LIMA — Lima Memorial Health System on Thursday accepted its second $100,000 donation in as many years from PotashCorp. This time around, the money will help fund a simulation and education laboratory at the hospital.
The training laboratory is open to the community, and will provide advanced preparation for healthcare providers, first responders and students in the healthcare field.
The lab, to be outfitted with simulation equipment, will enable healthcare providers and students to gain real-to-life training. High-tech simulation mannequins are capable of being programmed to exhibit specific patient behaviors and symptoms, as well as control how it responds to physical care and medications.
“This mannequin is going to be huge in terms of being able to educate,” said Mike Swick, president and CEO of Lima Memorial. “And it’s not just the people at Lima Memorial and Potash — the people of the community can also use it.
“It allows us to be able to focus on community safety and education, and I think that’s the key part of it. It’s a community initiative.”
Hospital officials said the simulation experience allows for a deliberate practice of skills, a sense of realism and real-time problem solving, all without compromising the health and safety of actual patients.
Todd Sutton, general manager of Potash, said the mannequins will be infant-sized up to adult-sized, and can be programmed to simulate a patient’s changing condition.
“Even as they’re working on the ‘patient,’ they’d be able to change the condition,” Sutton said. “It would allow first responders to have that real-life experience.”
Swick said the mannequins are so realistic that the skin feels human, and the heart beat mimics that of a living person.
“It’s a simulation that’s almost real,” he said.
Swick said he was “shocked and thrilled” when he learned Potash would be making another investment in the hospital. Just 11 months ago, the company donated $100,000 to bring a germ-eliminating, disinfecting robot to Lima Memorial.
When asked why Potash continues to donate large sums of money to Lima Memorial, Sutton said it’s all about “improving the level of healthcare that’s provided in the community.”
The training laboratory is still in its development stages, and hospital officials were unclear as to when the facility will open. Swick said when it does open, the lab will be “state-of-the-art.”
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima