INSPIRE Executive Board Elections

Please take a moment to review all of the candidates prior to casting your ballot. You will find the link to vote below and at the bottom of this page. The deadline to submit your vote is 11:59 PM PDT (US) on April 26, 2024.


Network Chair

Isabel Gross

Dr. Isabel Gross was born and raised in Germany. She earned her MD and PhD at the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg, Germany. Thereafter, she started her pediatric residency in Germany and then moved to the United States to complete a pediatric residency and chief residency at the University of South Florida. During residency, she completed an MPH with a concentration on Disaster Management and Humanitarian Relief at the University of South Florida, Tampa. Dr. Gross completed her pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine and is now an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Yale University. She is serving on the executive board of the International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research, and Education (INSPIRE). She is a founding chair of the IPSS-INSPIRE Pediatric Simulation Fellowship as well as the founding chair of the Healthcare Distance Simulation Collaboration. Dr. Gross is an internationally recognized simulation-based researcher and a mentor for her international colleagues around the globe. Her simulation-based research focus is on global outreach simulations, distance simulations, and technology-enhanced simulations.

Mission Statement

I have dedicated my academic career to simulation-based research and education across the world and INSPIRE has played a vital part in my career and life. Locally, I am an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Yale University School of Medicine. I have been a member of INSPIRE since 2015, and the focus on mentorship, the culture of open sharing, and the internationally inclusiveness allowed me to quickly become part of the INSPIRE family. I served as the Scientific Review Committee Chair for four years coordinating the ALERT review process, responding to research consultations, and reviewing INSPIRE award submissions. I am a founding chair of the IPSS-INSPIRE Pediatric Simulation Fellowship connecting simulation expertise across the globe for four years. In that capacity, I have supported the growth of our fellows from Europe, Saudi Arabia, Latvia, Malaysia, India, New Zealand, and the United States in their leadership, education, and research development. After five years, I am finishing my final term on the INSPIRE executive board, and I would be honored and fortunate to guide our network as the incoming INSPIRE co-chair. As I am from Germany and currently working in the United States, I am excited to share my dedication for pediatric simulation research on an international level and I am looking forward to helping guide the network and to expanding INSPIRE’s global reach. I love the welcoming and open nature of our network focusing on the development of your investigators and researchers in low-resource simulation settings. If elected as Co-Chair, I will grow our interprofessional and international partnership on research projects, move forward grant writing efforts both to support our network and to allow for large research projects, and further expand our reach to our colleagues in low-resource simulation settings. My vision for INSPIRE is its inclusivity, diversity, and growth to continue to improve the lives of children through healthcare simulation science.


Pooja Nawathe

Pooja Amar Nawathe, MD, FAAP, FCCM, FSSH, CHSE-A, CHSOS is a Pediatric Intensivist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. She is also the Medical Director of Simulation for Pediatrics, Co-chair of the Simulation and Human Factors Research Committee, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Cardiology and Biomedical Sciences and is the immediate past Chair of Pediatrics for the Society of Simulation in Healthcare. Her interests are insitu interprofessional education and simulation for process improvement, and she spearheads the development of the Pediatric Simulation Program at Cedars- Sinai Medical Center along with its affiliates at Marina Del Ray, Huntington, Torrance Memorial Hospital. She has co-chaired a local simulation conference CALSIM at Cedars for the last three years, is faculty in the California Simulation Alliance, leads the Pediatric Fundamental Critical Care Support course and is working with the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Simulation and Education Committee to improve the simulation focus in SCCM further.

Mission Statement

I am a Pediatric Cardiac Intensivist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and the Medical Director of Simulation for Department of Pediatrics and the co-chair of the Simulation and Human factors committee at our organization. Professionally my goal is to improve the quality and safety of pediatric care provided through simulation-based education and research in interprofessional teams. I have found this work to be the most rewarding and exciting: collaborating with interprofessional teams on simulation research projects nationally and internationally and specially getting resources for pediatric simulation in a non-free standing children’s hospital where the resources are shared for care of adult patients. I want to continue this work myself and to help other members of interprofessional teams around me find their way to these opportunities sooner for pediatric simulation. I would like to help connect faculty, learners and fellow simulation enthusiasts with research opportunities and mentors both inside and outside their institutions to support and promote their energy and interest to contribute meaningfully to the field. As the immediate past chair of SSH Pediatric Section and being a member of PediSTARS and IPSS, I hope to collaborate with other Pediatric Simulation groups/organizations leveraging the strengths of INSPIRE to progress the field of Pediatric Simulation further. Mentorship is a personal interest of mine and would like to pay it forward as there were some things I could have done differently and INSPIRE provides a great platform for fostering mentorship. My vision and mission for the future of INSPIRE is to continue to foster a culture of mentorship as well as grow our inclusion of international members by breaking down barriers and improving their access. From the conception of an idea of simulation research, developing the research question, presenting the ALERT, to hearing from the giants in the field during ALERT round table, analyzing the data and writing the manuscript, I would like to promote the idea of SWAG (simulation writing accountability groups, something I could use myself). Pediatric Simulation research advancement is a robust mechanism of getting a seat at the table where more research funding could be channelized to our field. Thank you for the consideration and taking the time to read through statement of interest.

