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UCF College of Nursing receives $1 million grant for an endowed chair

Wednesday March 19, 2014
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The University of Central Florida College of Nursing in Orlando has received a $1 million grant to establish an endowed chair for healthcare simulation, according to a news release. Research professor Gregory Welch, PhD, a computer scientist and engineer, has been appointed to the chair.

The Florida Hospital Endowed Chair in Healthcare Simulation will support the research and development of enhanced simulation technology to improve healthcare education.

“We are grateful to our partner, Florida Hospital, for its great generosity,” Mary Lou Sole, RN, PhD, CCNS, CNL, FAAN, FCCM, interim dean of the College of Nursing, said in the release. “This new endowed chair underscores the College of Nursing’s commitment to becoming a national leader in developing and testing innovative technologies to enhance nursing and healthcare education as well as patient care delivery. Ultimately, patient outcomes will be improved.”

While a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Welch led research efforts to develop three-dimensional remote healthcare consulting technology, which would allow physicians to “look over the shoulder” and coach emergency medical personnel through necessary emergent procedures while responding to motor vehicle crashes and other emergencies.

His primary focus now is improving the simulated patients that are used in the education of nurses and other health care professionals, as well as other uses of technology for patient care.

“Computer scientists don’t exist to develop technology and conduct experiments in a vacuum,” said Welch, who worked on the Voyager Spacecraft Project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory “As one of my mentors, Fred Brooks, said, we are toolsmiths who support the work of others. Healthcare professionals help other people, and so supporting them appeals to me personally.”


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