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Health Village Nicholson Center Medical Innovation and World-Class Surgical Training

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Health Village Nicholson Center - The Building Blocks of Breakthroughs

Visit the Florida Hospital Health Village Nicholson Center website. Remember when cell phones required shoulder straps? When fax machines dominated information transfer? Remember when discs were floppy? It wasn’t long ago that these pieces of our past were at the forefront of technological innovation. As scientists and researchers, we find ourselves intrigued by both the accelerated pace these devices have advanced and the legacy of products and services that have led to the latest incarnations – especially the ones that improve the interactive exchange of information.

Take the iPad, or smart device from which you may be reading this right now. Long before Steve Jobs introduced these sophisticated breakthroughs in communication to the masses, a storied history of innovations and inventions from a wide array of contributors had to take place.

Punch cards, calculators, transistors, telephones, vacuum tubes, UNIX, internet, the 4,000-year old abacus: all are building blocks, all are breakthroughs and all of them contributed in one way or another to the piece of technology you hold in your hands today. That is the reciprocal double life of breakthroughs—often, they themselves become the building blocks for even more and greater historical discoveries. For all that breakthroughs and building blocks share, their most common characteristic perhaps is that they always result from collaborative efforts. No single person or organized entity can achieve these feats in a silo. It is the open exchange of information and continually building from the knowledge gained that leads to quantum leaps in products, service and industry.

One such example of this philosophy put into action can be found at Florida Hospital’s Health Village Nicholson Center. Roger Smith, PhD, of the Health Village Nicholson Center commented, “Advances in all the sciences, including the practice and delivery of health care, are grown in a manner similar to constructing a brick wall. The wall is composed of many bricks, each contributed by a different individual or organization. The researchers at the Health Village Nicholson Center will contribute a couple of valuable bricks to that wall and in a few years our work will be part of new capabilities that are the collaborative effort of many dedicated people.” And he should know. As the chief technology officer for the Health Village Nicholson Center, he has a keen understanding of just how important these building blocks are, and how nurturing these relationships is key to the success of the institute.

The brand new, 54,000 square-foot facility is a model for open collaborations to advance practices and standards across the entire spectrum of minimally invasive, laparoscopic, robotic, telemedicine and medical simulation. It is a place where students, educators, industry, researchers, clinical organizations and even the US military come together; building upon the brilliant work of the pioneers who came before us to achieve breakthroughs that will revolutionize the way we perform surgery.

Though this facility is new, the Health Village Nicholson Center has been an educational hub for surgeons for the past 10 years. Accepting its first clinical learners in 2001, the institute soon gained popularity for its progressive training curriculum and to date has educated more than 42,000 surgeons—all within a facility that is a tenth the size of the newly opened center. Projected annual attendance at the new facility is expected to reach 20,000 and though the Health Village Nicholson Center has grown exponentially in size, it still remains, first and foremost, a learning institution.

It is a model that compelled the US military to award the Health Village Nicholson Center with a $4.2 million grant to research the future of telesurgery in combat zones. Another partner has consolidated their entire east coast training operation into the facility, while others are utilizing the two full-size ORs to research and develop the very products that will soon be making their way into hospitals around the globe.

And with plans to expand similar training facilities to more locations within Central Florida as well as globally, the potential for future partnerships is virtually limitless. Brick by brick, alongside our partners, we are strengthening both the building blocks that will lead to tomorrow’s breakthroughs, and reinforcing the all-important bond that forms between them. Learn more about the Health Village Nicholson Center and get a tour today.

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