Speakers Bureau

SSH's Speakers Bureau

Meet our network of expert facilitators, consultants, educators, and simulation professionals


The Society for Simulation in Healthcare’s Speakers Bureau (SSHSB) is provided for the healthcare community to support conferences, events, and other activities where outside expertise is recognized as a need. The SSHSB is made up of individuals who are Fellows of the SSH Academy (FSSH) and are available to provide you with an unparalleled range of expertise that can support your needs. The intent of the SSHSB is to connect you with  individuals who have been recognized as experts and leaders in the healthcare simulation space, have experience speaking to large and small audiences, are willing to support you and your unique needs, and are interested in assisting in growing healthcare simulation awareness through theses support efforts. The SSHSB is a service of SSH designed to foster connections between experts and entities for mutually beneficial purposes.

Please fill out the form in the link below to start the process to engage with our panel of experts. Please note that we request at least 3 months lead time (preferably more) to facilitate the connections, and communication to allow for planning between your organization and the selected individual.


Request A Speaker 



Aaron W. Calhoun, MD, FAAP, FSSH 

Dr. Calhoun received his MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2001, completed his general pediatrics residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2004, and completed his pediatric critical care fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Boston/Harvard School of Medicine in 2007.  Dr. Calhoun now serves as the associate chief of pediatric critical care medicine at the University of Louisville, and as senior advisor to the SPARC simulation program at Norton Children’s Hospital.

Simulation research is a passion of Dr. Calhoun’s, particularly the areas of simulation-based assessment, simulation as an outcome measure, the ethics of difficult simulations, curriculum development, simulation research facilitation and, most recently, diversity and equity in simulation.  In 2014, Dr. Calhoun and colleagues founded the International Simulation Data Registry (ISDR), the first registry of its kind.  His research in these areas has resulted in 53 peer-reviewed publications as well as 64 abstract presentations at the national and international level and 15 grants. Because of this scholarship he was awarded professorship with tenure in the area of educational scholarship at the University of Louisville, and in 2017 was inducted into the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) Fellow’s Academy.

In the past Dr. Calhoun served as chair of the SSH Research Committee and is a current at-large member of the SSH Board of Directors.  He is also the co-director of the International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research, and Education (INSPIRE), an international simulation-based research consortium focused on children’s health.  Dr. Calhoun also serves as an associate editor for Simulation in Healthcare, the primary journal in the field of medical simulation. 

Scott B. Crawford MD, FACEP, FSSH, CHSOS

Dr. Crawford is Director of the Training and Educational Center for Healthcare Simulation (TECHS) at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at TTUHSC El Paso. In addition to his faculty position he also serves as the educational technology consultant for the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health, and is a board member for SimGHOSTS, a non-profit group dedicated to providing technology education and innovation to simulation centers worldwide. He has presented both in the US and internationally on topics related to audio/video design, information technology, and simulation operations. He has served as a reviewer and author for standards of best practice and conference presentation topics related to simulation and technology education. He is also Editor of the textbook Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Operations, Technology, and Innovative Practice.

Dr. Crawford completed his emergency medicine residency and served as Chief Resident of research and technology at Texas Tech in 2012. Dr. Crawford earned his M.D. from Rush University in Chicago in 2009 and a bachelor’s degree in physics from The Colorado College in 2004. He continues to search for economical and innovative design ideas to enhance the world of healthcare education by bringing a more engaging and educational experience to all learners.

Suzie Kardong-Edgren PhD, RN, ANEF, CHASE, FSSH, FAAN

Suzie Kardong-Edgren is an internationally known speaker and researcher with expertise in simulation and a budding interest in Vr/XR. 

Dr. Edgren served as the Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Simulation in Nursing for 10 years. She was chosen to deliver the Michael Gordon Lectureship in Simulation for the Society in 2015. Dr. Edgren served as chair of the SSH Research Committee and also served as the Vice President of Research for the INACSL.  

She is a Fellow in the Society of Simulation in Healthcare, the Academy of Nursing Education Fellows, and the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Edgren completed a term as President of the International Nursing Association of Clinical Simulation in Nursing, in June 2022. She is an Associate Professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Medical Simulation in Boston.  

On a personal level, Suzie loves being the great outdoors, walking, running, or riding her bicycle.  

Kim Leighton, PhD, RN, CHSE, CHSOS, ANEF, FSSH, FAANKim Leighton

Kim Leighton is Executive Director of Itqan Clinical Simulation and Innovation Center at Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, Qatar, serving the multidisciplinary clinical practitioner community. She moved from emergency nursing to education and simulation over 20 years ago, and enjoys facilitating learning with simulation, with a focus on evaluation of outcomes.

