VA SimLEARN Team
Eric Bruns

Eric Bruns, MBA

Executive Director, Simulation Learning, Evaluation, Assessment, and Research Network (SimLEARN)

Eric B. Bruns is a retired career Army officer with over 25 years of valiant service to the nation where he served as an Air Defense officer responsible for the implementation of warfare simulations programs. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving in Kitzingen, Germany, Guantanamo Bay Cuba and exercises in Japan, receiving a Legion of Merit. Eric graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1988 with a BS in Engineering and completed an MBA from Mays Business School at Texas A&M University that he uses to continue a career in service to others.

Eric served as the Associate Director for the Events Division of the VHA Employee Education System (EES) in the Crystal City Facility where he addressed education needs for VHA clients. As the Associate director, he implemented the policies, procedures and systems required for maintaining and enhancing the overall organizational mission, develops and documents standards to measure quality and effectiveness of programs.

Eric is currently the Executive Director of the Simulation Learning Evaluation, Assessment and Research Network (SimLEARN) where he develops strategy for using simulation based clinical education products to drive the innovation of healthcare, making the VA a high reliability organization.

 Lygia Arcaro

Lygia Arcaro, Ph.D, RN

National Director Nursing Programs, Simulation Learning, Evaluation, Assessment, and Research Network(SimLEARN)

Dr. Lygia Arcaro serves as the National Director, Nursing Programs for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Simulation Learning Education and Research Network (SimLEARN) program. She serves as the official representative of the Office of Nursing Services (ONS) while in this SimLEARN role, by collaborating with leadership of national program offices and field facilities throughout VHA including inter-professional teams for clinical and administrative personnel using simulation-based education and training. She provides significant contribution and involvement to the overall strategic direction of SimLEARN to leverage strengths, opportunities and dissemination of simulation-based curricula to the workforce with an emphasis on nurses’ enterprise-wide.

Dr. Arcaro is a graduate of Leadership VA, the VHA Health Care Leadership Institute, the VHA Executive Career Field Program, and holds a certificate in Modeling and Simulation from the Naval Post Graduate School. She has received recognition from the Southern Nevada Federal Executive Association, Clarkson College (Nebraska), and the Nevada March of Dimes for her professional contributions.

Dr. Arcaro is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society for Nursing, belongs to the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning, and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. She has been a member of the Association for Nursing Professional Development since 1995, and she is a member of the American and Florida Nurses Associations.

 Scott Wiltz

Scott Wiltz, MD, MPH, FAAFP

SimLEARN Medical Director, Simulation Learning, Evaluation, Assessment, and Research Network (SimLEARN)

Dr. Scott Wiltz is a family doctor serving as the SimLEARN Medical Director. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) School of Medicine in New Orleans, the Eglin Air Force Base Family Medicine Residency Program, and the Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He served in the Air Force for 12 years as a clinician and educator including duties as a medical director and residency program director with multiple research publications and national presentations. He has been with SimLEARN since May 2017, leading classes and projects developing clinical, leadership and educational skills to meet the needs of SimLEARN’s clients and partners. He serves as a primary contact for SimLEARN with national program offices, clinical subject matter experts and other partners in VA, DoD and other government, academic and private sector groups. As a leader, physician and Veteran, Dr. Wiltz is dedicated to ensuring the VA meets is mission to care for all “who shall have borne the battle.”

Lisa Baker

Lisa Baker, BSN, Med

Director, Clinical Learning and Innovation; National Program Director, Resuscitation Education and Innovation

Ms. Lisa Baker joined SimLEARN in 2019 and serves as the National Program Director for Resuscitation Education and Innovation (REDI). In 2021, as SimLEARN reorganized, she was also appointed as the Director of Clinical Learning and Innovation. In these roles, Ms. Baker is responsible for enterprise-wide oversight and support of a robust resuscitation portfolio, the design and distribution of standardized simulation-based training through innovative learning platforms and leveraging interprofessional simulation education and expertise through collaborative engagement with VA Medical Centers.

