Frank Linsalata, Campaign Chair
To Our Campaign Volunteers, University Friends and Other Supporters:
This afternoon the Case Western Reserve community saw the extraordinary impact that a simple conversation can make. The occasion was the grand opening of a first-of-its-kind simulator for our renowned flight nursing program at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.
The state-of-the-art system combines the body of a Sikorsky® helicopter outfitted with the equipment and technology that an actual medical air transport helicopter would carry. It is mounted on a movable platform to mimic the vibrations and turns passengers could experience on an actual flight, as well as digitally controlled screens that project what a health professional actually would see outside the windows during flight. Thanks to headsets and cameras, instructors can monitor every step students take, and in turn review the video with them to help improve their skills for when they are in a real-life emergency.
This exceptional addition to the nursing school’s offerings came to be, in large measure, thanks to the serendipity that put Jim and Connie Brown at a table with nursing school Dean Mary Kerr during a university event. Mary happened to tell Connie about the flight nursing program and how much the school needed a simulator to expand students’ training opportunities.
“You should meet my son Joe,” Connie responded.
Joe, it turned out, runs the family business, Hartzell Propeller, and also is chief operating officer of Tailwind Technologies. Joe was so intrigued with the idea that he contacted a friend, Jerry Gregoire of Red Bird Flight Simulations. The two then collaborated with the school’s Flight Nursing Director Stephanie Steiner and Learning Resource Center Director Celeste Alfes to create a system that met the program’s unique needs.
“This incredible team is an excellent example of innovative thinking,” President Barbara R. Snyder said at today’s event, “or as we say at Case Western Reserve—thinking beyond the possible.”
In addition to making this moment possible, Jim and Connie Brown recently endowed a professorship in cystic fibrosis research at the School of Medicine. They also have made a commitment to the Health Education Campus in honor of Pamela Davis, the medical school dean and senior vice president for medical affairs. Davis, whose specialty is cystic fibrosis, treated their granddaughter KC Bryan White for the disease for several decades.
Tomorrow the nursing school hosts an international summit on flight nursing that focuses on how air medical transport has played a critical role in disaster response. Experts from Canada, Spain and the U.S. Army will share insight and lessons from their experiences in deadly crises. Thanks to people like the Browns and everyone else who helped make the simulator possible, even more expert flight nurses will have exemplary preparation when they respond to emergencies. We thank them all.
Watch a video about the flight simulator online (or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://youtu.be/w-F9s9Qukqo).
Frank Linsalata, Chair
Forward Thinking: Extending Our Impact
The Campaign for Case Western Reserve University