Memphis, Tennessee – Tara Jackson Lemoine, DO, has been named the new executive director of the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS) at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center.
PhD. Lemoine joins UTHSC to lead the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation, a nearly $40 million simulation building that opened on the Memphis campus in 2018 and serves not only a state-of-the-art facility, but also the outstanding staff of it.
“The building is beautiful and it’s outstanding, but I think the people inside, the simulation experts involved in this project, are the people who set the standard for medical simulation in this country,” Dr. Lemoyne said. “So, it’s not just being able to work in the building itself, the core CHIPS simulation team is what really drives me here. Also, senior campus leaders’ commitment to simulation and their appreciation for simulation’s value in education and its impact on healthcare A clear understanding of the impact was what drove me to join CHIPS.”
PhD. Lemoine came to UTHSC from Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, California. She is dual board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Critical Care. After earning her doctorate in osteopathy from North Texas Health Sciences Center, she completed residency and critical care fellowships at Elementary Children’s Medical Center and the University of Utah. She received a Simulation Medicine Fellowship through the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
“I fell in love with simulation because my clinical background in pediatric critical care is a high-acuity, fast-paced, procedurally heavy, team-based field of medicine,” said Dr. Lemoyne said. “I was drawn to the simulation because it not only helped ensure the procedural skills needed to become a critical care physician, but also the communication and interprofessional teamwork necessary to provide high-quality, safe patient care.”
Before joining UTHSC, Dr. Lemoine spent 10 years building a simulation program at Valley Children’s Hospital. As the Medical Director of Simulations and Academic Director of Resident and Colleague Simulations, she began conducting monthly simulations, developing the program into an interprofessional simulation program covering the entire hospital.
“Having a background in simulation medicine, as well as clinical experience across specialties, not only to train people and work with teams, this opportunity at UTHSC appealed to me because it is one of the largest simulation centers in the country and certainly the only one in the state kind,” she said. She was also drawn to what she believed to be the ability to expand the scope of UTHSC simulations.
She acknowledged the work of CHIPS’ first executive director, Chad Epps, MD, who passed away in late 2020. Lemoyne said. “It’s an honor to be able to follow in his footsteps and hopefully I’ll do justice to his dream of one day being what it is, and I, like him, see this as the future of patient safety and training and education.”
In January, CHIPS received teaching/education accreditation from the Society for Medical Simulation (SSH) and the Accreditation Council for Medical Simulation Programs. The SSH Accreditation is a peer-reviewed, custom assessment of healthcare simulation programs, demonstrating that CHIPS is delivering high-quality simulations to prepare clinicians for the wide variety of healthcare situations and procedures they will encounter in a patient care setting.
As Tennessee’s only statewide public academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center is to focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region through education, research, scientific discovery, clinical care and public service. Memphis’ main campus includes six colleges: Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. UTHSC also educates and trains medical, pharmacy, and/or health students, as well as residents and fellows, at key locations in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville. For more information, visit www.uthsc.edu. Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/uthsc, Twitter: twitter.com/uthsc and Instagram: instagram.com/uthsc.