The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has been actively engaged with funding several EMS and hospital initiatives to improve the health and lives of Montana citizens. Two EMS/hospital initiatives include an American Heart Association – Mission Lifeline project to improve STEMI 12-lead EKG transmission capability for EMS and hospitals and an EMSTS/DPHHS project to develop Cardiac Ready Communities enhancing the cardiac chain of survival for patients suffering cardiac arrest.
In 2016, the Helmsley Charitable Trust invited Montana to apply for funding implementing Simulation in Motion Montana. This $4.2 million grant includes the purchase of three mobile simulation training trucks with a suite of high definition simulation manikins. The front of these trucks includes pull out areas and simulates an emergency room; the back simulates an ambulance. The manikins are high fidelity computerized training tools that talk, breath, have heartbeats, and can react to medications and other actions of the learners. They can live or die and can be reviewed over and over again.
The Montana Project
Helmsley has previously funded mobile simulation projects in both South Dakota (http://www.sim.sd.gov/) and North Dakota (http://www.med.und.edu/sim-nd/). Now, both Montana and Nebraska have been funded to follow their lead.
The primary goal of MobileSim Montana is to provide education and training to rural EMS services and hospitals. As part of a plan to assure sustainability, other stakeholders such as universities, colleges and others who have a need for simulation education could also take advantage of this program. Our research reveals that simulation is becoming ever more important to numerous stakeholders and MobileSim Montana can be of value to organizations and institutions who cannot maintain their own programs.
Helmsley funded the purchase of the trucks (app. $500,000 ea.) and the suite of manikins (app. $250,000 ea.) They are also funding operations of the program for three years. With an eye to promoting sustainability of the program, Helmsley will provide the project operations at 100% the first year, 66% in year two and 33% in year three.
The Montana Proposal
Through conversations with the Dakotas and discussions with numerous potential partners, we proposed a different implementation model that will help insure a stronger plan for sustainability. While maintaining a core mission to provide education to EMS and hospitals around the state, we also are planning to serve a broader customer base (e.g. universities, schools and others).
Additionally, we propose a foundationally different way of managing MobileSim Montana. While both Dakotas rely on hospital systems to manage staff, scheduling of education and maintenance/repairs, we are proposing that MobileSim Montana be managed by a public/private partnership with a nonprofit corporation (501c3) and a board of directors overseeing governance of the program. Additionally, corporation membership includes an advisory group representing key users and stakeholders (EMS, hospitals, universities, colleges, etc.). Such an organizational structure could be positioned better to manage the program over the next three years and to better plan for sustainability beyond that time.
While the trucks were ordered in January 2016, delivery is expected this February 2017. An advisory group of interested stakeholders have been meeting over 2016 for preliminary planning of project operations. Beginning fall of 2016, we recruited five inaugural members of Simulation in Motion, Inc. and they have been finalizing work on formation of the corporation. In January 2016, they approved Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws and filing with the Secretary of State is imminent.
The next key step for Simulation in Motion, Inc. is to contract with a Project Management Entity (PME) to manage the day to day activities such as staffing and education. As well, this organization needs to be invested and advisory to the board about ongoing operations, funding and sustainability. The board is currently working on an RFP which we hope to issue in February. Parties who are interested in the RFP or have additional questions should contact Jim DeTienne at email@example.com or 406-444-4460.