Break ground at OSF Saint Francis for simulation center

Photo Caption: Msgr. Michael Bliss, director of pastoral care at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, blesses the construction site for the new Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center on Sept. 16.

The turning of a few spades of ground Sept. 16 on the main campus of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria may one day be felt worldwide.

The advanced medical training done in the Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center “will ultimately touch countless lives across the whole world.,” predicted Sister Judith Ann Duvall, OSF, major superior of The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.

But in welcoming remarks at groundbreaking ceremonies for the $50 million facility, Sister Judith Ann said the center’s main purpose is “so that we might be prepared and able to give our lives in the service of human life.”

Keith Steffen, president and CEO of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, agreed. While the “world-class facility” will help recruit, retain, and educate health care providers and provide a boost for the local economy, “the winner is the patient,” he said.

The planned facility is a collaboration between OSF HealthCare and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP). It is being funded, in part, by a $25 million gift from Jump Trading, a Chicago-based proprietary trading firm.

Projected to be one of only perhaps 10 like it in the nation, the center will utilize the latest innovations in simulation education to train physicians and medical professionals from across the region. Simulation allows health care professionals to practice medical procedures in an environment “so realistic that the learners feel and act like it is real,” said Dr. Sara Rusch, regional dean of UICOMP.

The new center will include a virtual ICU, operating room and trauma room, and lab, as well as a large auditorium and conference rooms. The simulation center will encompass the lower two floors of the six-story building, while the remaining floors will be available for future needs of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

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