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. Samreen Vora is the Medical Director of Simulation at Children’s Minnesota. Dr. Vora is a Board Certified Emergency Physician who completed her medical degree from Chicago Medical School and her Emergency Medicine Residency at University of Illinois Peoria/OSF St. Francis Medical Center. Dr. Vora has a Masters in Health Care Administration and Management from Rosalind Franklin University. After EM residency, Dr. Vora pursued her passion for simulation by completing a two year fellowship in Simulation and Medical Education incorporating a Masters in Health Professions Education at University of Illinois at Chicago. During this time she worked as an attending physician at multiple Emergency Departments throughout the Chicagoland area. 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. Dr. Vora has presented regionally, nationally, and internationally on a variety of Simulation and Medical Education topics. Dr. Vora’s current research focuses on the role of implicit bias in Simulation Education as well as the development of Simulation Based Mastery Learning (SBML) curricula for multidisciplinary healthcare professionals.

Karen Mathias, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC

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

Karen has been part of the simulation community for over 15 years.  In 2007, Karen launched the Children’s Minnesota Simulation Program, leading the development of the first mobile simulation center in the country dedicated solely to pediatric and neonatal training. Under Karen’s leadership, the Simulation program received full accreditation in the areas of Teaching and Education and Systems Integration from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare in 2015. 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 curricula. Karen received her Master’s in pediatric critical care nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. Karen has pursued specialized training in simulation and debriefing from Stanford’s Center for Pediatric Education (CAPE). In addition, she is trained in designing and implementing Simulation-Based Mastery Learning (SBML) curricula through Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine.  Karen is a Certified Master TeamSTEPPS™ Trainer through the program at the University of Minnesota. She has presented widely both regionally and nationally.

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.

Suzanne Nelson, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC

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

For 15 years Suzanne built pediatric nursing knowledge, through bedside work in medical-surgical and emergency department settings. During her bedside practice, Suzanne immersed herself in many practice and quality improvement projects, and obtained her Master’s Degree as a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist. This combination of clinical and educational experience allowed Suzanne to become a Simulation Education Specialist at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, where she continues to pursue her passion for clinical education, patient safety and systems improvement. Suzanne has presented her work on clinical debriefing on a national and international level.


Jacob (Jake) Bauer, MSN, RN, CPN, CHSE – Simulation Education 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.

Aaron Simpson K NREMT-E

Aaron Simpson K., NREMT, CHSOS – Simulation Operations Specialist

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 Platoon Sergeant. He 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.

Crystal Walker – Administrative Assistant

Crystal Walker is the Administrative Assistant for the Simulation Center, supporting Dr. Samreen Vora, Karen Mathias and the entire Simulation staff.  She brings over 18 years of administrative experience supporting executive level leaders, departments and staff.  Crystal’s expertise includes her advanced knowledge of the many programs in Microsoft Office, her ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects, tasks and her strong analytical and reporting skills making her an invaluable asset to the Simulation team.  Behind the scenes Crystal helps the Simulation Center staff with scheduling, meeting planning, and many of our other day to day needs giving us the opportunity to focus on delivering the best Simulation experience for our learners.


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