Robert Sasso, MD, FACOG
Dr. Sasso graduated valedictorian from Seton Hall University and is a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine. He did his internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah Medical Center and completed a one-year fellowship in reproductive surgery and infertility in Miami Beach, Florida at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
Dr. Sasso dedicated the last 15 years of his clinical career to advanced laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery and infertility, producing both video and journal publications on new techniques in laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Sasso previously served as a Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Clinical Medicine, as well as Director of Medical Simulation, at Ross University School of Medicine. He provided faculty development in the history of simulation, debriefing techniques, and adult learning theory. Dr. Sasso lectured at Ross in obstetrics, gynecology, and infertility and was engaged in ongoing qualitative research involving student and facilitator changing perceptions in a problem-based learning platform.
In January 2017, Dr. Sasso became the Director of Medical Simulation at Central Michigan University College of Medicine and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He now engages in simulation medical education and research at the undergraduate and graduate level, simulation education for health care professionals, and supervises clinically at the OBGYN resident outpatient clinics.
Mena Khan, MD, CHSE
Dr. Mena Khan graduated from University of California San Diego and completed her medical degree at Ross University School of Medicine. Upon graduation, she worked at Ross University on the Dominica campus in the Department of Clinical Medicine in the following roles: Clinical Teaching Fellow, Clinical Instructor and then Simulation Manager, all in the short time frame of three years. In addition to her medical degree, her background includes teaching as a public school teacher in California for over ten years. Her love of education evolved into a desire to teach adult learners at a high level. Introduction to medical simulation became the conduit to unify her two passions: medicine and education. In 2015, she applied for and completed the Simulation Instructor Course at the Center for Medical Simulation at Harvard University. In 2016, she became a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). During this time, she was integral in maintaining the Society of Simulation in Health Care accreditation of Ross University School of Medicine's simulation program as one of only seven international centers to hold that title. She has overseen and managed several faculty development courses that incorporate debriefing techniques, history of medical simulation and adult learning theory. Most recently, she and Dr. Sasso spearheaded the accreditation process for CMU College of Medicine Institute for Medical Simulation through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, for which CMU was recently rewarded.
Michelle Mora, RN, BSN, EMT-P
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 Covenant HealthCare Simulation Center, Michelle coordinates and assists in the 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.
Simulation Specialist, Paramedic Instructor Coordinator
Heather began her career in health care in 2008 after completing the EMT- Basic program at Mobile Medical Response (MMR), Inc. In 2010, she obtained her paramedic license and continued to work for Mobile Medical Response as a road medic. In September of 2012, Heather became an EMS Instructor Coordinator licensed through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In 2013, Heather became the American Heart Association Coordinator at MMR, and three years later she accepted a position as EMT Course Coordinator.
After several years of working with patients and instructing students, Heather made the choice to broaden her adventures and accepted a position with Central Michigan University College of Medicine. Working alongside the team in the Simulation Center, she is learning the technology for running simulations, setting up equipment, and moulage.
Jody Nitz, RRT, CHSE
Jody became part of the CMU Simulation 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 CMU 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 the Covenant HealthCare Simulation Center provides. His focus with teaching is to provide the highest level of care to any patient which is achieved though attention to detail. Jody teaches many of the classes offered and adds his own "respiratory flare." He also works closely with many of our outreach services to include: Mock Code Services, Community Based CPR/AED programs, etc. Most recently, he has become a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.
Leah E. Rouleau, MSN, RN, CHSE
Leah Rouleau began her career in the Emergency Department as an NCA. She earned her associate's degree in nursing from Delta College in 2005, and completed her bachelor's degree in nursing education at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) in 2009. Leah completed her master's degree in nursing science and in healthcare administration and education at SVSU in 2013. Leah was motivated to pursue a career in healthcare in 1997 after her grandmother experienced a stroke.
She has taught nursing clinical to students at Delta College, SVSU, Davenport University and the University of Michigan-Flint. She worked at Covenant HealthCare for 11 years, mostly in medical-surgical nursing and at Mid-Michigan Health as an oncology nurse. Working in the hospital environment helped Leah realize the importance of familiarity with disease processes and being hands-on in her approach.
Working with the nursing students at college simulation labs, and teaching them through task trainers and scenarios to communicate and critically think through their next actions, instilled a passion for the impact of simulation learning. Working as a professional educator in simulation is a dream come true for her. Most recently, she has become a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.
Cheryl Such, EMPT-P
AHA Education Coordinator
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 in 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 for the Covenant HealthCare Simulation Center. 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 Partners highly successful which has drawn students from Northern Michigan and the Thumb area Hospitals.
Cheryl’s goal is to expand the AHA courses offered at the Covenant HealthCare Simulation Center, and become the leader in AHA training for the Great Lakes Region.
Jessica Tuck, BS
Jessica Tuck is the Simulation Operations Specialist of the Covenant Healthcare Simulation Center. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Saginaw Valley State University with a minor in Chemistry. Jessica comes to the Simulation Center with multiple years of experience as a police, fire, and medical dispatcher. Along with coordinating and scheduling all activities in the simulation lab, Jessica also works behind the scenes programming scenarios, setting up equipment, creating moulage, and running simulations. As the simulation Operation Specialist, Jessica also engages in the important work of data collection and analysis interfacing with information technology on a network level and maintaining smooth operation of a complex technological system. Her hobbies include photography, art, and camping with her husband and dog. Simulation moulage allows Jessica to incorporate her hobbies and creative skills into her work through the creation of life-like injuries to assist in weaving story-lines that will enhance the learner’s simulation experience. Jessica transitioned into the medical simulation field in 2016 and is proud to be part of such a dedicated and innovative group.
Amy Smethwick graduated from University of Michigan with a Bachelor in Applied Science in Communication and Art. She was on the Dean’s Honor List and graduated with High Honors. While attending the University of Michigan, she participated in student shows and was the recipient of “The Best of Show” for a creative sculpture. Her talent of art is also portrayed in a Mural on display at the Flint Labor Museum depicting Child Labor. Amy also holds an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Graphic Design and is a Certified Career Photographer. She has been employed with CMU College of Medicine for the past five years in which she began her career as a Library Assistant in the Medical Library. In July 2018, she expanded her career to include working as an Administrative Assistant in the Covenant Healthcare Simulation Center. Her duties include, but are not limited to answering phones, scheduling of courses and simulation sessions, participating in simulation as a confederate and ensuring residents, students and the public reach their appropriate destinations.