About Us


Director, CSA

(925) 413-1929

Dr. KT Waxman is a nurse leader with over 30 years of experience in healthcare and corporate settings. She is a tenure-earning Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions. She is also the Director of their Healthcare Simulation Graduate Certificate Program. An internationally known speaker and author, Waxman is past president of the Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) and is past Treasurer of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). She served as Co-chair of the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) in 2012 and is currently serving on the certification committee.Dr. Waxman’s work has been published extensively and can be found in journals such as: Simulation in Healthcare, Clinical Simulation for Nursing, Journal of Nursing Education, Nurse Leader, Creative Nursing, and MedSim. She is a chapter author for 3 simulation textbooks and the author of 3 books:  “A Practical Guide to Finance and Budgeting: Skills for Nurse Managers”, by HCPro, now in its second edition, “Financial and Business Management for the Doctor of Nursing Practice”, by Springer and “Healthcare Simulation Program Builder” by HcPro. Waxman received her DNP from the University of San Francisco, with an emphasis on health systems leadership and a concentration in clinical simulation. She holds national certifications as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) and as a Nurse Executive (CENP), and a Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE).  She is a fellow in both the Society of Simulation in Healthcare and the American Academy of Nursing.

Marjorie A. Miller, MA, RN, CHSE

Lead Faculty, CSA

Marjorie A. Miller, MA, RN,CHSE is a masters prepared nurse educator with over 25 years of teaching experience in academic and clinical settings. Marjorie was a pioneering faculty member integrating high fidelity simulation throughout the nursing curriculum at Cabrillo College. Marjorie has recently joined the faculty of University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions as a simulation consultant, focusing on Pre-licensure programs and the Masters of Science in Simulation Education program launching in 2014. She is the co-creator of the GRASP Model for critical thinking and clinical decision making. Marjorie is currently lead faculty and curriculum specialist for the California Simulation Alliance delivering faculty development courses in simulation for regional, national and international clients. Marjorie is actively involved in the Society for Simulation in Health Care, National League for Nursing and the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation in Nursing She is a published author in simulation education and has been a keynote speaker, podium presenter and workshop leader at international, national, statewide and regional conferences.

Samantha Hanlon, MA, PPS

Marketing Assistant


Northern California Faculty

Becky Damazo, MS, RN, CHSE-A

CSA Faculty


Cynthia M. Shum, DNP(c), Med, RN, CHSE-A

Cynthia M. Shum, DNP(c), Med, RN, CHSE-A, is the Nurse Educator: Simulationist at the VA hospital in Palo Alto, California for the past 4.5 years. In this position she is responsible for the operations of the center, facilitation of simulation activities throughout the hospital and development of new uses for simulation activities.

Cynthia is currently in her last semester of the DNP at USF studying Faculty Development for Healthcare Simulation under the supervision of Dr. KT Waxman. She obtained her undergraduate degree in 1987 from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada and a Master’s degree in Education with a focus on Measurement and Evaluation and specifically research methodologies in 1991.

Ms. Shum is an adjunct faculty at USF within the Masters of Science in Healthcare Simulation program. Cynthia presents at numerous simulation conferences.

Outside of work, Cynthia is married and the mother of three young men.

Susan Prion EdD, MEd, MSN, BS, BSN, RN, CNE

CSA Faculty

Susan Prion EdD, MEd, MSN, BS, BSN, RN, CNE is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Health Professions at University of San Francisco.  Dr. Prion served as the Director of Institutional Assessment for the university for almost 8 years. She is actively engaged in research about simulation including safety and harm prevention training, leadership development, team communication behaviors, and identifying critical clinical events for scenario development. She works primarily with undergraduate nursing students. She is a two-time recipient of the INACSL Debra Spunt Research Minigrant, a USF Jesuit Foundation award to fund an exploration of standardized patient training for acting students, and a USF Faculty Grant for a study to describe student behaviors in a clinical setting compared with a simulation. She is working towards a series of leadership development simulations in partnership with the Army Reserve Office Training (ROTC) and Army Nurse Corps. She is the author of the NLN Simulation Innovation Research Center (SIRC) course on “Evaluating Simulations” and numerous research articles focused on simulation. With Dr. Katie Adamson Haerling, she co-authors a monthly column titled “Making Sense of Methods and Measurement” in the INACSL journal Clinical Simulation in Nursing.


