College of Natural Sciences

2019-2020: Rebekah Damazo

15 years ago, simulation in nursing was emerging as a powerful and effective means to provide complex hands-on learning experiences in a safe environment. Through a $250,000 grant, and in collaboration with local partners, Professor Rebekah Damazo and then School of Nursing Director Sherry Fox initiated plans to create a Simulation Center to serve our students and the community. 

The Rural Northern California Clinical Simulation Center began operation in 2006 in the wing of a decommissioned hospital. That setting provided the feel of working in an actual hospital. The SimCenter achieved international accreditation by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare in 2010, one of the first in the nation. The accreditation visitor who came to the site stated “for a quarter of a million dollars, you have created a million dollar center.” Becky has developed a model Simulation Center that truly meets its vision: To be a provider of world-class, state of the art, multidisciplinary simulation training to improve the quality and safety of health care provided throughout the North State.

Becky recognized the value of bringing partners together to make her dream a reality. The partnership with Enloe and other local hospitals ensures a shared vision for growth and a shared commitment to sustain this important resource in our community. Enloe Hospital continues to provide the space for the Rural SimCenter. Last year the SimCenter had 2,200 CSU Chico student visits and over 800 hospital employee visits.

Becky was one of the first healthcare simulation educators to be certified by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and is now holds an advanced certification. As an educator, Becky developed rigorous standards for the Center. She conducts simulation educator training workshops. Becky has been a speaker at national and international simulation conferences. She also produced a textbook on moulage and has authored textbook chapters on simulation. She obtained grant funding that she used to create diversity scenarios and opioid scenarios, to be shared at no cost with other simulation educators.

Even before the SimCenter was a twinkle in Becky’s eye, she was already an outstanding instructor and nurse. Becky worked as a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in Pediatrics. She was also the lead public health nursing instructor for Chico State and served as a mentor to new faculty.