• Arizona Simulation Technology & Education Center

  • Arizona Simulation Technology & Education Center

  • Arizona Simulation Technology & Education Center

  • Join us for a virtual tour!

  • ASTEC Outreach Presentation

  • ASTEC's Role: Health Sciences Community Unites to Protect Workers on COVID-19 Front Lines


Message from the Director


A Special Message Regarding COVID-19

During this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, ASTEC is committed to providing unprecedented technology, methodologies, and resources to meet the learning and training needs of our community. We are compiling a multitude of online tools, materials, and interactive technologies to fill the educational gap for our healthcare profession students while they must temporarily step away from the bedside. It is our duty to provide, wherever possible, the strategies and the methods to support our healthcare providers and to ensure that we continue to provide excellent preparation for those who will be tomorrow’s providers. We want you to know that we are all in this together and ASTEC has been mobilized to provide whatever is needed to help us through this crisis.  

Please check our ASTEC COVID-19 Resource Center page frequently for updates including return to operation information.   


Allan J. Hamilton, MD, FACS

Executive Director, ASTEC

Regents’ Professor of Surgery
Clinical Professor, Radiation Oncology
Professor, Surgery
Professor, Psychology
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering


Important Updates About ASTEC's Return to Operations

ASTEC has established four phases of re-entry.  We are currently in Phase III.

Phase I:  Preparation prior to staff return to work (current phase)
This phase includes tasks such as drafting new policies and procedures and establishing safe work practices based on evidence-based scientific guidelines.
Phase II: Preparation upon staff return to work
This phase includes tasks such as reconfiguring physical simulation spaces and placing informational signage throughout the lab.
Phase III: Return to modified in-person simulation activities
This phase includes modified in-person procedure-based simulation only and does not include in-person scenario-based simulation.
Phase IV: Return to regular in-person simulation activities
This phase includes a return to regularly staffed, standard operating hours and the reestablishment of in-person scenario-based simulation. 


Modified Simulation Options for Training Requests

Though the ASTEC facility located in the Health Sciences Innovation Building is currently closed to in-person training, there are still options available to meet your learning objectives.  Please examine the following four options prior to contacting ASTEC regarding any simulation needs.    

OPTION 1: In-person or interactive remote simulation is not necessary.  Request can be reasonably accommodated with online didactic session.

OPTION 2: In-person simulation is not necessary, but interactive remote simulation would be ideal.  Request can be reasonably accommodated with an interactive remote simulation session.

OPTION 3: In-person simulation is necessary, but does not necessarily need to take place in HSIB.  Request can be reasonably deployed through the use of remote ASTEC location.

OPTION 4: In-person simulation in HSIB is necessary. ASTEC remote location cannot reasonably accommodate request.  For now, this will be limited to procedure-based, hands-on sessions only and will require significant protections to be taken for learners, educators, and ASTEC staff. 

Additional Information

All requests for trainining will be evaluated based on risk factors including proximity to and length of exposure to other individuals as well as availability of approriate PPE. 

Virtual simulation requests can, in most cases, easily be accomodated by the ASTEC team.  Any request for in-person training will be evaluated by the Executive Director and Director of Operations and is subject to approval prior to scheduling.  

All requests to schedule simulation training with ASTEC can be directed via email to Director of Operations, Dave Biffar

All questions regarding reopening status updates and ASTEC re-entry policies and procedures should be directed via email to Senior Program Coordinator, Christina Partica.  


Frequently Asked Questions 

When will ASTEC begin scheduling simulation training again?

ASTEC is currently accepting inquiries about scheduling simulation training.  Though ASTEC's physical facility is currently closed, we have continued to offer virtual training during the pandemic.  In-person training is complicated by a variety of factors and requires evaluation by ASTEC's Executive Director and Director of Operations prior to approval.  In some instances, ASTEC's remote simulation facility, located in the lower level of the College of Medicine, may be able to accomodate in-person simulation needs for small groups. Those interested scheduling training can contact Dave Biffar, Director of Operations, to discuss how ASTEC can help acheive your leaning objectives.   

When will ASTEC be open for drop-in simulation such as FLS practice?

Drop-in simulation training such as FLS practice will not reconvene until ASTEC enters Phase IV of the re-entry process.  At that time, ASTEC will again be open during regular business hours and will have staff available to accept drop-ins for this kind of training.  Until then, scheduled blocks of training for activities such as FLS practice may be considered once ASTEC reaches Phase III of the re-entry process.  

When will ASTEC begin scheudling facility tours again? 

Tours of ASTEC will not reconvene until ASTEC enters Phase IV of the re-entry process.  At that time, ASTEC will again be open during regular business hours and will have staff available to lead tours if they meet the University's guidelines for group size, PPE, and social distancing requirements.  Until then, ASTEC is working on a virtual tour and will post it on our website when it is available.  

How will ASTEC ensure that leaners, educators, and staff are safe when using the facility? 

ASTEC will follow all University of Arizona guidelines for safe operations including any hand hygiene, group size, PPE, and social distancing requirements.  In some cases, ASTEC may require stricter requirements than those laid out by the University depending on the group entering the facility.  ASTEC will also be implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures before and after all simulation training.  All revised policies and procedures implemented in ASTEC will be designed using University, local, state, and national guidelines from organizations such as the WHO, CDC, and OSHA.  


Join Dr. Hamilton for a Virtual Look at the New Lab

Special thanks to the UA Foundation Marketing and Communications team for their excellent work on this virtual walkthrough and interview!