Accreditation News








 We have certainly had a different perspective and time since our last missive.  I last wrote about the wonders of the IMSH 2020 and all we had talked about, discussed, accomplished and done as a team together.  We trained new reviewers, developed new processes, welcomed new Council members, and added additional tasks to our long list of actions.  

   Just a few months later, we are faced with the reality of a pandemic.  Looking back to January, it is hard to imagine how very clueless I was to the global concerns of COVID-19.  How a virus has turned everyone’s lives upside down is truly remarkable.  As I write this in my home office (which three months ago I could never have conceived), I realize how blessed I am to have such an amazing team of friends and colleagues to work with on the Accreditation Council.  Each of the Council members have pulled together to create a web, laced with enthusiasm, creativity, and initiative, to hold the Council goals up and move them forward.  All I can say is WOW!

  With the national order to WFH (who knew we would even be able to do such a thing), we were able to review the applications that came in during the December submissions, and conduct virtual reviews with the Programs.  I had the first opportunity to pave this brave new world, by reviewing our colleagues in Hong Kong at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  It was a new experience, but one that helped me craft a vision to move forward.  We developed processes, policies and a strong Zoom team to allow our reviewers to continue to do what they do best, review programs, provide feedback, help grow our accredited programs.  It was joyful to see how many folks jumped on this virtual bandwagon to think outside the box and provide an in depth review with folks who were defending their Programs from their living rooms, bedrooms and some even their closets!  The imagination and creativity of these simulation programs is amazing, you have to love simulationists, they do think on their feet.

   Our on-line courses have literally exploded.  With the help of Kristyn to assure everyone was able to take their chosen courses, we have had fully subscribed courses since February.  Many, many thanks to Alaina Harrington for leading this effort.  We are now teaching Core, Teaching / Education, and Assessments to dozens of interested persons around the globe.  Systems Integration will roll out next followed by Research.  Such an amazing addition to our burgeoning Council.

   We also have seen the roll out of an outstanding annual program review survey (which you should have received and a gentle reminder, you need to complete and return).  Many thanks to our Quality Sub-Committee for moving so quickly to get that out.  Our Program Reviewer Sub-Committee is busy developing a rubric to provide better feedback to our reviewers, we certainly look forward to how we can improve our own reviews.

   We are climbing the mountain, under Tom LeMaster’s gentle hand, to review our Core Plus Four Standards.  This Sub-Committee will do a deep dive to review each standard to assure it is still meeting best practice setting.  This mountain is climbed every five years, and Tom’s Sub-Committee of outstanding reviewers will have the task of bringing this home to the Council by the end of the summer.  Hat’s off to each of you who are participating in this task.  Thank you for answering the call to help (if and when your section calls on you for your review).  

   Florida is inching it’s way to be open, but we are a long way from being free to move about.  I know many of you are still under orders to WFH, and a few of you are actually returning to work.  The guidelines the CDC is putting out will help us guide our learners into a new way of participating in simulation, practicing social distancing and wearing masks while we do so.  Travel has halted for now, and we all are learning to do so many things at home we had never thought possible.  A special call out to our own Kristyn Gadlage and Betsy Holzwarth for keeping us up to date, meetings scheduled, reviews turned in, and on and on and on…we could not survive without these amazing women.  

   Give your family a hug, let them know they are part of our mission as well, as they give us the permission to borrow you on a daily basis for this very important volunteer activity.  Wishing you all a safe and healthy summer as we move into a new normal.  Many, many thanks for the thousands of hours you give to the Society.  We are so appreciative to each and every one of you.

Stay safe, stay healthy, 

Warmest regards, 



Council Updates

Accreditation Operations during COVID-19

Although COVID-19 has currently restricted SSH Program Reviewers from traveling, the SSH Accreditation Council implemented an emergency procedure change allowing for virtual accreditation reviews. This will be a full-day review utilizing webcams by both accreditation reviewers and program. The virtual reviews are underway and have proven successful. We are continuing to have virtual reviews for the May 15, 2020 accreditation application submissions but are hopeful that travel restrictions will be lifted in the future.

