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Our Team

Welcome to Our Team

Cathy Grossman, MD

Interim Medical Director

(804) 628-4136


Congratulations to Dr. Cathy Grossman, who recently completed her Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator exam!  Dr. Grossman has been teaching in the Center almost since the day it opened in 2009.  She is the lead faculty for the VCUHealth Interprofessional Code Team simulations and leads the simulation component of Walk the Walk – VCU’s Intern Orientation and Safety Culture program.  She routinely receives kudos for her teaching from students and residents.  As one of her former residents puts it:   “Cathy sets an example that transcends medicine: having worked with her inspires us to not only be better doctors but also to be better people. She is a synergy of art and science, of humanism and empiricism, of the traditions and the future of medicine.”

Michael Vitto, DO

Associate Director


Dr. Michael Vitto, DO, MS, RDMS, RDCS, FACEP is an Assistant Professor aof Emergency Medicine and serves as teh Director of Simulation for the Department of Emergency Medicine. He is the Associate Medical Director at the Center for Human Simulation and Patient Safety at the VCU School of Medicine. He has interests in multidisciplinary code team training, procedural simulation, and device design and innovation.

Patricia Lange, MD

Assistant Director for Surgical Simulation


Dr. Patricia Lange is currently an Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University.  She graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical College of Virginia in 1996 and completed her general surgery residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1996-2003 (including 2 years of research in cell signaling).  She completed a two year fellowship in Pediatric Surgery at Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC in 2005 before returning to UNC as an attending from 2005-2012.  She is currently involved in our American Pediatric Surgery Association’s Pediatric Surgical Society's Education Committee and the simulation sub-committee.  While at UNC, she worked with other interested faculty in developing and implementing a new surgical skills lab for the general surgery residency program.  She teaches both technical and non-technical skills for surgery students and residents in the VCU Center for Human Simulation and Patient Safety.

Michelle Dulak

Education Specialist


Michelle Dulak, MSN RN, RNC-NIC joined the team as a simulation educator in 2022. She received her MSN in Nursing Education from Duke University and her BSN from Lynchburg College. Michelle is in progress of completing her Ph.D. in Nursing through Illinois State University. She came to us from Illinois State University (ISU) Mennonite College of Nursing where she served as a Simulation Specialist, a Nursing Instructional Assistant Professor and the Course Leader for Nursing Care of Children . Prior to coming to ISU, she worked at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital as a certified Neonatal Intensive Care RN.

As a simulation educator, she works with VCU faculty and VCUHS staff to develop simulation and task training courses using simulation best practices. She enjoys the collaborative development of inter-professional simulations across the health system especially within the pediatric population.

Kristin Canipe, RN, MSN

Simulation Educator

(804) 628-4139


Kristin Canipe, MSN RN joined the team as a simulation educator in 2016. She received her MSN in Nursing Education from East Carolina University and her BSN from West Virginia Wesleyan College. She came to us from VCUHS where she was a founding team member of the Adult Rapid Response Team. Prior to coming to VCUHS, she worked at Duke University Medical Center as a Medical ICU RN and Pulmonary/Renal Progressive Care RN.

As a simulation educator, she works with VCU faculty and VCUHS staff to develop simulation and task training courses using simulation best practices. She enjoys the collaborative development of inter-professional simulations across the health system especially within the adult population. Kristin is a member of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and holds her CHSE certification.

Elizabeth Fredericksen-Trent

Division Administrator/Operations Manager



Elizabeth Trent joined us in a dual role as both the Division Administrator and Operations Manager in February 2017. Prior to her arrival with the center, she was a Senior Administrative Services Coordinator for the Department of Pediatrics, assisting the Chair and Vice-Chairs.

Prior to her work with VCU, she collaborated on several enterprise projects as a Senior Business Systems Analyst and a Quality Assurance Engineer with several local firms including Fareva and Anthem.

She has certification in Root Cause Analysis, Business System Analysis, ROI, and is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. She recently graduated from the College Business Management Institute (CBMI), with a concentration in Treasury Management, through the University of Kentucky. She has been a member of the Medical Response Core, VA and has designed curriculum for homeschool students. She is an active participant and member of SSH and ASPE.

She enjoys building teams and working with our learners to expand services to best fit their education needs. Her personal hobbies include animal husbandry and classic vehicles.

She currently attends GEHLI and DEI Leadership courses at VCU.

Justin Fedoryk BS

Senior Supervisor, Simulation Technology

(804) 827-1486


Justin Fedoryk joined us as the Simulation Technology Supervisor in June 2019. He comes to us from the operating rooms of VCU Health, where he cared for the equipment in the rooms used during endoscopic surgeries, along with the equipment’s AV systems, streaming services, and EHR connectivity capabilities. He also served in the US Army, where he was a Computer/ Detection Systems Repairer, repairing electronics ranging from night-vision goggles to military vehicle navigation equipment. In Afghanistan, he managed the electronics maintenance shop alone, at his location with over 2,000 personnel. He attended VCU for his BS and MS in Information Systems.

