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UMass Chan Medical School Launches 500,000 sq ft Albert Sherman Center


WORCESTER, Massachusetts, Dec 12th, 2012 - At 12.12pm, the Albert Sherman Center (ASC) becomes the new front door to the UMass Chan Medical School campus.

Named for the Medical School’s long-time vice chancellor for university relations who retired in 2010, the Albert Sherman Center (ASC) is the largest
facility built on the Worcester campus since construction of the original medical school and hospital complex in the 1970s.

Groundbreaking for the education and research facility started in fall 2009. After 32 months of intense construction, the 512,000-square-foot building opens its 11 stories - with nine occupied floors topped by a two-story mechanical systems penthouse, nearly double the amount of research space on the Worcester campus - to the purpose of bringing together leading minds in basic and clinical research to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration to move therapeutic breakthroughs from the lab to the doctor’s office.

iCELS-Level-2-and-3-Albert-Sherman-Building.jpgAt levels 2 and 3 of the ASC Building, the 22,000sq ft interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation (iCELS) creates an innovative learning environment to train the next generation of medical professionals. Featuring working headwalls with O2, vacuum and air, the adaptive space can replicate inpatient floor setting, ICU, PACU, PT/OT treatment areas, and authenticity of this set up goes far beyond the high-tech mannequins and highly trained actors who pose as patients so students can learn in a supportive yet realistic environment. Learners will learn in a collaborative environment specifically designed to mimic the way they will work in the future.

iCELS brings together five different operations that were once in separate buildings located miles apart: The Simulation Center, the Standardized Patient Program, the Office of Continuing Medical Education, the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing’s Clinical Skills Lab and the Department of Surgery’s Surgical Skills Lab.

The Standardized Patient Program, in which specially trained actors take on the role of patients so students can be tested on clinical and communication skills, is moving from a previous space in the Hoagland-Pincus Center in Shrewsbury that it has occupied since 2004. Where there were once eight exam rooms available for testing, the iCELS has 20 rooms, including four large hybrid rooms, which will allow more space for both simulation equipment and standardized patients, and groups of learners including nurses, medical students and residents. While it used to take 14 days to complete a high-stakes exam involving 125 medical students, now the testing can be completed in less than half the time.

The new facility will also accommodate more hybrid testing scenarios, where a student might start talking to a standardized patient, and then move to a mannequin who speaks with the standardized patient’s voice, but can replicate or mimic findings consistent with those of a real patient. When these hybrid scenarios happen now, the standardized patients must travel to the Simulation Center, or a moving van must transport the highly calibrated mannequins to Shrewsbury. With iCELS, SimMan, SimBaby, Harvey the cardiopulmonary auscultation simulator and the other high-tech simulation mannequins are a just an elevator ride away.

The integration of technology at iCELS will also allow students in the integrated Teaching and Learning Center and the anatomy lab to interact with those in iCELS, expanding the virtual world across buildings. UMMS-ASC-Albert-Sherman-Building.jpg

iCELS will offer ‘self-service’ access to certain areas of its facilities for off-hours skills training. This will promote ongoing development of a broad team of simulation users to serve the needs of our academic health sciences center.


UMassMed - The University of Massachusetts Medical School Magazine. The Albert Sherman Center 2013. Special Issue - A vision realized. Accessible online at https://www.umassmed.edu/contentassets/d8717b79e9c7482ea87c41bafa99fd79/umassmed_magazine_asc_2013.pdf

University of Massachusetts Medical School - Sherman Center - The Hub of Campus Life. Accessible online at https://www.umassmed.edu/shermancenter/project/


Last updated May 11th, 2021

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