We are also offering another application submission deadline of August 15, 2020 to give Program’s additional time to compile their application.

Upcoming Standards review

The SSH Accreditation standards are reviewed and revised every five years. The last revision took place in 2015, with the new standards being launched in 2016. The time has come to review, revise and update the standards again. A working group has been compiled to begin reviewing, editing and updating the standards. But, we would like to hear from YOU! If you have any recommendations or updates you’d like to suggest, please email

F2F Accreditation meeting

Due to the safety of SSH staff and members, the annual Accreditation meeting has been changed from in- person to virtual. We are excited to pilot a zoom meeting and look forward to sharing the outcomes with everyone. The meeting dates have not been finalized but we are shooting for some time in August.

Online training

SSH Accreditation has worked collaboratively with SSH Education and developed online Accreditation Courses. In the courses, you will

  • Learn the components of the accreditation process. This interactive course will help you understand the requirements for accreditation, the application process, and available resources.
  • Identify your program’s strengths and weaknesses. Each course will breakdown the corresponding standards and criteria with examples of past successful accredited programs.
  • Examine where most programs struggle to achieve accreditation. Each module contains active course activities to assist programs in the most challenging parts of the application process.

For more information and a list of open courses, please visit:

SSH Accreditation Fellowship Program Standards

We are happy to announce that SSH Accreditation has launched a new set of standards known as Simulation Fellowship for which Program’s can apply. The Council is piloting these standards over the course of the next few months with SSH Accredited Programs.


The Accreditation News is a product of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare by the members of the Accreditation Council.

If you would like to contribute to Accreditation News or have an idea, please contact







Revised Confidentiality Agreements

In the upcoming months, SSH will be pushing out a revised version of the confidentiality agreements to all Council members, reviewers, and committee members.  This revision is part of an ongoing quality assurance process to better align the organization with best practice.  Once this document is disseminated, it will need to be reviewed and signed by all.  More information will be dispersed through your various committees and SSH.  If you have any questions, please contact Kristyn (

Accreditation Going Electronic

Over the past year, the SSH Accreditation has been working with the folks at WizeHive to integrate the paper application and review process into a fully personalized  Accreditation Management System (AMS) .  This platform will allow sites to apply for accreditation online and the reviewers will complete the reviews online through the platform.  In addition to saving some trees, the platform will enable the staff and reviewers to easily review the applications and make comments.  The reviewer team will even submit their review documents online.  For the staff, the AMS will help to automate actions, keep track of data, and enable more accurate reporting. The Wizehive AMS is being built and tested; there will be a few beta sites to fine-tune the software. More information will be forthcoming pertaining to training, rollout, and implementation. If you have any questions, please contact Kristyn  (

Picture1637002785469041351 Full Accreditation

Provisional Accreditation

Sim Center Directory

The Accreditation News is a product of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare by the members of the Accreditation Council.

If you would like to contribute to Accreditation News or have an idea, please contact

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Simulation Program is a provider of interprofessional, multimodality simulation centers on the campuses at Abilene, Lubbock, and Odessa. These centers provide simulated, realistic healthcare environments for TTUHSC students and residents and the West Texas Community.Undergraduate and graduate nursing students, medicine and pharmacy students, speech pathologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists all train regularly at one of TTUHSC Simulation Program centers accredited by SSH.

The three centers are all located in West Texas, with the largest of the locations being in Lubbock and the other two locations in Abilene and Odessa. When asked if it’s challenging to operate three simulation centers in this vastly rural region of Texas, the TTUHSC faculty and staff let out a little chuckle. They are proud of the work they are doing at all of the locations, but the distance between the sites is significant;both the Abilene & Odessa centers are approximately 150 miles away from Lubbock and each other. TTUHSC Simulation Program Executive Director, Sharon Decker, says, “I would say our biggest challenge is making sure that you have uniformity on all the campuses. But not only just the experiences, but also we have to look at the equipment and supplies,” she says. Her colleague, Daniel Backlund echoes her sentiments saying, “Cost, supplies & equipment; those all scale with your [Program’s] growth.”