Ms. Baker possess experience in executive medicine, quality management, patient safety, risk management, and critical care and education. Prior to this position, Ms. Baker served as the Associate Director for Training, responsible for the oversight of all SimLEARN operations related to the development, delivery, evaluation and sustainment of simulation-based training projects and national curriculum. Ms. Baker has worked in several executive details throughout her VA career, to include Chief, Organizational Performance Improvement, Assistant Director, Facility Support, and Assistant Director, Geriatrics and Mental Health.

Before joining the Department of Veterans Affairs in November 2013, Ms. Baker served in the U.S. Navy as an active-duty Nurse Corps Officer, holding several executive leadership positions and honorably retiring after 21 years at the rank of Commander.

Ms. Baker holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Mary, Bismarck, ND, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL and a Post Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Modeling and Simulation from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.

Franklin Espinal

Franklin Espinal, PMP

Associate Director for Support Operations, Simulation Learning, Evaluation, Assessment, and Research Network (SimLEARN)

Franklin Espinal serves as SimLEARN’s Associate Director for Support Operations, overseeing work related to support functions for the development and distribution of clinical training development and distribution to health care providers and associated staff. He previously served as the Executive Assistant for the Deputy Chief Learning Officer (DCLO) for the Veterans Health Administration, Employee Education System (EES).

Franklin joined VHA from the Department of Defense where he worked as a Senior Program Manager for the Chief Scientist for the Air Force Medical Service advancing modernization efforts by focusing research on Warfighters needs. Mr. Espinal retired from the United States Air Force after completing 23-years as a Medical Service Corp Officer. He brings extensive experience in project management, requirements generation, information systems, human resource management, managed care, logistics management, budgetary and fiscal management, education and training and facility/construction management. Mr. Espinal’s past deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) where he served as the administrator for the Allied Health Professions Institute in Kabul Afghanistan. He holds a Master of Arts in Computer Resources and Information Systems from Webster University.

Tracey Robilotto

Tracey Robilotto, DNP(c), MSN Ed., APRN, ACNS-BC

Associate Director SimLEARN, Resuscitation Education Initiative (REdI) Program Regional Training Manager, Simulation Learning, Evaluation, Assessment, and Research Network (SimLEARN)

Dr. Robilotto joined the SimLEARN team in 2011 as one of the first Health Education Specialists hired to stand up the National Simulation Center and the Resuscitation Education Initiative (REdI) program. In 2017 she was promoted to Associate Director.

Dr. Robilotto came to SimLEARN from the Louis Stokes VAMC in Cleveland, Ohio where she was the ICU, Progressive Care, and ER Nurse Educator. Dr. Robilotto has 25 years of clinical experience with the majority in intensive care including medical, surgical, neuro and cardiothoracic surgery units. She spent five years providing cardiothoracic intensive care and gaining cutting edge experience at the worldwide healthcare leader Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Cleveland before joining the VHA in 2004.

Dr. Robilotto is an advanced practice Clinical Nurse Specialist, board certified in adult health care and earned her doctorate in nursing from the Jesuit Regis University, in Colorado. She has a master’s degree in Nursing specialized in Healthcare Education and holds a Healthcare Education teaching certificate. Dr. Robilotto also holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Modeling and Simulation from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

LeAnn Schlamb

LeAnn Schlamb, MSN Ed. S

Associate Director for Education Research and Outreach, Simulation Learning, Evaluation, Assessment, and Research Network (SimLEARN)

LeAnn Schlamb is SimLEARN’s Associate Director for Education Research and Outreach, also known as, Simulation Outreach Network (SON). She earned a BSN from the University of Cincinnati in 1990 and 2003, MSN in forensics from Xavier University Cincinnati, Ohio, and Ed. S Adult Education from Walden University.

Ms. Schlamb’s nursing experience expands from critical care, emergency, forensics, and academia. In 2008 she began as a nurse educator at the Cincinnati VAMC and developed the simulation program and became simulation coordinator, VISN 10 co-sim champ, co-director Advance Simulation Fellowship, and Safe Patient Handling & Mobility Coordinator. She has experience with multiple simulation modalities that have been utilized in adult education and within health care facilities, as well as outside facilities, offering training in a safe environment. She has experience working with a broad range of inter-professionals representing several service lines among VA facilities, as well as national program offices. In her current position Ms. Schlamb facilitates, consults, and supports her team to network across VHA enterprise for simulation-based education, as well as System/Hospital Activations. Ms. Schlamb believes that simulation leads to collaborative inter-professional team training and can impact care for Veterans, through outreach made possible to all VAs.