Board of Directors

Rachel Elkin

Rachel Elkin is a pediatric emergency physician at Columbia (New York Presbyterian-Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital), where she also serves as simulation division faculty within the Department of Emergency Medicine. After medical school – where she also obtained a master’s degree in clinical research – she went on to complete her pediatric residency and pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Columbia. She then proceeded to complete her simulation fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Last year, she was thrilled to return home to New York. Her academic interests center around how novel technologies and instructional designs, particularly within simulation, impact educational, psychometric, and clinical outcomes. Outside of her research work, she has been active in simulation-based community outreach programs for middle school and high school students as well as interdisciplinary in situ simulation program development and implementation; and has developed and delivered simulation-based education activities locally, regionally, and nationally. Currently at Columbia, she is part of the core team developing a joint simulation/quality fellowship.

Mission Statement

INSPIRE is truly a special community that I am privileged to be a part of. Over the last few years, I’ve enjoyed serving INSPIRE in many capacities: as a member of the Meeting Organizing Committee and previous meeting co-chair; as a current co-chair of the Scientific Review Committee as well as the Novice Research Committee; leading the brainstorming exercise over the last year (collecting member input to inform INSPIRE’s strategic planning); and as one of the champions for both the Incubate and Accelerate strategic pillars. These roles have provided breadth and depth of exposure into the workings of INSPIRE, but also allowed me to hear from and engage with a wide array of INSPIRE members across the spectrum of experience levels. I am excited to continue to build on and enrich our efforts in areas where INSPIRE already excels (such as in the support of early stage projects and early career + novice investigators), but also strengthen areas where we could be even more effective (such as in the support of more mature projects and longitudinal programs of research, as well as more experienced investigators). My current and recent work in the former domain has focused on optimizing the ALERT review process to provide presenters with deeper engagement with the Scientific Review Committee through real time, in-person feedback; working with the Incubate team to create additional low-barrier ways for members to introduce early stage ideas and projects; and co-creating plans for experiences and professional developmental opportunities with a new cohort of novice investigators. In the latter domain, in addition to building out pathways, infrastructure, and resources to support more complex projects and programs of research, a key area of focus is on the provision of dedicated mentorship as well as opportunities for academic growth and support for more experienced investigators. It would be a joy to continue to move this work forward as a member of the Executive Board.

Jabeen Fayyaz

Dr. Jabeen Fayyaz, MD, FCPS, MCPS, DCH, CHSE, MHPE, Ph.D. (Sim), serves as the Medical Director of SimKids at MGH IHP and holds positions as an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and a Staff Physician within the Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) division at The Hospital for Sick Children. With a diverse international background, Dr. Fayyaz brings extensive experience and leadership in PEM, having worked as faculty at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in Pakistan and Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH) in Oman. Recognized for her contributions to PEM, she spearheaded initiatives such as the implementation of the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) and quality improvement projects utilizing LEAN Sigma methodology. Dr. Fayyaz’s journey led her to SickKids in 2016, where she completed PEM and simulation fellowships and earned her master’s degree in health professional education from Aga Khan University Hospital and Ph.D. in simulation from MGH IHP. Her commitment to education extends globally, reflected in her role as the PEM international fellowship program director and resuscitation lead. She chaired the International Pediatric Simulation Society (IPSS) – INSPIRE PED Simulation fellowship and already serves on the boards of INSPIRE and IPSS. Passionate about utilizing simulation for community outreach and capacity building, Dr. Fayyaz has pioneered simulation-based PEM curriculum implementations in Pakistan, resulting in numerous physicians completing certification programs. Her international collaborations extend to India, Egypt, and Ireland, where she continues to impact medical education and patient care positively. She leads various educational and quality improvement initiatives at SickKids, including resuscitation oversight and competency-based medical education programs. Dr. Fayyaz’s interests lie in utilizing simulation for system and process testing, quality improvement, and fostering a culturally enriching environment for teaching and learning. Since 2019, she has been an active member of the Simulation Steering Committee, driving innovation and excellence in medical education.