Juli Maxworthy, DNP, MSN/MBA, RN, CNL, CPHQ, CPPS, CHSE, FSSH is an academic, innovator, and collaborator in the field of nursing practice, with the goal to use innovative practices and technology to improve health care delivery. Her 30 years in healthcare began as a critical care nurse in an open heart and trauma unit. After her last clinical position as VP of Quality and Risk at a District hospital, she made the leap into academia full time by accepting a tenure earning position at the University of San Francisco (USF), her alma mater. Her roles at USF have included teaching in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)/Executive Leadership DNP and Healthcare Simulation programs, Director of the Healthcare Simulation Program, and Chair of the Healthcare Leadership and Innovations Department. Dr. Maxworthy also currently serves as Vice President on the International Board of Directors of Sigma Theta Tau (an international honor society of nursing with 135,000 members), having been an active member for many years and serving in multiple roles at the local, regional, and international level. In 2008, she founded a successful consulting firm (WithMax Consulting Inc.) with her husband Dr. Gary Witherell, that provides healthcare consulting and medical writing services.

Over the past decade, Dr. Maxworthy has become very involved in healthcare simulation which is an experiential learning methodology that healthcare professionals utilize to improve outcomes as well as a means to simulate processes to identify issues without causing harm. She currently serves as Secretary on the International Board of Directors for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). She has led the revision of accreditation standards on two occasions, is an accreditation Program reviewer, is one of the editors of the leading healthcare simulation textbook Defining Excellence in Simulation Programs, and has written multiple articles, chapters, and textbooks on a variety of subjects. In 2017, she was inducted into the inaugural class of the SSH Fellows Academy.

Dr. Maxworthy obtained her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of San Francisco, with a focus on Healthcare Systems Leadership, MSN and MBA from Holy Names University, and BSN from California State University Hayward.

Southern California Faculty

Barbara Doyer, BSN, MS, RN, PHN, CHSE

CSA Faculty

NursingSimulationCenter Coordinator

At this time, I am in my 7th year at Cal State University Fullerton. I am full time faculty and the Nursing Simulation Center Coordinator for the School of Nursing. I have received my BSN at the University of San Francisco and my Masters in Science in Healthcare Administration from the University of La Verne, (distance education). My initial simulation training began at The Center for Medical Simulation. Then I continued with Simulation Training at the California Simulation Alliance, CSA, and am on board as faculty to train educators in simulation. I have completed the Simulation Apprenticeship in 2011 and am certified as a Simulation Educator, (CHSE), in 2012. Also, I have served as the initial Co-Chair of the Southern California Simulation Collaborative.

Deborah Bennett, PhD, MN, RN

CSA Faculty

Deborah Bennett has been a nurse educator for over twenty years and a nurse clinician for thirty years. She is a generalist with specialties in pediatrics and primary care. As a nurse educator she has taught in associate degree nursing programs and is currently employed at California State University San Marcos where she teaches pediatrics and is the Nursing Simulation Director. Five years ago she completed the Train the Trainer Simulation courses and apprenticeship offered by California Institute for Nursing & Healthcare (CINHC). At present she co-chairs the San Diego Simulation Collaborative. Deborah will be completing her PhD dissertation Spring 2015 and the area of research is developing an instrument to evaluate undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students’ on pediatric medication administration competencies through simulation.

