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A crowd of people gathered around Jonathan Nguyen as he spoke to a mannequin lying in a hospital bed. Stranger yet, this one talked back. As its eyes blinked and its chest cavity rose and fell from simulated breathing, it told Nguyen about its pain.

This interaction displayed the latest simulation center for improving Veteran care, unveiled Sept. 17 at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. The opening coincided with Healthcare Simulation Week Sept. 16-20.

Simulation is a rapidly growing program within VA, said Dr. Scott Wiltz, associate medical director for training at the SimLEARN National Simulation Center in Orlando, Florida. The program helps train healthcare professionals to improve service to Veterans.

“We want to make sure everyone is trained to a standard,” Wiltz said. “That’s the key to zero harm, high reliability healthcare, earning the trust of Veterans.”

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