One system that has made life easier at TTUHSC is the implementation of a scheduling software that was developed in-house. The leadership team says the software has been game-changing, taking them from a system in which there was essentially one point person for each simulation activity who knew all of the details, to a system in which they’re all able to access information for an upcoming event on their cell phones. “As a simulation technician you can check it and see what things need to be turned on in the morning, who’s in different areas, what all stuff you need and it’s really very convenient, says Director of Simulation Operations, Jarrod Jones.

Faculty members at TTUHSC also feel as though supportive leadership has been essential to the successful operation of its centers. “We’re very, very fortunate that we have administration from the highest level that understands simulation and that understands what simulation can do or assist with the educational process of our students,” states Decker. Meanwhile, her team says she’s the reason they have recognized success throughout the years. “Sharon has been in simulation from Day 1 and she is a true visionary,” says Shelley Burson. “As a result of her being a true visionary, we’re always on the cutting edge of the best techniques, knowing what’s coming up, what’s on the forefront, what are the hot topics, we’re right there, always on that edge because of Sharon and her leadership”Burson continues.

So, what’s on the forefront at TTUHSC? The implementation of electronic health records within simulation-based educational activities. For the past two years, the Program has been collaborating with University Medical Center in Lubbock as well as Cerner to develop a de-identified record system that can be utilized during simulation-based learning activities. The goal is to provide students experience with looking up and recording information in an EHR system before they graduate and start their careers. “We’re hoping to provide that buffer and provide them with a true, real, robust electronic health record system, says Burson.

As a whole, the dedication the TTUHSC team has to advancing healthcare simulation is clear:about 60% of the TTUHSC staff is credentialed as either an SSH Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist or a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator. Two of those individuals, Daniel Backlund and Jarrod Jones, maintain both certifications. Sharon Decker currently serves on the SSH Board of Directors and has been a past chair of both the SSH Fellows Academy and SSH Certification Council. Decker and TTUHSC Health Information Manager, Matthew Pierce, also serve as SSH Accreditation Reviewers. TTUHSC Simulation Center Director Melissa Leal serves on the SSH Education Committee and is co-chair of the Educational Content Advisory Team and fellow Simulation CenterDirector Kathryn Whitcomb is a co-chair of SSH’s Super-Sized Simulation Centers Affinity Group. The enthusiasm among the TTUHSC faculty and staff for improving healthcare through simulation-based education and training helped the Simulation Program achieve SSH Accreditation in Teaching & Education in 2018. The TTUHSC Simulation Program is now setting its sights on adding assessment to its accreditation status when it comes time to reapply.


To learn more about becoming an SSH Accredited Simulation Program, please visit for details on eligibility requirements or contact



By now, many of us have heard what is said about simulation centers: if you’ve seen one simulation center, you’ve seen ONE simulation center. The spirit of this somewhat cliché phrase is of course rooted in the fact that each center has its own strength and niche in healthcare training and got started in its own unique way. I suppose something similar could be said of the people who volunteer as SSH Accreditation Program Reviewers – each person has had their own unique journey that has fostered their passion for simulation in healthcare.

Deb Tauber’s journey as a healthcare provider began in Chicagoland. Upon graduating from Loyola University’s School of Nursing in 1983, Deb was excited to work for her alma mater in the telemetry and intensive care units. About two years into that role, however, she felt called to serve in emergency medical care. So, she left Loyola and began what would be a nearly 20-year career at Good Samaritan Hospital in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove. “Good Sam,” as she calls it, was a great fit for Deb. She and her husband Jim had settled in the neighboring suburb of Lombard, and working close to home was good for their growing family. In her time at Good Sam, Deb earned a reputation for being great with pediatric patients and helped implement the use of Broselow carts in the E.D. Over time, the hospital rose in rank from being a level three trauma center to a level one trauma center. Deb advanced as well, becoming a nurse educator, and serving in that role for 10 years. Her talents eventually drew the attention of a nearby institution that recruited her help as a nurse educator in their newly built, 36-bed E.D.

