Meet the Faculty/Staff


Steve Vance, MD, FACEP                   
Contact Dr. Vance

Dr. Vance joined CMU in November 2011 where he currently serves as Interim Program Director for the Emergency Medicine residency and Associate Dean for Academic and Clinical Technology.  A Saginaw native, he graduated from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 2001.  In 2004, he completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids.  Steve then joined the Covenant Healthcare Emergency Physicians Group and shortly thereafter became core faculty with the Emergency Medicine residency program.   His primary focus was ultrasound education and critical care, especially in the area of ultrasound-guided procedures.   He presented on this topic regionally, and remains committed to further advancement of the use of ultrasound in the ED.

Under Dr. Vance's leadership, SYNAPSE (Synergy Medical Advanced Practicum and Simulation Environment) was completed in March 2008.  Since that time, the center has continued to expand its learner base and educational opportunities, conducting over 15,000 learner-hours of training annually.  In addition to simulation-based curriculum development, Steve has taken the lead in development of web-based learning and assessment and presents regularly on the topic at the ACEP Teaching Fellowship. He served as Chair of the Emergency Medicine subsection of the Society for Simulation in Medicine in 2013, and is actively conducting research on outcomes for simulation based training interventions. 

Dr. Vance's goals at CMU are to provide leading edge educational opportunities for our medical and health professions students, as well as continue regional leadership and excellence in the areas of simulation, medical team training, and patient safety.

​Michelle McLean, MD, FACEP
Assistant Director
Contact Dr. McLean

Dr. McLean came to SYNAPSE from Covenant Healthcare, where she has practiced emergency medicine for the past 9 years.  She graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 2002. In 2005, she completed an Emergency Medicine residency at Synergy Medical Education Alliance. Michelle has been active with the Emergency Medicine residency program by assisting residents with their peer reviewed publications.  Since 2007 she has been the medical director of LifeNet of Michigan. In her new role at SYNAPSE she will design and conduct simulation based training session for our UME, GME, and CME programs. She will also focus on outcomes research for simulation based training. She is excited to be joining our Simulation team and looks forward to assisting medical professionals with their training goals.
Michelle Mora, RN, BSN, EMT-P
Contact Michelle Mora

Michelle graduated from Lake Superior State University in 1990, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  Since then, she has pursued a paramedic license and a license to instruct EMS along with several certifications that include ACLS Instructor, PALS Instructor, ATCN Provider, ATLS Coordinator and FCCS Coordinator.  Michelle has worked a wide range of positions in the nursing field including the Emergency Department, Critical Care Transports, Emergency Preparedness, Industrial Healthcare, Home Care and Telephone Triage for various healthcare providers as well as healthcare facilities.  Michelle has held numerous roles in management that include Mobile Intensive Care Units, Medical Control Authority, Telephone Triage and prior to coming to CMU, she was the State Trauma Manager.  Her primary focus over the past several years has included management with a focus on healthcare education.  

As the Manager of SYNAPSE, Michelle coordinates and assists in implementation of all aspects of simulation education, including curriculum development, outcome and resource analysis, and publication of findings.  The target audience includes Residents, Med Students, Physicians, Mid-level Providers, Nurses, Paramedics and Respiratory Therapists, both locally and outside the Saginaw area. Michelle’s ultimate goal is to be the leader in simulation based training and research in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Cheryl Such, EMT-P    
AHA Education Coordinator
Contact Cheryl Such

Cheryl began her career in healthcare in 1988 as an Emergency Medical Technician for Faith Ambulance.  In 1991 she obtained her paramedic license and continued to work for both Mercy and Faith Ambulance, which later became Mobile Medical Response, Inc. She worked as a Road Paramedic and 1996 she was assigned to the Mobile Intensive Care Unit as a Critical Care Paramedic.

In August 2002 Cheryl took a position with Saginaw Cooperative Hospital in the Clinical Trail Department and Ages Senior Healthcare. In July 2003 Cheryl became the EMS Coordinator for  Saginaw Valley Medical Control Authority  under the auspices of Synergy Medical Education Alliance

In 2010 Cheryl was hired as the AHA Education Coordinator in the Department of Simulations – Synapse at CMU – Medical Education Partners. Cheryl Coordinates and instructs Basic Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support.  Cheryl has made the AHA Course Program at CMU – Medical Education Partners highly successful and that has drawn students to our program from Northern Michigan and the Thumb area Hospitals, currently coordinating and instructing 450 – 600 students yearly.

 Cheryl goal is expand the AHA courses offered at CMU – Medical Education Partners, and become the leader in AHA training for the Great Lakes Region.

Jody Nitz, RRT
Professional Educator
Contact Jody Nitz

Jody became part of the CMU Simulation Laboratory team where he works as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and Professional Educator.  His degree and respiratory training was accomplished through the United States Air Force.  He has over 13 years with the Air Force at Selfridge Air National Guard as part of a Critical Care Air Transport Team.  His Air Force career includes many deployments to overseas sites and numerous accolades for his service.  Following his graduation from the Air Force respiratory program, Jody has worked with the Covenant Healthcare Respiratory Department.  Within this department he has grown to be a leader with education both with his peers and college students.  His passion to teach led him to transition into a role with Simulation at Synapse while maintaining patient care at Covenant and with the U.S. Air Force.

Jody’s clinical experience affords him the ability to play many different roles in the High-Fidelity simulation that SYNAPSE provides.  His focus with teaching is to provide the highest level of care to any patient which is achieved though attention to detail.  With SYNAPSE, Jody teaches many of the classes offered and adds his own “Respiratory Flare” or insight.  He also works closely with many of our outreach services to include: Mock Code Services, Community Based CPR/AED programs, etc.

James Wooden, BS
Medical Simulation Specialist
Contact James Wooden

James became part of the CMU Simulation Laboratory team where he works as the Medical Simulation Specialist. He obtained his Bachelor of Science, with a focus in pre-med, from The University of Michigan. Through his undergrad he worked at Covenant HealthCare Emergency Care Center as a clinical associate. His passion for medicine and technology led him to SYNAPSE at CMU.