Mission Statement

With a background rooted in pediatric emergency medicine and a passion for medical education, my mission is to serve as a catalyst for transformative change within the pediatric simulation community through INSPIRE. Drawing upon my extensive experience in both clinical practice and educational leadership, I envision a future where pediatric healthcare providers are not only proficient in their clinical skills but also deeply committed to continuous learning and improvement. My vision for INSPIRE is one of collaboration, innovation, and excellence, where members come together to share best practices, develop cutting-edge educational resources, and drive meaningful advancements in pediatric simulation research and practice. Through my candidacy, I seek to leverage my expertise in curriculum development, faculty training, and simulation-based learning to contribute to the collective efforts of INSPIRE in shaping the future of pediatric healthcare education. Together, let us inspire and empower the next generation of pediatric healthcare professionals to deliver compassionate, high-quality care to children worldwide.

Amy Hanson

Dr. Hanson received her MD from Rush University Medical College in 2008 and subsequently completed residency in Pediatrics (Loyola University Medical Center, 2011), and a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine (University of Utah, Primary Children’s Hospital, 2014). She is an Associate Professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and practices clinically at Norton Children’s Hospital, where she also serves as the director for the SPARC (Simulation for Pediatric Assessment, Resuscitation and Communication) program.

Mission Statement

My personal mission is to support and advance the field of healthcare simulation. Having been an INSPIRE member since 2016, I have greatly enjoyed serving on the awards committee and collaborating with meeting co-chairs and the MOC to present the INSPIRE 2024 meeting in San Diego. Simulation is a fundamental part of the art and practice of medicine to me, and I have extensive experience using simulation to train and debrief interprofessional healthcare teams, detect latent safety threats and conduct systems testing. Connecting with, learning from, and collaborating with the INSPIRE simulationinsts has been invaluable to my practice of simulation and research and provides me with great professional fulfillment. I have such great respect for the INSPIRE network members and would be honored to contribute as an executive board member to furthering the pillars set forth of connecting simulationinsts, incubating ideas, accelerating research and optimizing operations.

Priti Jani

Priti Jani MD, MPH is a pediatric critical care physician who takes care of critically ill infants and children in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Pediatric Sedation service. She completed her medical degree at Rush University College of Medicine and her training in pediatrics and pediatric critical care at The University of Chicago, Comer Children’s Hospital. Dr. Jani’s scholarly focus lies at the intersection of research in simulation-based medical education and resuscitation quality improvement. She develops and investigates simulation-based educational curricula and quality improvement initiatives towards the goal of improving individual, team and system level performance with the goal of translation to improved patient outcomes. A dedicated educator, she utilizes her expertise in simulation to direct and develop curricula for trainees and healthcare teams. Serving as the Chair of the Pediatric CPR Committee and Pediatric Resuscitation Quality Committee as well as the Faculty Director of the UChicago Simulation Center, she is highly invested in using simulation to further advance education, safety and quality at the University of Chicago Medicine and Comer Children’s Hospital

Mission Statement

If I had a nickel for every time, I felt inspired, moved, motivated or encouraged by INSPIRE, I would be a rich lady! Having been a member of this group for the past decade, I have seen the success of a group grounded in collaboration, mentorship, inclusivity and generosity. I am applying to be on the executive board for the opportunity to serve a network whose model I deeply admire and to serve INSPIRE’s mission of improving the lives of children through healthcare simulation science. If given the privilege to serve, I would look forward to working with the INSPIRE leadership team towards continued growth of the network while also striving for increased cohesiveness and strengthening of our infrastructure to foster the professional development of both junior and senior members. As a pediatric critical care physician at the University of Chicago, Comer Children’s Hospital, I spend my non-clinical time immersed in the utilization of simulation towards improving resuscitation education, quality and outcomes. Additionally, serving as the Faculty Director for the University of Chicago’s Simulation Center, I lead the alignment and integration of simulation across the continuum of education, patient safety and quality to improve the delivery of healthcare. I am the institutional lead for pediatric in-patient simulation, CPR committee chair and director of the Pediatric Advanced Life Support course. In these roles, I have directed multiple simulation-based curricula for nurses and trainees, research projects and institution-wide quality improvement initiatives. Along with my institutional leadership, regionally I served as the president of the Chicago Simulation consortium from 2016-2019, supporting multiple disciplines of simulation educators and researchers in program development, sharing of resources and facilitation of research. At the time, the consortium consisted of 59 institutions across the greater Chicagoland area and 228 members across multiple disciplines. Nationally, I have had the great fortune of continued learning and collaborative work via participation in INSPIRE projects such as the CPR leaderboard study, Prevention of Errors in Anaphylaxis in Kids (PEAK) and PEAK II’s development of a latent safety threat database and current bag-valve mask ventilation study. Lastly, I have had the privilege to serve as a member of the executive board and co-chair of INSPIRE’s Scientific Review Committee – dedicated to promoting research and mentorship through the ALERT process at our INSPIRE meetings. My experiences in simulation research, education and leadership have fostered the skills and dedication of a productive future board member. If I am privileged to have your vote, I commit to ardently serve our mutual interests of working towards fulfilling our mission, continued advancement of the network and fostering the professional growth of our membership.

