November 11, 2019By Lance Baily

Key Updates From Michael S. Gordon Center for Simulation and Innovation in Medical Education

The Michael S. Gordon Center for Simulation and Innovation in Medical Education (GCRME) is a designated Center of Excellence of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Established more than 45 years ago for the application of advanced technology to medical education for medical students, physicians, physician assistants, nurses, paramedic/firefighters and instructors, more than 2,000 medical centers and agencies worldwide use the educational systems and training curricula developed at the Center. The program is also home to the Harvey Simulator,  a leading educational and training device for cardiopulmonary used by over 400  medical centers worldwide. Today we take a look at their recent educational initiatives which are improving healthcare outcomes around the world!

Latest GCRME Updates

Tallahassee Agencies Prepare for Active Shooter Emergencies with Help from Gordon Center: Using a groundbreaking training program developed by the Gordon Center’s Section of Tactical Emergency Medicine, with support from the Florida Department of Education, first-responders from Tallahassee’s police and fire departments recently learned how to provide basic medical care interventions during the chaotic first few minutes of an active shooter situation. Barry Issenberg, M.D., professor of medicine at the Miller School and director of the Gordon Center, said the training transforms the way responders deal with traumatic events.


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The Center previously worked on innovating responses to events like heart attacks and disasters, but in light of the state’s recent mass shootings, Dr. Issenberg said it’s time to expand focus. Issenberg Gordon Center Barry Issenberg, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and director of the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education “The reception has been tremendous, particularly on the law enforcement side,” Dr. Issenberg said. “For the first time they’re learning how to apply medical care to victims hurt in a mass-casualty incident.” The eight-hour course is designed for public safety first-responders including police and other law enforcement officers, as well as other non-medically trained personnel. Using rescue mannequin with missing limbs and open wounds, trainees learn basic techniques that can help save an injured victim’s life until EMS practitioners are able to safely enter an active shooting scene.

UM medical teams teach new ways to respond to mass shootings: Recently, instructors from the Gordon Center went to the Florida Keys to train members of Monroe Fire Rescue, Islamorada Fire Rescue and the Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department to work with law enforcement during live drills inside the old Plantation Key School. The firefighters and medics trained alongside Monroe County sheriff’s deputies, officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, U.S. Border Patrol agents and members of the Coast Guard. “We’re all going to have to play in the same sandbox,” said Islamorada Fire Rescue Chief Terry Abel. “We have to know every strength and every weakness so if the time does come, we can all play together.” Florida Keys firefighters and a member of the U.S. Coast Guard take part in an active shooter drill inside Plantation Key School. The scenario Tuesday afternoon was a shooter inside a school who wounded and killed several people before shooting himself.

Using real people “adds a certain emotional component, a human component, and a level of reality” for the law enforcement officers and first responders training to treat gunshot victims, said Dr. S. Barry Issenberg, director of the Gordon Center. The drill consisted of two parts. The first was a walk-through where the trainees were accompanied by instructors correcting them through the process, and there were fewer victims.


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A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputy, a U.S. Border Patrol agent and a U.S. Coast Guard member conduct an active shooter drill inside Plantation Key School. The second part was more intense with more patients. Each lasted about 30 minutes, but because of the gravity of the scenario, “it feels more like four hours,” said Capt. Steven Carter, who serves with Sunrise Fire Rescue and is also assistant director of operations with the Tactical Emergency Medicine section.

A Touching Remembrance of Michael S. Gordon, MD PhD: A joyful musical celebration of the life and legacy of Michael S. Gordon, MD PhD was hosted by Mrs. Lynda Gordon, The Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education and the Frost School of Music. A pre-concert reception was held at UM Libraries, Kislak Center where members of the Fire Rescue Honor Guard presented the colors and M/C Anthony Sosso led guests in the Pledge of Alliance. President Julio Frenk welcomed guests and spoke about Michael’s long and distinguished career at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where he revolutionized medical education. In 1968 he invented a cardiopulmonary patietnt simulator named after his mentor Dr. Proctor Harvey that transformed simulation and medical training.

In the 50 years since, hundreds of thousands of physicians, nurses, students, residents and first responders including the military have trained with the systems Michael and his team developed. Dean Henri Ford spoke about Dr.Gordon as an example academic clinician who named the simulator after his mentor and not himself, a credit to his character. Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who as a former ýre chief worked with Dr.Gordon in the initial stages of curriculum development for all First Responders, spoke of his and his wife Lourdes’ longtime friendship with both Michael and Lynda. Mayor Gimenez, along with Vice Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson and Commissioner Willy Gort, co-designated the“Michael S. Gordon Plaza”located o nNW 14th Street at Highland Road in the center of the Miller School of Medicine campus last year.

GCRME Training Courses 

The GCRME Emergency Medical Skills Training Programs also began over 35 years ago. They now train thousands of course registrants per year at nearly 700 agencies in Florida and over 1,000 in other states, as well as internationally. Courses address multiple content areas, including cardiac life support, trauma, pediatrics, stroke, heart attack, advanced airway, team training, rapid response and disaster response. Paramedics diagnose problems using actors to play the role of patients. They are the designated lead training center for the Florida Department of Health’s Emergency Response to Terrorism training program. Their curricula are disseminated to Florida’s state and community colleges, and the paramedics trained at the center respond to the 911 calls of millions of Floridians. They also train the U.S. Army Forward Surgical Teams prior to their front-line deployment and healthcare personnel from other high level federal agencies. Courses offerings cover key topics including:

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Airway Training
  • BLS
  • Disaster Preparedness & MCI
  • Acute Coronary Syndroms
  • Pediatrics
  • Stoke
  • Trauma
  • Ultrasound
  • & More!

Visit the website through the link below to learn about more upcoming courses!

More About The GCRME

The Center occupies a 34,000 sq.ft. state-of-the-art facility, with the capability for simulation and design engineering, production and manufacturing. It houses a high technology auditorium, self-learning laboratory, standardized patient training area, emergency rescue vehicle, car for extrication of trauma victims, disaster response decontamination showers and mock emergency department.

The most long-standing example of their innovative work is Harvey, the Cardiopulmonary Patient Simulator. First introduced in 1968, the unique manikin simulates essentially any cardiac disease, including blood pressure, breathing, pulses, heart sounds and murmurs. The patented Harvey also simulates lung disease, is more portable and costs less. A curriculum for nurses has been developed and successfully evaluated in a study at multiple nursing schools. The Patient Simulator Harvey trains tens of thousands of learners worldwide.

UMedic began more than 30 years ago, is among the most advanced multimedia computer teaching systems in all of medical education, and web-based versions are now being implemented. It provides a comprehensive cardiology curriculum for medical, nursing and physicians assistant students, physicians and nurses, and programs have been developed in neurology and emergency medicine.

Over 400 medical centers worldwide currently use Harvey and/or the UMedic system in their training programs. Their Pre-Hospital and Emergency Healthcare Skills Training Programs also began more than 30 years ago. They now train thousands of course registrants per year at over 800 agencies in Florida and 900 in other states, as well as internationally. Paramedics diagnose problems using actors to play the role of patients. Their curricula are disseminated to Florida’s State Colleges, and the paramedics trained at their Center respond to the 911 calls of millions of Floridians. They also train U.S. Army Forward Surgical Trauma Teams prior to their front-line deployment, and members of the White House Medical Unit!

Learn More By Visiting the GCRME Website Today!


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