Heidi Traxler, MSN, RN-CHSE

CSA Faculty

Regional Director of Clinical Simulation

Heidi Traxler, MSN, RN-CHSE is the Regional Director of Clinical Simulation at Providence St Joseph Health System Southern California. She coordinates and manages the Simulation Programs, including Transition into Practice Simulation, Nursing Simulation, Specialty-Specific Simulation, Interprofessional Simulation and NODA (No One Dies Alone) Simulation. Her simulation faculty training (orientation) includes courses taught by the California Simulation Alliance, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education (CAPE), and Harvard’s Center for Medical Simulation (CMS). She has also attended conferences put on by INACSL, SSIH, and ASPE. Heidi has been a podium presenter at several simulation conferences internationally, statewide and regionally. She is a member of the CSA (California Simulation Alliance), SCSA (Southern California Simulation Alliance), INASCL, and SSIH (Society of Simulation in Healthcare). She has been an abstract reviewer for the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) yearly since 2013.  Heidi is an instructor for Health Impact CSA simulation courses.


Mary Ann Shinnick, PhD, ACNP-BC, CCNS

CSA Faculty

Mary Ann Shinnick is an Assistant Professor In-Residence and Director of Simulation at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Nursing. Her research and publications revolve around the use of simulation in nursing education with ongoing research in the use of eye tracking technology for simulation performance assessment and teaching. Mary Ann teaches Critical Care Nursing and continues to work per diem as a Nurse Practitioner in a heart failure clinic.

Melissa Punnoose, MSN, RN-BC, CHSE, CHSOS

CSA Faculty

Melissa Punnoose is the Regional Clinical Simulation Educator for Providence St Joseph Health System Southern California. In her role she designs and facilitates simulation for interprofessional teams, new grad and seasoned RNs, community volunteers, and ancillary staff. She also facilitates simulation for nursing students at Los Angeles Harbor College, where she serves as an adjunct faculty member. Her simulation faculty training includes courses taught by the California Simulation Alliance, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education (CAPE), and Harvard’s Center for Medical Simulation (CMS). She is a member of CSA, ASPE, SSIH and INACSL. Melissa has presented at local, national, and international conferences on her work in the field of simulation. She serves as an abstract reviewer for IMSH and a faculty member for Health Impact CSA simulation faculty development courses.

Central Valley Faculty

Leslie Catron, M.A.ED, BSN, RN, FAHCEP, CHSE

CSA Faculty

Leslie is the Clinical Education Specialist, Simulation Coordinator at Valley Children’s Healthcare.  As a nurse of 43 years, she began her career at Valley Children’s in the NICU which has taken her through multiple roles. She obtained her BSN in 2007 and M.A.ED in 2009 followed by Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator in 2012. She was Faculty Simulation Coordinator at West Hills College from 2008-2014, developing a fully integrated simulation curricula containing 25% allotted clinical time in a 12-hour Campus Clinical Simulation Day. In 2009, she co-founded the Central Valley Simulation Collaborative. She authored a chapter in Simulation Scenarios for Nursing Educators:  Making it Real, Second Edition, a “Book of the Year 2013” by the American Journal of Nursing.  She serves on the Clinical Simulation in Nursing Editorial Board and a manuscript reviewer. Today she is developing the first interdisciplinary simulation program at Children’s, one of the first in the San Joaquin Valley. Leslie has contributed to simulation with local, national and international presentations and posters on quantitative research and work in simulation both academically and service. She is a wife of 44 years, mom to three children and grandmother to eight amazing grandchildren!

Marie Gilbert, DNP, MA, RN, CHSE

CSA Faculty

Marie Gilbert is the Director of the Central California Center for Excellence in Nursing. She has worked in healthcare for 30 years and has extensive experience in both the clinical and academic environments.

As current Vice-Chair of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Nursing Section, Marie collaborates with colleagues around the country to identify best practices and increase the use of simulation in academia and the clinical environment.  Marie has written and lectured extensively and continues to conduct research. Her research interests include inter-professional education, assessment and evaluation and healthcare simulation.

Her involvement in many different and distinct nursing organizations has broadened her reach and expanded her networking abilities not only in the valley but across the state.

Marie can be reached at mgilbert@mail.fresnostate.edu