Mother Child W Physician

Medical College of Wisconsin Pediatric Medical Education Simulation Program

Mission: The Pediatric Simulation Program at the Medical College of WI/Children's WI cultivates a learning and training environment of integrity, collaboration, and innovation for health care professionals that promotes lifelong learning, maintenance of competence, and the best and safest care for children and families.

Vision: The Pediatric Simulation Program at the Medical College of WI/Children's WI aims to support the educational, research, patient safety, and quality facets of health care education and delivery to achieve the best and safest care for the children and families of Wisconsin and beyond.


Simulation Program Slideshow

About Our Program

We operate with The Basic Assumption © Center for Medical Simulation. "We believe that everyone participating in activities at the Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab at Children’s Wisconsin is intelligent, capable, cares about doing their best, and wants to improve."
History of the Pediatric Simulation Program
The Simulation Program was founded in 2010 utilizing unoccupied patient care space (Center 4) with the vision of promoting excellence in pediatric healthcare through simulation experiences in a structured, safe learning environment using state of the art equipment. Due to patient care, safety, and educational benefits, the need for a dedicated simulation-based education space was identified. Through the visionary leadership of invested individuals, along with generous philanthropic support, the Children’s Wisconsin (CW) Simulation Center was created in 2013 and is inclusive of state-of-the-art technology and a thoughtful design conducive of a safe, effective, and innovative learning environment. Through the generous cumulative donation of Dairy Cares of Wisconsin, in 2018 the Simulation Center was renamed the CW Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab. In addition to the simulation rooms located in the Corporate Center there is a simulation room on Center 7 located in Children’s Wisconsin main hospital. Together Children’s Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin offers many simulation opportunities within the Children’s Wisconsin Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab.
About Simulation-Based Education

Simulation is a generic term that refers to an artificial representation of a real-world process to achieve educational goals through experiential learning. Simulation-based education is defined as an educational activity that utilizes simulation technology to replicate real life clinical scenarios. Simulation for health professional education is being utilized more frequently and has routinely been used in other high-risk professions such as aviation and shipping industries. Health professional simulation allows for more efficient acquisition of clinical skills through deliberate practice, in addition to the more traditional apprentice style of learning. With simulation tools as an alternate to a real patient, a trainee can make mistakes and learn from them without the risk or fear of patient harm. Health professional simulation research reveals significant advantages including improved patient safety, quality of care, improved team performance and reduction of health care costs.

The simulated scenarios and manikins are highly realistic and engage the learners emotionally and intellectually, thus providing a unique learning experience wherein the “patient” actually talks, breathes, blinks, and moves similar to a real human patient. Simulation can be adapted to replicate any health care environment, such as an operating room, emergency department, or intensive care unit; and to accommodate any health care professional, including physicians, nurses, paramedics, and respiratory therapists.

Health professional training programs have to ensure that the learners are exposed to a variety of learning opportunities to obtain the vital knowledge and skills necessary to provide excellent and safe care. Clinical competencies including but not limited to: communication, teamwork, gathering a history, professionalism, ethical considerations, physical examination, procedural skills, diagnostic reasoning, resuscitation skills, critical thinking and decision making, simple to complex problem solving, organization and prioritization, and information technology skills are all components of the simulation-based education curriculum at the Children’s Wisconsin.

Advantages of Simulation Learning

  • Health care simulation has four primary purposes—education, assessment, research, and health system integration with the goal of facilitating and promoting patient safety. Simulation education is a bridge between classroom learning and real-life clinical experiences. Advantages of simulation learning include:
    • Hands-on and critical thinking skill development including knowledge-in-action, procedures, decision-making, and effective communication.
    • Critical teamwork behaviors, such as managing a high workload and coordinating under stress, can be taught and practiced.
    • Allows for a safe learning environment with freedom to make mistakes and to learn from them without risk of harm to a real person.
    • By seeing the outcome of their mistakes, learners gain powerful insight into the consequences of their actions and the need to get it right.
    • Learning experiences can be customized to accommodate a range of learners from novices to experts.
    • Opportunity for detailed feedback and evaluation by training facilitators.

Who uses the Simulation Program space?

  • Health care and allied health professionals who care for children.
  • Patients and families
Program Dashboards
Simulation Resources


Children’s Wisconsin Dairy Cares Simulation Lab: Visit Children’s Connect for more information regarding services hosted within this space. 

Visit Children’s Connect for more information regarding how to schedule a session!

Educational Resources

The Pediatric Simulation Program provides an institution specific Simulation Facilitator Training through the virtual learning platform, Moodle. For access, please contact us at On this learning platform we have various simulation resources for simulation-based education such as Simulation Development Template, Simulation Scenarios, links to Simulation Societies, and more!

Pediatric Simulation Program Events

We support simulation-based educational events customized to meet the needs of individual groups such as Pediatric Fellowship Programs, Pediatric Residency Programs, Nurse education, Multidisciplinary Team Mock Codes, Transport Team orientation and education days, National Bootcamps, and Caregiver simulation events.

You can help support the Simulation Lab through your donations.

Donate Now

Primary Operational Team

Tara Petersen, MD, MSEd

Petersen Tara

Medical Director

Katie McDermott, MSN, MEHP, RN, CPNP-AC

Katie McDermott

Program Director

Lucia Lee, MS

Lucia Lee MS Simulation Specialist

Simulation Specialist

Sharon Stiles

Stiles Sharon

Program Manager I- Simulation

Secondary Operational Team

Christopher Jensen


Director, Educational Services

Jennifer Doerr, MSN, RN

Jennifer Doerr MSN RN Clinical Education Manager Educational Services

Clinical Education Manager, Educational Services



Contact Us

For all Children's Wisconsin Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab based questions, please contact us via email!

Sharon Stiles, Program Manager I-Simulation
Lucia Lee, MS, Simulation Specialist