January 23, 2023

Rooney and ALL-SAFE team named Grand Prize Winners!

ALL-SAFE project will make laparoscopic surgical training widely accessible.

The ALL-SAFE (African Laparoscopic Learners - Surgical Advancement For Ectopic pregnancy) project on which Clinical Simulation Center’s (CSC) Deborah Rooney, PhD, joined Grace Kim, MD, from the U-M Department of Surgery and other international partners, was named the grand prize winner of the Global Surgical Training Challenge (GSTC). The team was awarded $700,000.

Rooney is excited and looking forward to the work ahead. When Kim and her international research partners needed a low-cost laparoscopic simulator to be built with readily available materials for their ALL-SAFE project to treat ectopic pregnancy, they called on Rooney for help.

The Challenge asked teams to create open-source modules with didactic, cognitive, and built-in self-assessment elements. The ALL-SAFE team designed their training modules to teach laparoscopic skills to surgeons who had experience with open procedures.

Last spring when, ALL-SAFE was named as a finalist for the challenge, Rooney said she was grateful that the project is designed to train doctors to help women across the world.  “After many years of engagement with training programs intended to improve women’s health, this project is near and dear to my heart,” says Rooney.  “I am also thrilled that it demonstrates the benefit of collaboration on women’s health needs on such a broad level.”

The GSTC is a collaboration among six organizations. The ALL-SAFE team and plans to use their winnings to scale their model to other countries and other specialties.