Press Releases & Announcements

Danbury Hospital Announces Donor Gift to Establish a Simulation and Clinical Learning Center

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - Danbury, CT

Medical Simulation and Clinical Learning Center at Danbury Hospital

A substantial gift from a visionary philanthropist, Harold A. Spratt, will be used to establish a multi-faceted and highly advanced Medical Simulation and Clinical Learning Center, at Danbury Hospital, designed to enhance patient safety and the quality of care. The facility will officially be named The Harold A. Spratt Center for Simulation and Clinical Learning. Mr. Spratt's donation also brings Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation one step closer to reaching its $50 million campaign goal.

Simulation came to the healthcare industry as a proven training modality from the airline industry where it has been used to train pilots and flight crews to execute their skills in a controlled environment before taking the helm of an aircraft. In the same way pilots train for all types of scenarios to minimize the risk inherent in their work, so must health care professionals and students train to be ready for the challenges they face caring for patients.

The new state-of-the-art simulation center at Danbury Hospital is designed to provide cutting-edge simulation experiences for individuals and care teams. Employing life-like high-tech Mannequins designed to simulate patients with real illness and actors trained specifically for clinical simulation, known as standardized patients, the center will create clinical scenarios. Learners then rotate through these scenarios to master their skills in this low risk and supportive environment before using them on actual patients where the stakes are dramatically higher. The training through simulation results in increased patient safety and quality of care.

"This generous gift is symbolic of the continued endorsement for our ongoing approaches to quality improvement practices in health care, and we are so grateful to Mr. Spratt for his support of our mission and vision" shared WCHN President and CEO Dr. John M. Murphy.

"The gift will have a tremendous impact on patient safety. It allows for all the high level elements and concepts necessary to advance simulation as a teaching tool to train the next generation of clinicians. Drawing on the disciplines of aviation, healthcare, psychology, experiential learning and organizational behavior, participants will learn clinical, behavioral, and cognitive skills through simulation in our new center. This learning modality is applicable across the healthcare education spectrum, including undergraduate and graduate medical, nursing and allied health domains," said Dr. Ramin Ahmadi, Chair of Medical Education and Research at Danbury Hospital. "We're very grateful to Harold Spratt for helping us to open a comprehensive simulation center where our clinical teams, residents, and interns will be able to train in a safe, risk-free environment," commented Dr. Ahmadi.

Simulation allows hospital clinical teams and students to train and can be tailored to address our most current pressing medical issues. Its use fosters a culture of continual quality improvement.

The new Harold Spratt Center for Simulation and Clinical Learning will ultimately be 8,000 square feet of dedicated space to simulate various clinical scenarios. Most of that space is operational this spring and will include three different clinical rooms. Last year, Danbury Hospital received a grant from the Connecticut Health and Education Facilities Authority to obtain ultrasonography/transthoracic echocardiology simulator equipment for its simulation center. This simulator will join others to make this space flexible to address the needs of various disciplines. A second phase of the center will include a surgical skills lab utilizing virtual reality and an ambulance lab specifically for EMS scenarios.

Explaining his interest for supporting the Simulation and Clinical Learning Center, Harold Spratt agreed, "It will provide our region with the most advanced training facility that will focus on developing and teaching innovative procedures and techniques of tomorrow, today, and will change the way WCHN is caring for patients and improving lives."

The following Danbury Hospital programs and services were made possible by the generous support of Harold A. Spratt and family:

  • The Spratt Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • The Cora Spratt Center for Nursing Education and Research Center
  • The Cora and Harold Spratt IMRT Suite
  • The Harold and Myra Spratt Surgical Skills Lab
  • The Harold & Myra Spratt Chair in Minimally Invasive Surgery

The Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation is in the final stretch of its $50 million Image Build Transform Campaign for Danbury and New Milford Hospitals. A generous $10 million campaign donor has pledged an additional $20 million if the Foundation meets the overall campaign goal before the opening of Danbury Hospital's new Patient Tower Opens in June.

To learn more about the Image Build Transform: The Campaign for Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN), or to make a gift, visit the or call the WCHN Foundation office at (203) 739-7227.

About Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is the region's premier, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. With this recent affiliation, the organization is now anchored by three nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the three hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes numerous medical practices and sub-specialties across the region, home health care services, a nationally renowned biomedical research institute, the Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation, the Norwalk Hospital Foundation and other affiliates. For more information, visit Share your comments with us at; and/or