Kim is currently on the Board of Directors for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). While president of the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (NACSL), Kim led the development of the Standards of Best Practice: SimulationSM, leading to widespread dissemination of best practices to an interprofessional worldwide audience. She also co-organized the first meeting of simulation organization presidents worldwide, leading to the formation of the Global Network for Simulation in Healthcare.

Dr. Leighton’s research program focuses on development and psychometric analysis of evaluation tools for simulation education. The Clinical Learning Environment Comparison Survey (CLECS) was used in the National Council of State Boards of Nursing multi-site simulation study that identified 50% of clinical time could be replaced with simulation if certain conditions were met. This tool was revised and retested during the pandemic and is now known as the CLECS 2.0. Other tools include the only comprehensive instrument to evaluate simulation facilitators (Facilitator Competency Rubric) and a survey designed to help leaders determine readiness to support simulation integration efforts (Simulation Culture Organizational Readiness Survey). Kim’s website ‘Evaluating Healthcare Simulation’ provides a centralized location for simulationists to download tested instruments, reaching simulationists in 89 countries. Dr. Leighton is co-editor of Simulation Champions: Courage, Caring, and Connection and has provided assistant editor support for several simulation journals.


Russell Metcalfe-Smith MSc. NRP, TP-C, CHSE-A, CHSOS-A, FRSPH, FiLM, FSSH Russell Metcalfe-Smith

Russell Metcalfe-Smith is the Executive Director Simulation and Interprofessional Education for the Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles, California. He is an Associate Professor with the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a Consultant Paramedic.  In addition, he services as the Chair for the Southern California Simulation Alliance. As a member of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Russell serves as an accreditation team lead, delivers the CHSE national readiness program and Chairs the Internal Relations Committee. In addition to his service to the society Russell was the first to hold the highest level of certification CHSE-A, CHSOS-A and the Fellowship with Society for Simulation (FSSH).

Russell has spent much of his career developing simulation programs both in the United Kingdom and in the USA. He is a regular speaker at conferences around the world where he advocates for simulation as a tool within healthcare systems. Russell is a Paramedic in the United Kingdom and the United States having spent over a decade leading resuscitation service in a major UK university hospital system. A committed educator of both simulation-based faculty development and course instructor for multiple emergency care programs, he is passionate about improving patient outcomes.

Russell holds fellowships with the Higher Education Authority, Royal Society of Public Health, and the Institue of Leadership and Management, in addition the Fellowship for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.


Cate Nicholas EdD, MS, PA, FSSH

Cate Nicholas is the Director of Simulation Education and Operations at the University of Vermont Clinical Simulation Laboratory (CSL) and is an assistant professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine.  She began her career as a medical technologist and then became a Physician Assistant in Ambulatory Gynecology and Family Planning.  After working as a Gynecology Teaching Associate for the Dept. of OB-GYN at the University of Vermont, she was asked to start a Standardized Patient Program in the mid-90s as UVM COM was undergoing curricular reform and was looking to add more performance-based teaching and assessment.  She pursued her EdD in Education and Policy Studies and graduated in 2006.  Dr. Nicholas became very active in the Association of Standardized Patient Educators, was elected VP of Operations and was the Chair of the Grants and Research Committee for 4 years.  In recognition of her contribution to ASPE, she was named SP Educator of the Year in 2011.  As the field of simulation grew, she became active in the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH)  focusing on accreditation and certification.  She is currently a member of the Certification Council and chairs the Quality Committee.  Under her leadership, the CSL expanded to include a full range of simulation methodologies.  In 2011, the Clinical Simulation Laboratory was opened.  This 9000 sq foot facility includes inpatient and outpatient settings, virtual reality and task trainers rooms and hosts 80,000 learner hours a year.  She is also active in the American College of Surgeons Accredited Education Institutes (ACS/AEI)  and sits on the Fellowship Committee.  In 2010, the CSL became dually accreditated by SSH and ACS-AEI at the highest level.  In the same year, the CSL Simulation Fellowship program was accredited through ACS/AEI.

Dr. Nicholas has authored several chapters in simulation textbooks such as SSH’s Defining Excellence in Healthcare Simulation and is a co-editor of the recently released Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation:  Implementing Best Practices in Standardized Patient Methodology.  In recognition for her contribution to SSH, she was inducted as a Fellow in 2021. 

She is interested in faculty development in areas of feedback and debriefing and the use of simulation-based methods to address issues of social justice. 


