Meet the team

The simulation team at Children’s Minnesota includes top-notch leaders in the field. Our simulation specialists have decades of combined experience and have trained at some of the world’s foremost simulation science programs.

But like you, we began our careers on the front lines. We know the challenges you face in providing life-saving care to young patients. We applaud you for your commitment to lifelong learning and look forward to partnering with you.

Samreen Vora, MD, MHAM

Samreen Vora, MD, MHAM – Medical Director of Simulation

Dr. Vora has joined Children’s as our New Medical Director of Simulation in January 2017. Dr. Vora worked at Loyola University Medical Center as an emergency physician while utilizing simulation to teach medical students, residents, and nurses. After receiving her medical degree from Chicago Medical School, Dr. Vora completed her Emergency Medicine Residency at University of Illinois Peoria/OSF St. Francis Medical Center. During medical school, Dr. Vora also completed a Masters in Health Care Administration and Management from Rosalind Franklin University. After completing residency, as well as working clinically as an emergency physician, Dr. Vora completed a two year fellowship in Simulation and Medical Education incorporating a Masters in Health Professions Education at University of Illinois at Chicago.  Dr. Vora was part of the Emergency Medicine Simulation Fellowship Curriculum Development Taskforce and worked with a team to publish national curriculum guidelines for EM Simulation Fellowships. She is currently part of the Faculty Diversity in Education Workgroup in the American College of Emergency Physicians. She has presented widely both regionally, nationally, and internationally on a variety of topics ranging from ACGME Resident Assessment to the Flipped Classroom Model.

Karen Mathias, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC

Karen Mathias, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC – Director of Simulation

Karen led the development of the first mobile simulation center in the country dedicated solely to pediatric and neonatal training. Karen was a co-investigator for a Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grant targeting improved emergency department (ED) team performance and was subsequently named a Densford Clinical Scholar to further develop ED crisis resource management simulation curriculum. Karen received her master’s in pediatric critical care nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. Karen has pursued specialized training from Stanford’s Center for Pediatric Education (CAPE) in simulation and debriefing and has completed her Certified Master TeamSTEPPS™ Trainer program at the University of Minnesota. She has presented widely both regionally and nationally.

Suzanne Nelson, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC

Suzanne Nelson, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC – Simulation Specialist

Suzanne Nelson, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC, Simulation Specialist, an advanced practice nurse with a strong clinical background in pediatric and emergency nursing. Additionally, Suzanne has experience with curriculum development and was an item writer for a CPEN (Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse) review manual. Suzanne is an instructor for Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Pediatric Early Assessment & Recognition courses. Suzanne received her Pediatric Nurse Specialist degree from the University of Minnesota.

Pete Haugen, EMT, BA

Pete Haugen, EMT, BA – Simulation Tech

Pete Haugen is a graduate of University of Minnesota Duluth where he earned his BA in Environmental Science. Prior to becoming a Simulation Tech at Children’s Minnesota, Pete Haugen served as an EMT as a ski patroller as well as with a hyperbaric chamber at HCMC. Along with his health care experience, Pete has a passion for education and has worked teaching youth in schools as well as working as an outdoor educator instructing leadership building initiatives. As a simulation technician Pete provides technical support where he makes sure simulations are implemented in the most realistic manner as possible.

Aaron Simpson K NREMT-E

Aaron Simpson K NREMT-E – Simulation Tech

Aaron received his National Registry Emergency Medical Technician certification from the Academy of Health Sciences in San Antonio TX in 1990. Aaron is also currently serving as a reserve Soldier in the Minnesota Army National Guard as a Medical Treatment Sergeant. Aaron has had various positions in Emergency Medicine since 1991 and has worked as a military medical instructor for the Department of Defense teaching EMS courses and advanced medical skills for Military providers. Aaron has been working in medical simulation since 2012 and is a certified BLS, ACLS, and PHTLS instructor as well as a PALS provider.

Shannon DiMarco Sr. Administrative Assistant

Shannon DiMarco, BA – Operations Manager

Shannon has her BA in Public Relations and English from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Professionally, Shannon has focused on adult learners and has a specific interest in new and emerging training techniques. Prior to coming to Children’s in September, 2017, Shannon managed a research laboratory under the direction of Dr. Carla M. Pugh at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The primary focus of this research was medical education and simulation; incorporating engineer techniques and sensor technology into simulators to create best practices to assess and train clinical personnel.


Jacob (Jake) Bauer, MSN, RN, CPN – Simulation Specialist

Jake Bauer, MSN, RN, CPN, Simulation Specialist, is a master’s prepared nursing educator with a strong background in curriculum development. Prior to working in simulation, he worked as a staff nurse in pediatrics at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and also was an Instructor in Nursing for the College of Medicine. He has taught various undergraduate nursing courses in both the clinical and academic settings. Courses he has facilitated or instructed in these settings have included public health, adult health, leadership, and pediatrics. Jake received his Bachelor’s Degree from Winona State University and a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialty in Nursing Education from Walden University.


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