Mark Hix, BS

Simulation Technology Specialist

(804) 628-3809


Mark Hix, B.S., joined us as a Simulation Technology Specialist in October 2010. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned his B.S. degree in Business Information Systems, with a concentration in Networking. He has previous experience in the production of medical journals, as well as applied technology support in the areas of desktop, server, storage and network infrastructure services. Mark also has background knowledge in software programming, as well as customer service and project management experience in both the private and public sectors.

Tony Sessoms, BS

Simulation Technology Specialist



Antonio Sessoms joined us as a Simulation Technology Specialist in August 2017. He attended ECPI University where he earned his BS degree in Computer and Information Science, with a concentration in Network/Cyber Security and Cloud Computing. Tony has over 22 years of experience in emergency medical treatment while serving as a Health Care Specialist in the US Army. Prior to retiring from the military, Tony worked at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), located in Frederick MD, where he managed the Special Immunization Program (SIP) before relocating to the Richmond area and becoming a member of VCU’s Center for Human Simulation and Patient Safety team.

Stacie Rearden Hall, BAFA

Standardized Patient Manager

(804) 628-6429


Stacie Rearden Hall, B.A.F.A, joined us in June 2011 as a standardized patient and transitioned into the role of Standardized Patient Coordinator in October 2013 then to Standardized Patient Manager in June 2017. After earning her degree from the University of South Carolina Aiken, Stacie worked as an actor with Virginia Repertory Theatre’s touring division, Theatre IV, where she performed in Hugs and Kisses, a child abuse awareness show that focused on teaching children about appropriate touching and how to identify sexual abuse. In 2007, she took on the role of program manager for SPARC’s New Voices for the Theatre youth playwriting program. Shortly after completing New Voices, Stacie became the production manager for Richmond Shakespeare where she also taught classes in classical text analysis and performance. Stacie is also skilled in makeup design, specializing in various moulage techniques.

Susan Haynes, M.Ed., MSW, BFA

Surgical Simulation Administrator



Susan is a native of Richmond, VA.  After completing her undergraduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, she moved across the country.  Returning to Richmond in the 1980’s, Susan worked in full-time ministry, teaching, counseling and developing outreach ministries.  In 1990 she accepted a position in the Department of Surgery and has worked there ever since.  After spending 10 years in education administration, she accepted the position as the Surgical Simulation Coordinator before being promoted to Surgical Simulation Administrator in June 2017.  She enjoys working with medical students and residents and organizing educational events for practicing surgeons and physicians. 

Aaron Anderson, PhD, MFA

Standardized Patient Faculty


Aaron Anderson, PhD, MFA, is Founding Director of VCU’s Standardized Patient Program. He is also Professor, Associate Chair and Head of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Theatre, Liaison for Arts + Health Research in the School of the Arts, and Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine. He holds an Interdisciplinary PhD in Culture from Northwestern University and an MFA in Theatre from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. 

Hayden Snead

Simulation Technology Specialist


Hayden Snead is a VCU alumni with a BS in Biology. He is currently a Simulation Technology Specialist within the Simulation Center and his duties include handling the backend operations of the simulations, maintaining equipment, and providing technical support to our Operations and Education teams. He has utilized his experience in the Python programming language and data collection from his Biology path to track the number of learners and educators using the Simulation Center. He assists in the ACS accreditation process through this data collection and plan to expand on these techniques to improve the Simulation Center's quality and efficiency. He has also been involved in the recent upgrade of our A/V technology and the introduction of new manikins such as SimMan3G Plus.

Chase Shaffer

Program Coordinator


Chase Shaffer, B.A., joined us in March 2020 as a Ultrasound Model/Sim Assistant and transitioned into the role of Simulation Program Coordinator in October 2020. He has gathered more than 10 years of experience in diverse client/customer service-related fields, while working for companies like Amazon and XPO logistics. He is a native of Franklin, Virginia but moved to Richmond in 2016, where he earned a B.A. degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Rebecca "Ciera" Gillenwater

Standardized Patient Coordinator


Ciera Gillenwater joined our team in June of 2019, as the Standardized Patient Coordinator, with a background in retail operations management and in theater. Prior to VCU, she served as Charity Coordinator for Alex and Ani in which she worked closely with many non-profits in Richmond including The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Richmond Animal League, Feed More and Diversity Richmond. Storytelling, community engagement, and relationship building are the cornerstones on which she has built her career.

Russell Ballance

Simulation Operations Specialist


Russell Ballance joined us in December 2021, as the Simulation Operations Specialist. He, previously, worked as an Operations Technician for Birdsong Peanuts in Franklin, VA. Prior to working for Birdsong, He attended Virginia Union University on a full ride scholarship for punting and obtained a bachelor's degree in Business Management.

He is a certified proctor for Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS ) and Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES). In his spare time, he trains for triathlons and races during the summer.

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