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My Portfolio > Article Archive > Official Opening of New WISER Facility

WISER Opening a New Facility

On April 29, 2004, The Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation, Education and Research (WISER) was officially dedicated to Dr Peter Winter, who as Professor and Chairman of the then combined Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine founded the Human Simulation Center acquiring one expensive and somewhat inflexible simulator for training of departmental residents and fellows. The center was located in the basement of Montefiore Hospital. Under the center directorship of Dr John Schaefer, the center grew quickly. After temporary relocation in 2002 to the 7th floor of MUH and renamed WISER in honor of Dr Winter, its continued popularity and growth resulted in UPMC providing the third floor of the Mc Kee Place as a much larger and modern facility in December of 2003, where WISER now occupies 11,000 sq ft with several simulation theaters, no less than 16 full size computerized simulators and a number of partial body task trainers, a larger lecture hall and fully equipped with personal computers, combined notepads/laptops and other up to date intellectual technology equipment.

From left to right: Dr John Schaefer, Director of WISER; Dr Ake Grenvik, Professor of CCM; Dr Peter Winter, Professor Emeritus; Mr Tore Laerdal, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Laerdal Medical, Stavanger, Norway. The three awardees are standing behind their honoring plaques.

Dr John Williams as the current Professor and Chairman of the Anesthesiology Department welcomed more than 60 specially invited guests to the ceremony and provided Dr Winter with a magnificent plaque indicating his importance for the creation of the simulation institute. Dr John Schaefer next dedicated the Lecture Hall to Mr Tore Laerdal, whose outstanding support of WISER through a most generous grant from the US Laerdal Foundation made it possible with matching funds from the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Medicine and Nursing, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Anesthesiology Department for WISER to move into the new facility with full equipment. Research on education using simulators in training is now an important component of the activities at WISER and faculty members of both the Anesthesiology and CCM Departments have already published several important studies performed at WISER. Finally, Dr Schaefer also dedicated the WISER Library to Dr Ake Grenvik, whose devoted work at WISER has contributed significantly to the growth and funding of this Institute. Dr John Mahoney, Assistant Dean for medical students education, and Dr Loren Roth, Vice President at UPMC, expressed their appreciation for the increasing WISER contributions to teaching of medical students, residents, fellows and faculty members at UPMC, both offering their congratulations to the new WISER.

A reception followed the above ceremony while the invited guests also had the opportunity to observe various simulation sessions in the many education theaters with very impressive arrangements.