Shakila Kulasekaran

Shakila graduated from Medical School in 1987 and completed post graduation in Pediatrics in 1998 Pediatric Intensive care and Neonatology training in 2004. Shakila completed an ECMO fellowship in 2022 and has worked in Government health sectors for a span of 10 years. Shakila currently serves as the Medical Director and Pediatric Intensivist at Medline Children Hospital since 2006 . Innovations include a Portable Baby Warmer for neonatal hypothermia, a Pediatric peritoneal dialysis trainer and a neonatal vital signs monitoring Cap.

Mission Statement

I am a pediatric Intensivist and Neonatologist from India. With experience government health care and private health care sectors I founded a simulation school, Life Care Sim Academy for imparting simulation based education in Pediatrics. I have trained around 1900 healthcare personal by simulation based education since 2013. The training has been Pro-bono. I won the simulation hackathon in SIMULUS 4,2019 in India. My proposal was Ideating a pediatric Shock simulator. Designed and developed a low cost simulator for Pediatric peritoneal dialysis to use in low Resource settings. Designed and developed a Virtual reality training module with 12 scenarios for pediatric peritoneal dialysis training. I Presented a poster with the title, Pediatric Shock simulator, ECMO simulator and the ECMO simulator won the best innovation award in SIMGHOSTS Saudi Arabia, 2020. Presented poster with the title” Pur learnings from running a simulation center in India” in IPSSW 2019. I have worked as a simulation faculty in simulation conferences and National conferences since 2015.

Junior Director

Sofia Athanasopoulou

Born and raised in Athens, Greece, I pursued my medical education at the University of Athens with a passion for pediatric medicine. After gaining valuable experience as a junior doctor in the United Kingdom, I moved to the United States and completed my residency in pediatrics at Yale University, where I am currently training as a pediatric emergency medicine fellow. For the past three years, I have served as the innovation and case creation lead for SimBox- an innovative, open-access medical education platform aiming to make low- technology, high-quality simulation accessible to all healthcare providers. My mission is particularly focused on reaching prehospital and community providers in rural or low-resource settings, ensuring that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver optimal care to children.

Mission Statement

With a deep-rooted belief in the power of collaboration, I am looking forward to working closely with the diverse and multidisciplinary community of INSPIRE to leverage technology and innovative approaches in order to make simulation sustainable and accessible to all healthcare providers, regardless of geographical location or level of resources. My journey in pediatric simulation and education has been shaped by diverse leadership roles, including co-leading the Yale Health Education and Literacy for Asylees and Refugees (Y-HEALAR) program, as well as serving as the Associate Director of the Yale Pediatric Global Health Track. These experiences have instilled in me a deep appreciation for the transformative potential of education in improving health outcomes and addressing health disparities. Through my involvement in global health initiatives in Greece, Rwanda, and rural parts of the U.S., I have seen firsthand the importance of bridging gaps in healthcare education and training through simulation. My goal within INSPIRE is to champion initiatives that promote equity, inclusivity, and excellence in pediatric simulation-based innovation, research, and education. My vision for INSPIRE is rooted in the belief that simulation-based innovation and research have the power to transform pediatric healthcare worldwide. Drawing from my experiences as the Case Creation and Innovation Lead for SimBox, I am passionate about leveraging new technologies and interdisciplinary collaboration to develop accessible and impactful simulation resources. As a Junior Executive Board member of INSPIRE, I am eager to contribute my skills, insights, and passion to the collective pursuit of excellence in pediatric simulation-based innovation and research.