During the 2008 economic downturn, however, Deb’s educator position was eliminated. She quickly landed on her feet, though, finding a new opportunity in a familiar place. Back at Loyola, she acted as a content expert on a grant project for a school nurse emergency course. When that project wrapped up, she drew from experience in her days as a nursing student to make her next career move. “I had worked in a nursing home when I was in nursing school and I had often thought about going into gerontology, so I took a job as the Director of Nursing at an assisted living facility” explains Deb. “When I had this gift, I was able to see people making thoughtful choices about end of life and then helping them with hospice decisions. And it was just a much more beautiful end of life compared to my experiences in the emergency room.”

While working at the assisted living facility, one of Deb’s daughters was busy following in her footsteps, attending nursing school. The Program caught Deb’s attention and she decided to apply for a position in Chamberlain University’s simulation lab. As a new hire, Deb was quickly tasked with developing pediatric simulations. Her work earned her recognition by the university’s national team and she was eventually promoted to the level of national manager. She says she’s grateful for her experiences there. “Chamberlain provided incredible opportunities. They sent me to all the conferences. Anything I wanted to do, I was able to do,” says Deb. She even went back to school herself and earned her Masters’ Degree in Nursing.

All the while, Deb made great connections with other healthcare simulation professionals, including a colleague who encouraged her to get involved with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. In 2014, she became an SSH Accreditation Program Reviewer, and in 2016, a member of the SSH Accreditation Council. As a current Council Member, Deb serves as the chairperson of the Risk Management Subcommittee. She is also a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) and is currently contributing to the writing of the CHSE Review Manual. She says she loves working with the other SSH volunteers, “I love the people. The people who go into this, they have the mindset of ‘we want to help.’” She explains she’s grown as a simulationist and Program reviewer thanks to the help of fellow volunteers who have mentored her. She encourages new Program Reviewers to seek those types of relationships as well. “Don’t be afraid to ask a reviewer. I would give the advice to buddy up to somebody who you feel like you can ask questions to,” she says. When asked what she enjoys most about her role in the Society as a Program Reviewer, it’s all about getting to see the successes being realized by the Programs seeking Accreditation. “It is such an honor to go in where these sites have done so much work. And you know, go and look at what they’ve done and they’re just so proud, and it just brightens my day,” says Deb.

Spreading the joy of hard work that pays off is what has led her into her current professional role as a simulation consultant. After exiting her position with Chamberlain University, Deb started Innovative Sim Solutions and has traveled the country helping institutions strengthen their simulation programs. Over the years she says she’s realized that her gift is helping centers get up and running on the right foot. After gaining an understanding of each program’s objectives, she enjoys helping develop custom simulations to meet their needs. “Simulation is a vehicle for learning and once I can get them to understand that, they really embrace it and kind of run with it,” she explains. Of all the scenarios she has helped develop, she’s perhaps most proud of the simulations that reinforce lessons in care that you don’t learn through a textbook. “I wanted to get the nursing students a little bit more familiar with what really happens in a lot of situations and how you face that uncomfortable moment when you’re in the room, especially in the age of technology, and there’s nothing you can do,” says Deb. So, she’s developed a simulation that she intentionally has the faculty of a program participate in so the students can observe how experts in their field approach end of life care. “They watch someone who does it in a kind and gentle way. They see the approach of, you know, moving in closer, maybe putting your hand on their hand, and you know, being with them, being present,” she explains. Compassionate care is something Deb feels is so essential to teach students and on a personal note, is something she’s incredibly grateful for, having recently lost her mother, but navigating through that tough time with a hospice nurse who she describes as an angel. Through her consulting services, Deb finds it very rewarding to watch learners and programs grow in ways that promote the core values of being a provider of true health care.  That love for others and passion for excellence in simulation-based education makes SSH Accreditation proud to recognize Deb Tauber as one of our outstanding Program Reviewers.

If you are interested in becoming an SSH Program Reviewer, please reach out to with your inquiries.