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National Expert Carla Pugh to Lead UW Health Clinical Simulation Program

Madison, Wisconsin - Dr. Carla Pugh, a nationally recognized leader in surgical education, has been named to lead UW Health's new Clinical Simulation Program.


Carla PughPugh, a surgeon who currently heads the Center for Advanced Surgical Education at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, is a specialist in acute-care and emergency general surgery.


In September, President Barack Obama presented Dr. Pugh with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for her research on a sensor device that can measure whether physicians and medical students are performing breast exams correctly, and thus are detecting abnormalities. PECASE awards are the highest honor given by the U.S. government to outstanding young scientists.


In March, she will assume the clinical leadership for the 6,500-square-foot UW Health simulation facility. The simulation program opened in November and has already begun training physicians, nurses and emergency responders in a setting that recreates operating suites, hospital rooms and trauma centers. Donna Katen-Bahensky, the hospital's president and chief executive officer, says that the hiring of Dr. Pugh signals that the UW Health simulation program is truly in the national elite.


"We are fortunate to have Dr. Pugh leading our clinical simulation program. She is a proven innovator and under her leadership this program will not only be a national leader but will drive the quality of our patient care and services even higher," Katen-Bahensky says.


Dean Robert Golden of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health welcomed Pugh to the faculty.


"Dr. Pugh's ground breaking research on the application of simulation technology for clinical education will provide a state of the art approach to the training of our students, who will learn in an environment where they are encouraged to ask questions and learn from their mistakes," Golden says. "We are pleased to welcome an outstanding, nationally renowned educator to our faculty."


Pugh's research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and she has received numerous awards from various medical and engineering organizations. Dr. Pugh is also the developer of several decision-based simulators currently used to assess intra-operative judgment and team skills.


"Dr. Pugh is an innovative surgeon who has creative ideas about how to enhance learning of health care professionals," says Dr. K. Craig Kent, chair of the Department of Surgery at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. "She will be an incredible asset to UW's new state-of-the-art simulation center."


Dr. Pugh will also assume the role of vice-chair of education and patient safety in the Department of Surgery.


Dr. Pugh earned her undergraduate degree in neurobiology at the University of California-Berkeley and her medical degree at Howard University School of Medicine. After completing her surgical training, she earned a doctoral degree in education from Stanford University. Dr. Pugh holds a "method patent" on the use of sensor and data acquisition technology to measure and characterize the sense of touch. Currently, more than 100 medical and nursing schools are using one of her sensor-enabled training tools for their students and trainees.

Date Published: 02/02/2012

News tag(s):  simulationresearchfacultysurgery

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National Expert Carla Pugh to Lead UW Health Clinical Simulation Program

Last updated: 01/28/2015
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