Janice C. Palaganas, PhD, APRN, ANEF, FNAP, FAAN, FSSH

Dr. Janice Palaganas is a Simulationist, Behavioral Scientist, Humanitarian, Patient Safety Advocate, Academician, Clinician, Wife, and Mom. Dr. Palaganas earned both her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and her doctoral research degree from Loma Linda University, California. She has held a number of clinical roles, hospital administration, university administration, educator, researcher, mentorship, and consultant roles over the last two decades. Her current affiliations are with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute of Health Professions, Harvard Medical School, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, and the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS). Dr. Palaganas has developed a passion in teamwork from her background as an emergency nurse, trauma nurse practitioner, director of emergency and critical care services, and faculty for schools of medicine, nursing, allied health, management, and emergency medicine. As a behavioral scientist and former clinician and administrator, Dr. Palaganas’ passion is in healthcare simulation-based and practice-based simulation as a platform for interprofessional education (IPE) and has served as a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s (Institute of Medicine) report on measuring the impact of IPE on practice. Dr. Palaganas’ primary role is to develop educators in an IPE setting. She has led a number of prominent instructor courses, educating educators in simulation and IPE globally and has developed many online environments including CMS’s interprofessional virtual campus as the principal investigator of a board grant awarded by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. Dr. Palaganas has shaped the fields of simulation and IPE, led the development of the Society for Simulation’s (SSH) Accreditation and Certification Program, was the editor-in-chief of two textbooks in simulation (Defining Excellence in Simulation Programs and Mastering Simulation 2nd Ed), authored several chapters in simulation and IPE, seminal articles and field-changing research including the national study for high-stakes assessment using simulation. She is currently the Secretary on the Executive Board of SSH. She is a Fellow for the Academy of Nurse Educators, American Academy of Nursing, National Academy of Practice and was part of the inaugural group of the Academy of Fellows for Simulation in Healthcare. She is co-podcaster on “DJ Simulationistas….’sup?” “SimFails” and “What’s Your Delta? 3 Tips for Faculty Development.” Dr. Palaganas has been an invited keynote speaker and visiting professor in 30 countries. She is currently directing the first PhD in Health Professions Education concentrating in Healthcare Simulation within the MGH IHP.

Charles Pozner, MD, FSSH

Dr. Pozner is an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine and completed residencies in internal medicine at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital/Harvard Medical School and in emergency medicine at UCLA. 

Dr. Pozner was the founding medical director and the executive director of the Neil and Elise Wallace Center for Medical Simulation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Under his leadership the center has grown from a center exclusively for emergency medicine to serving the entire hospital community. There is a particular emphasis on interprofessional team training. Simulation is also used for quality initiatives at the hospital.

Dr. Pozner’s research interests are in non-technical skills and team training and his primary clinical interest is in resuscitation. The Human Factors and Cognitive Engineering Lab at STRATUS, amongst other projects, is working with NASA to facilitate their mission to Mars. Dr. Pozner has been an invited speaker nationally and internationally and has been a consultant on simulation projects across the globe. He was honored as an Inaugural Fellow in the Academy of the Society of Simulation in Healthcare in 2017. His outside interests revolve around a variety of activities with his wife Sara and his two children Jeremy and Kate.


Dr. KT Waxman is a national nurse leader and executive with extensive experience in healthcare and corporate settings. She is a Professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and is the Director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. She is also the Director of the California Simulation Alliance (CSA). In addition to her work at UCSF and the CSA, she is the Editor-in-Chief for Nursing Administration Quarterly (NAQ). An internationally known speaker and author, Waxman is also a past president of the Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) and past board member, serving as Treasurer, for the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL).  She is a Past President of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), a 5,000+ member international, inter-professional organization.

Dr. Waxman's work has been published extensively and can be found in journals such as the Journal for Simulation in Healthcare, Clinical Simulation for Nursing, JONA, Journal of Nursing Education, NAQ, Nurse Leader and Creative Nursing journals. She has authored 3 books on Finance and Budgeting and the 3rd edition of “Financial and Business Management for the DNP”, published by Springer will be out this Spring. She co-authored “Healthcare Simulation Program Builder”, is co-editor of “Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Nursing” to be published in 2022, and has authored several chapters in simulation and leadership textbooks.

Dr. Waxman received her DNP from the University of San Francisco, with an emphasis on health systems leadership and a concentration in clinical simulation. She holds certifications as Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), Certification in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP), Certification as a Simulation Healthcare Educator (CHSE) and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN), the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (FAONL), and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (FSSH).

To contact KT, please email her at ktwaxman@usfca.edu and follow her on Twitter @ktwaxman and connect with her on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/ktwaxman)