Closeup of two golden scissors cutting a blue ribbonThe Center for Interprofessional Learning and Simulation (CILS) at Daemen College, unveiled at the start of our 2020–21 academic year, will transform education in the health sciences with real-life clinical experiences and also serve as a regional resource for professional development and training.

Located in Daemen’s Research and Information Commons, the 2,400 square-foot center is a replica of a professional health clinic. CILS houses eight modern examination rooms, a counseling room, and a space for telehealth, telecounseling, and interprofessional learning experiences. The space has been designed with health and safety protocols and universal precautions in mind.

Group shot of Daemen staff in masksStudents will be immersed in simulated patient scenarios that mimic real life, using standardized patients who bring clinical cases to life. Rooms are equipped with video cameras and wireless headphones so that practical experiences can be recorded and students can receive instruction in real-time. The CILS will create a professional learning environment for patient simulations, helping students to become more competent, confident, and compassionate professionals.

The CILS will also facilitate interprofessional education as students from different disciplines work together to interpret patient data and client interactions. To start, physician assistant studies students will use CILS this fall and the scope of student use will broaden to other health and human services programs, including nursing, physical therapy, applied behavior analysis, athletic training, social work, education, and paralegal studies. Over time, Daemen programs using the center will expand as the college develops additional CILS learning opportunities.

In a typical academic year, at least 450 Daemen students will use CILS as part of their major program of study. Beyond this, the center’s learning modules will provide opportunities for community professionals to advance their skills and earn certifications. 

CILS will be overseen by Dr. Gregg Shutts, interim executive director and former program director of physician assistant studies, and Dr. Mary Iwanenko, interim coordinator. Dr. Diane Bessel, department chair of social work and sociology, led the development of the center’s strategic plan, mission, vision, and values, and will be key in creating professional development opportunities offered at CILS.