:30-3:00pm

Research Committee Meeting
Committee meeting with CISL Assistant Dean Susan Eller, Chair of Research Subcommittee and Member of Core Research Committee
Tuesday, January 16, 7:00am-8:15am

Silicone Casting, Molding, and Other Tissue Mimicking Materials
Workshop led by CISL Simulation Technology Specialist John Fell
Tuesday, January 16, 10:00am-11:30am

Strengthen Individual and Team Leadership through Game-based Learning
Workshop by Naola Austin, CISL Assistant Dean Susan Eller, Sara Goldhaber-Fiebert, Steve Howard, former CISL Simulationist Teresa Roman-Micek, and Cynthia Shum. Additional Contributors to Workshop Development: Ruth Fanning, Kyle Harrison, and Louise Wen
Tuesday, January 16, 3:00pm-4:30pm

News and Events Contact

Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge (LKSC)

291 Campus Drive
Stanford, CA 94305