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Helene Fuld Pavilion for Innovative Learning and Simulation 


The mission of the Helene Fuld Pavilion for Innovative Learning is to generate critical thinking and clinical judgment in student visitors through a variety of creative teaching strategies, preparing them as providers who offer safe, high quality, and patient-centered care. 


Our vision is to serve as the hub for creative teaching in both intra- and inter-professional education. Activities in the Helene Fuld Pavilion provide opportunities for students and providers to learn with and from one another, resulting in the highest quality of collaborative inter-professional care. 

NURS-165 instructor Marlene Etcowicz smiles with students during a virtual simulation debrief.

Pavilion Meets COVID-19 Challenges

The Helene Fuld Pavilion audaciously met challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak with an unexpected but swift transition to remote learning this spring. Within two days, the operations team prepared, set up, and staged 16 different simulated patient scenarios (about six weeks’ worth of content) in order to facilitate remote learning for the remainder of the Spring Semester, notably the busiest time of year for the Pavilion.

Faculty served as both actors and content experts to create each patient simulation used for spring teaching in NURS-165, NURS-215, NURS-225, and NURS-255. Scenarios were rehearsed and filmed within the same day. Operations team members annotated, edited, and distributed videos with rarely-used features of the Pavilion’s AV software and then collaborated through both remote and on-site means to produce 46 video segments in four days for faculty to utilize in teaching.

In addition to filming simulated scenarios, Ann Marie Hoyt-Brennan, director of the Pavilion, worked with several undergraduate and graduate courses to convert their simulation content to an online platform. The midwifery and psych graduate faculty conducted telehealth visits using standardized patients. The NURS-163 faculty created multiple videos to demonstrate skills and facilitated synchronous Blue Jeans video simulation sessions.

In order to brace our colleagues at Penn Medicine for impending resource depletion, the Pavilion collated and donated three anesthesia machines, a ventilator, more than 500 N95 masks, 1900 surgical masks, 150 boxes of exam gloves, more than 200 isolation gowns, 50 eye shields, and 600 bouffant caps.

As remote learning has been extended through summer for the entire Penn community, the Pavilion operations team and faculty throughout the Nursing School have been collaborating to optimize content in the summer that lends itself to remote learning while planning for on-campus, hands-on experiential opportunities. This reallocation of material, along with aforementioned remote learning methods, will provide the Advanced Bachelor of Science in Nursing cohort and graduate students scheduled for summer simulations with robust yet safe training. 

Prior to going “live” with remote learning, simulation education specialists brainstormed on various methods to connect with their students during debriefing. Some of these included pre-planned reflective questions after each video segment, via faculty facilitated discussion boards on Canvas. The instructors also facilitated synchronous video debriefing sessions. This unexpected change in teaching methods will undoubtedly open new doors for future learning innovation for the Helene Fuld Pavilion and beyond.

Technology Refresh Project Slated for Summer 

The Helene Fuld Pavilion, in partnership with Nursing Information Technology Services, is scheduled to begin a technology refresh project during the Summer 2020 term. The official start date is pending resumption of in-person building access for staff and construction personnel following COVID-19 mitigation policies.

As a result of the construction, which will require equipment and supplies to be moved off-site, the Fuld Pavilion will remain closed during this time, reopening to full operations for the Fall 2020 semester.

The roughly $2 million capital improvement project, in development since 2018, will update audiovisual technology throughout the lab.

The project is expected to yield benefits to students, faculty and staff, including: improved video and sound quality for learning and assessments, improved communication with learners and confederates, reduced physical space needs for servers and equipment, clearer communication of simulation activities through digital calendars in the lab, single sign-on functionality, and improved efficiency and data reporting.

The updates include:

  • Audiovisual software, B-Line Medical, migrates to the latest, cloud-based version
  • Cameras, servers and supporting hardware will be replaced with cloud-based technology
  • In-room screens and speakers will be replaced with updated equipment
  • Adoption of mobile cameras to be implemented
  • Microphones, speakers and technology control equipment updated to improve operations
  • New screens implemented outside of classrooms