Jonathan Borgwing

Jonathan Borgwing, EdD.

Associate Director for Training Operations, Simulation Learning, Evaluation, Assessment, and Research Network (SimLEARN)

Dr. Jonathan Borgwing was appointed as the Associate Director for Training Operations of SimLEARN on January 6, 2020. Dr. Borgwing is responsible for the oversight of all SimLEARN operations related to the development, delivery and evaluation of simulation-based training projects and national curriculum.

Dr. Borgwing possesses experience in curriculum management, instructional design and development, educational evaluation, and program management. Before joining the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Borgwing served in several educational leadership positions within a schoolhouse associated with the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence at Fort Huachuca, Arizona as a Department of the Army civilian, and is an Army Veteran.

Dr. Borgwing holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology from Northeastern University; a Master of Science in Educational Technology from the University of Arizona; a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Arizona; and a Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Innovation from Arizona State University with a dissertation focused on the impact of Agile elements on the ADDIE model.

Brian Stevenson

Brian Stevenson, FACPPM, FACCOR

Associate Director of Emerging Healthcare Technology Integration, Simulation Learning, Evaluation, Assessment, and Research Network (SimLEARN)

Brian Stevenson serves as SimLEARN’s Associate Director for Emerging Healthcare Technology Integration overseeing work related to technical functions and emerging healthcare technology physical/virtual classrooms and partnerships. Brian accelerates the adoption of emerging health technology through simulation and learning, to optimize patient care and empower VHA as a learning health system by assessing the technology landscape and identifying solutions that advance the standard of clinical learning and simulation, informing the National Simulation Center’s (NSC) curriculum development, focusing on emerging health technologies to improve care delivery and optimizing workflows of emerging health technologies in a simulated, risk-free environment.

Brian joined VHA from the Department of Defense, shortly after the Persian Gulf War I, where he worked as an Operations Specialist for the Combat Systems Division 1 aboard the USS Stark (FFG-31), advancing modernization efforts by implementing and operating warfighter systems such as: Link 11 and Joint Operations Tactical System (JOTS) a first of its kind global network. He brings extensive experience in project management, requirements generation, information systems, logistics management, and operationalization of clinical innovation, technologies and VHA information systems to enterprise scale.

Mr. Stevenson’s past deployments include the Standing Naval Force Atlantic (SNFL) NATO Sharp Spear 89, Space Shuttle Recovery Operations (SSROs), Legal Enforcement Operations (LEOs) with the U.S. Coast Guard and Operation Desert Storm (ODS), where he served as an anti-air warfare coordinator (AAWC) in the North Frigate Patrol Station in the northern Arabian Gulf (NAG).

 Bonnie Haupt DNP

Bonnie Haupt DNP, RN CNL, CHSE

Associate Director for Clinical Simulation and Engagement, Simulation Learning, Evaluation, Assessment, and Research Network (SimLEARN)

Dr. Bonnie Haupt DNP, RN, CNL, CHSE joined the SimLEARN team, June 2021. As Associate Director for Clinical Training and Engagement, she is responsible for providing oversight for the SimLEARN faculty team; empowering enterprise simulation teams in providing and sustaining high quality education aimed at improving Veteran outcomes; supporting and mentoring simulation champions and their teams, building relationships through collaboration and promoting National programs.

Dr. Haupt previously served in VISN 9: MidSouth Network as the High Reliability Officer, Infection Prevention and Occupational Health team, Community of Practice leads. Her experiences within VHA span over 25 years serving as; Patient Experience Officer, Clinical Nurse Leader, VA Nursing Academy Professor, Hospital Educator and Surgical Intensive Unit care nurse to name a few. Her extensive background in collaborating with quality, safety and value teams within VHA and the private sector have focused on improving communication, performance initiatives and research.

Dr. Haupt is a graduate of Sacred Heart University, with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice Program. She received her undergraduate BSN degree from Southern Connecticut State University Nursing program. She is also a Certified Clinical Nurse Leader and Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator.