CESI History

Our 20-year legacy of moving healthcare forward.

The use of medical simulation training at Hartford Hospital began slowly in 1999, grew steadily over the next decade, and took a quantum leap forward in 2010 with the opening of the 20,000 sq. ft. Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation.  In 2017, CESI took another quantum leap forward with the opening of an additional 27,000 sq. ft of state of the art medical simulation training facilities.

CESI was originally created to provide strategic programming to Hartford Hospital medical staff and employees and help further hone their skills and enhance their patient care performance.  The goal of CESI was then and is now to promote optimal patient experiences within an environment of continuous improvement in safety and quality.  

CESI’s learner populations, simulation capabilities, and program sophistication have also expanded tremendously since its inception in 1999. Any HH personnel who have interaction with patients, from receptionists to surgeons, is a potential CESI learner. Furthermore, for more than a decade, CESI has offered its services to non-Hartford Healthcare providers including; first responders (police, firefighters, paramedics, EMTS), military personnel, non-HHC healthcare providers, post-acute care providers, healthcare industry personnel, and more.

CESI is currently comprised of four divisions:

  • Surgery and Skills Training Unit
  • Cognitive and Team Training Unit
  • Mobil, In Situ Training Unit
  • EMS Training and Education

A brief history of CESI:


  • Center for Advanced Technology debuts in a closet with one manikin


  • We become the first Simulation Center in Connecticut


  • Sim Center expands to an 800 sq. ft. space with 3 simulations rooms
  • Our first contract is signed with the US Navy


  • Steering committee plans for the future


  • CESI relocates to a 10,000 sq. ft. space with 5 simulation rooms
  • First robotic training performed


  • First site in the USA to receive Laerdal’s “Sim Mom”


  • State of CT announces $15 million grant for CESI expansion


  • CESI becomes the first FRS, FES, and FLS testing site in CT
  • CESI Mobile is created through a grant from Jefferson House, bringing CESI quality training to the post-acute care setting on a routine basis


  • Expansion construction begins


  • CESI Medical Director also becomes Exec Director of HHC CME - facilitating awarding CME credits for CESI programs


  • CESI expands to 47,000 sq. ft. and a total of 10 simulation rooms, 5 wet-labs with a total of 16 stations
  • EMS & Pre-Clinical Research comes under the CESI umbrella, further expanding its offerings
  • CESI personnel more than doubles in size
  • CESI becomes a destination training center for numerous industry clients


  • First Center in CT to receive “K9 Axel,” our canine manikin
  • Second lab opens


  • Facility-wide upgrade of A/V capabilities enables full service, on-site, off-site, and hybrid events
  • Client’s choice to “bring personnel to the program” or “the program to the personnel”

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Center for Education, Simulation & Innovation