NorthStar Care Community Unveils Hospice Simulation Lab with Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Cutting-edge SIM Lab is the first of its kind in Michigan, offering a new level of excellence in hospice care training


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (May 10, 2023) Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice, both members of NorthStar Care Community, are holding a grand opening and ribbon cutting for the NorthStar Institute Simulation Lab (SIM Lab) from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24 at 2366 Oak Valley Dr. in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

One of the few dedicated end-of-life hospice simulation labs in the U.S., and the first in Michigan, the SIM Lab offers cutting-edge, hands-on tools and resources to provide hospice clinicians advanced, real-world training and education focused on the mastery of both technical skills and facilitating effective conversations around death and dying.

The SIM Lab includes:

  • A fully furnished, real-life patient bedroom environment featuring two of some of the world’s most realistic clinical teaching tools, Lifecast Manikins – one adult and one pediatric – complete with equipment needed to videotape training simulations.
  • An advanced skills lab fitted with the equipment necessary to practice on-demand skills with clinical educators.
  • An adjacent debriefing room, or classroom, for clinical and instructional staff to review videotaped SIM Lab training sessions.

With its innovative simulation-based tools, resources, and education, simulation-based training provides opportunities to hone clinical and decision-making skills through real-life situations without compromising patient dignity. This advanced training ensures that Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice clinicians are prepared to provide the highest quality care and meet the complex physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients and families at end-of-life. The SIM Lab also functions as a true community resource, offering critical caregiver training and education to grow the confidence of family members who are caring for their loved ones.

The SIM Lab training experience ultimately benefits patients by educating interdisciplinary clinical teams to improve therapeutic communications skills, reduce risk and focus on patient comfort above all else. In turn, the NorthStar Care Community staff, community partners, as well as patients and families also benefit by seeing improvements in quality of care through better-trained clinicians and cutting-edge, realistic learning in a safe patient environment.

“Most of our clinical staff come to us never having worked with dying patients,” said Rachel Derry, RN and director of the NorthStar Institute. “How do you teach them to have those crucial conversations? The cutting-edge centralized Simulation Lab, coupled with regional Advanced Skills Labs, will help us teach these skills to make sure our staff are fully-prepared to get it right every time.”

For more information regarding NorthStar Institute Simulation Lab, contact Peggy Cole at or at 724-794-5147.


About NorthStar Care Community

NorthStar Care Community (NSCC) was created to preserve and promote the mission of nonprofit hospice and palliative care – to deliver expert, compassionate care to patients of any age, no matter their diagnoses, complexity of care, place of residence or ability to pay. NorthStar Care Community was formed in 2017 by two legacy nonprofit hospice agencies – Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice – and also includes NorthStar Palliative Care, the NorthStar Institute and Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children. As members of the NSCC family, the organizations combine operational resources in order to maximize support at each patient’s bedside, delivering the highest standards of care to those who are seriously ill. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve more than 6,100 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information about NorthStar Care Community, visit