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Regions Hospital to expand, enhance clinical simulation services with $2.5M from Otto Bremer Trust

Donation will be used to relocate HealthPartners Institute’s Clinical Simulation Center within Regions Hospital and purchase high-tech tools for training healthcare workforce

February 15, 2023

St. Paul, Minn. – Slipping a virtual reality headset over their eyes, a nurse steps into an emergency department. They’re preparing for a massive blood transfusion ahead of an imaginary trauma patient’s arrival.

This high-tech form of training will be one of many features available to care teams as part of the relocation and expansion of HealthPartners Institute’s Clinical Simulation Center within Regions Hospital.

The capital project is made possible, in part, by a recent $2.5 million donation from the Otto Bremer Trust and will cover about half of the projects estimated costs. Regions Hospital Foundation is actively seeking additional contributions to help cover the remaining costs.

“The high-quality care that we deliver is supported by continuing education opportunities like those offered by the Clinical Simulation Center,” said Megan Remark, president of Regions Hospital. “This donation is going to improve the learning experience for the thousands of clinicians we train each year and ultimately contribute to a more prepared and effective workforce to care for our communities.”

HealthPartners Institute’s Clinical Simulation Center trains 8,000 healthcare workers each year. Simulations include specific procedures performed on computerized mannequins to practicing for specific patient care situations. While many of these health care workers are part of HealthPartners, trainees also include local medical and nursing students, emergency medicine and fire department personnel, and even local high school students who are exploring health careers.

Research shows that simulation is associated with improved response times during emergency scenarios that require chest compressions and defibrillators, and it’s associated with better clinical performance outcomes.

Futuristic Education
Three-dimensional printing is one of the notable upgrades to the simulation center’s equipment. These printers can be used to make replicas of patient’s body parts, giving clinicians an opportunity to practice surgical techniques and other procedures before conducting them in real life.

“Simulation allows healthcare to create individual and team experiences that could take years to acquire otherwise,” said Dr. Benoit Blondeau, chair of the department of surgery at Regions Hospital. “It also creates a safe environment to frankly discuss what went wrong in real-time instead of a narrated review later.”

Virtual reality headsets will also be part of the simulation center enhancements. These tools can be programmed with clinical scenarios that provide life-like experiences in a low-stakes environment. Care team members can then rehearse best-practices to help prevent things like medication errors, the most common adverse event in hospitals according to recent data published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The new simulation space will be almost 7,000 square feet on the first floor of Regions Hospital. The move will free-up space to be used for future clinical care. The relocation and upgrades will cost an estimated $5.1 million.

“This investment will have a tangible impact on the quality of care that’s available to our communities in the future,” said Charlotte Johnson, co-CEO and trustee, Otto Bremer Trust. “We’re proud to be a part of this innovative project and hope others will be inspired to contribute.”

About HealthPartners Institute

HealthPartners Institute is part of HealthPartners, the largest consumer governed nonprofit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with our members, patients and the community. HealthPartners Institute supports this mission through research and education—advancing care delivery and public health around the globe. The Institute annually conducts more than 350 research studies and trains 700+ medical residents and fellows and 1,200+ medical and advanced practice students. Its integration with HealthPartners’ hospitals, clinics and health plan strengthens the Institute’s ability to discover and develop evidence-based solutions and translate them into practice. Visit for more information.

About Regions Hospital Foundation

Regions Hospital Foundation is part of HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. Regions Hospital Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and receives more than 4,100 charitable contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations each year to advocate and develop awareness, build community partnerships and raise charitable contributions for patient care, research and health professional education. For more information, visit

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