USF Health CAMLS welcomes Yasuharu (Haru) Okuda, MD, FACEP, FSSH, as executive director.
An internationally recognized leader in simulation-based clinical education and training, Dr. Okuda has also been named the first executive director of USF Health’s Interprofessional Education Simulation (IPE) Programming and appointed USF Health faculty a Professor, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Okuda joins USF Health from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, where he served as the national medical director of the Simulation Learning Education and Research Network (SimLEARN) program based in Orlando, FL.
At USF Health, Dr. Okuda will work closely with USF Health Leadership to continue building CAMLS as a robust model of world-class, state-of-the-art health simulation learning facility. His responsibilities include leading the overall strategic direction of CAMLS, leveraging its existing strengths, identifying new opportunities for growth, and overseeing the day-to-day operations.
As USF Health’s first executive director of IPE Simulation Programming, Dr. Okuda will work closely with Dr. Charles Lockwood, Senior Vice President, USF Health and Dean, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine to develop strategic approaches for USF Health’s IPE simulation training, oversee USF Health’s Simulation Governance Consortium, and establish best practices for simulation education while pursuing scholarly work in this area of expertise.
Prior to joining CAMLS, Dr. Okuda spent the last seven years leading SimLEARN where he was responsible for the development of simulation-based curricula for VHA’s interprofessional clinical workforce, comprised of 125,000 health care professionals. He also established national strategy and business plans for simulation-based programs at more than 150 U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ medical facilities, and created six advanced interprofessional clinical fellowships in simulation at VA medical sites across the country. In addition to his role as medical director of SimLEARN, Dr. Okuda served as the acting deputy chief of patient care services officer for the VHA, where he was responsible for policy development and oversight of the national Office for Women’s Health Care, Community and Preventative Health, Social Work and Pharmacy Benefits Management. Before joining the VHA, he served as assistant vice president and director of the Institute for Medical Simulation and Advanced Learning for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the largest public health system in the United States. He also held positions as associate clinical professor, associate residency director, and director of simulation in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
Dr. Okuda received his bachelor of science degree in neuroscience from Brown University, his medical degree from New York Medical College, and his certificate in Healthcare Modeling and Simulation from the Naval Postgraduate School in California. He completed a residency in emergency medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he served as their chief resident, and then completed a clinical quality fellowship from the Greater New York Hospital Association/United Hospital Fund. He is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an inaugural fellow of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Academy. He has also served as a chair or member of several medical and simulation committees; most recently, Dr. Okuda was elected to serve as a board member for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. He has authored or co-authored numerous textbooks, peer-reviewed publications and textbook chapters.
Recognized for his passion for teaching, innovation and business, Dr. Okuda received the 2017 Distinguished Educator Award by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Simulation Academy for the creation of the simulation-based training program SimWars; was named one of the top 25 Healthcare Leaders Under 40 by Becker’s Hospital Review in 2012; was selected as one of 40 Under 40 New York’s Rising Stars in Business by Crain’s NY Business Magazine in 2011; and was awarded the 2017 Healthcare and Medicine Leader of the Year by i4 Business Magazine.