Cheryl Lacasse

Clinical Professor, Nursing
Director, Teaching/Learning Practice and Evaluation
2018 CUES Distinguished Fellow

Note: Title was current at time of award and may have changed.

Desert Regional Healthcare Alliance (DRHA) Project – A Simulated Health Care System for Leadership Education

The Desert Regional Healthcare Alliance (DRHA) Project includes development of a comprehensive community-based virtual health care system and pilot testing within an online learning environment. Elements of game-based theory, augmented and virtual reality, systems theory, leadership development, and real-world wisdom and experience will be foundational to the development of DRHA.  The project intends to provide an interactive platform for constructing meaningful learning opportunities for students preparing for leadership roles in health care using an online, simulated environment. The virtual platform has the potential to serve as a model for other programs where inter-curricular, multi-disciplinary student outcomes are valued.

Project Outcomes 

As of the summer of 2020, the development of a virtual health care system (Desert Regional Healthcare Alliance, DRHA) for leadership education is an ongoing project and has momentum for the next phase of development. The structure of the simulated system was refined and includes many assets for student development in health care leadership in the online environment.  Two newly developed online simulations include creation of an optimal healing environment using 3D modeling in a typical patient care area and engaging in a critical incident debrief, root cause analysis, and leadership decisions focused on safe quality care in an outpatient clinic setting.  These interactive, knowledge-in-action activities engage learners in foundational simulations that assist nurse leaders to apply content in future clinical leadership practicum experiences.


APR 2022:  Creating a Healing Environment for Health and Wellness: A Virtual Learning Activity, Fourth International Integrative Nursing Symposium, Virtual.

FEB 2020: Enhancing Online Learning: Designing Immersive Virtual Experiences, CUES Inside UA-Funded Scholarship Series, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

2018 CUES Distinguished Fellows