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Florida Hospital showcases technology, experts at STEM Day at the Capitol

Florida Hospital joined nearly 20 science centers, museums, corporations and educators for STEM Day at the Florida Capitol. During this sprawling event, Florida Hospital experts gave demonstrations of its “patient simulators” to display the importance of technology in medical training and health care.

Developed by the Orlando Science Center, the collaborative event is designed to help legislators better understand the growing importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

Technology has created new opportunities for medical training and treatment that were not possible just a decade ago. Florida Hospital’s Medical Simulation and Training group develops cutting-edge technologies to prepare doctors, nurses and non-clinical staff for complex and demanding situations.

“Patient simulators” — mannequins that mimic an array of medical conditions including heart attacks and birth — are just one of the ways the hospital uses technology to train staff and students.

“Florida Hospital is committed to delivering the highest quality of care to our patients and meeting the health needs of our community not just today, but in decades to come,” said Pat Connors, chief of simulation development and technologies at Florida Hospital. “We have dedicated significant resources to simulation and emerging technologies to ensure we are equipping today’s employees and the future workforce with the skills they need to deliver superior care. We want today’s youth, teachers and our lawmakers to understand the importance of STEM education and how it’s applicable in so many industries, including health care.”

The Science Center created STEM Day to engage with and help legislators better understand the growing impacts of STEM education in terms of workforce and economic growth throughout the state.

STEM has become a critically important topic in education and business. Research shows 60 percent of future jobs will require STEM skills, which only 20 percent of the current workforce possesses. The synergy between museums, science centers, education and businesses can enhance STEM learning in schools by demonstrating real-world applications.

“Prepping the STEM pipeline is one of Orlando Science Center’s priorities and we can’t do it alone,” said JoAnn Newman, president and CEO of Orlando Science Center. “Science centers, museums, education and industry are partnering to ignite a spark in our youth that excites them about these lucrative careers.”

“STEM Day is about awareness,” Newman continued. “We want our elected officials to see the pivotal role science centers play in creating the next generation of innovators.”