NEST Program

Neonatal Education and Simulation-Based Training Program


To improve neonatal outcomes through technology-enhanced training and simulation research.


To provide international leadership in neonatal education, simulation-based training, and scholarship.

Specific Aims

  • Improve neonatal outcomes through individual and interprofessional education
  • Leverage emerging technologies for simulation-based training and research 
  • Define optimal processes for neonatal resuscitation
  • Investigate methods to enhance the acquisition and retention of technical and behavioral skills
  • Promote educational scholarship in the next generation of neonatal care providers

Current Projects

  • Boot camps for neonatal-perinatal fellows
  • Neonatal resuscitation training
  • Neonatal procedural skills training
  • Video laryngoscopy for neonatal intubation training
  • Team training to optimize neonatal care 
  • Virtual and augmented reality simulations
  • Disaster Simulations
  • Telesimulation and Outreach education to support regional neonatal care

NEST Program Faculty:

Rachel Umoren, MBBCh, MS
Director of NEST Program

Megan Gray, MD
Director of Research

Tom Strandjord, MD
Director of Clinical Integration

Taylor Sawyer DO, MEd
Director of Outreach Education

Zeenia Billimoria, MD
Associate Director of Clinical Integration




NEST Program Fellows

Brianna Brei, MD
Neonatology Fellow (Class of 2020)

Patrick Motz, DO, MPH
Neonatology Fellow (Class of 2019)

Jeanne Krick, MD
Neonatology Fellow (Class of 2018)

NEST Program Publications (2015-2017)

Braun L, Sawyer T, Smith K, Hsu A, Behrens M, Chan D, Hutchinson J, Lu D, Singh R, Reyes J, Lopreiato J. Retention of Pediatric Resuscitation Performance After a Simulation-Based Mastery Learning Session: A Multicenter Randomized Trial. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2015 Feb;16(2):131-138. PMID: 25647122

Sawyer T, White M, Zaveri P, Chang T, Ades A, French H, Anderson J, Auerbach M, Johnston L, Kessler D. “Learn, See, Practice, Prove, Do, Maintain”: An Evidence-based Pedagogical Framework for Procedural Skill Training in Medicine. Acad Med. 2015. Aug;90(8):1025-33. PMID: 25881645

Lopreiato J, Sawyer T. Simulation-based Medical Education in Pediatrics. Acad Pediatr. 2015 Mar-Apr;15(2):134-42. PMID: 25748973

Sawyer T, Strandjord T, Johnson K, Low D. Neonatal Airway Simulators, How Good Are They? A Comparative Study of Physical and Functional Fidelity. J Perinatol. 2016 Feb;36(2):151-6.

West C, Graham L, Palmer RT, Miller MF, Thayer EK, Stuber ML, Awdishu, L, Umoren RA, Wamsley MA, Nelson EA, Joo PA, Tysinger JW, George P, Carney PA on behalf of NIH R25 Social and Behavioral Science Consortium Interprofessional Education Workgroup. Implementation of Interprofessional Education (IPE) in 16 U.S. Medical Schools: Common Practices, Barriers and Facilitators. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice 4 (2016) 41-49.

Ishizuka M, Rangarajan V, Sawyer TL, Napolitano N, Boyer DL, Morrison WE, Lockman JL, Berg RA, Nadkarni VM, Nishisaki A. The development of tracheal intubation proficiency outside the operating suite during pediatric critical care medicine fellowship training: a retrospective cohort study using cumulative sum analysis. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016. PMID: 27214591

Sawyer T, Fu B, Gray M, Umoren RA. Medical improvisation training to enhance the antenatal counseling skills of neonatologists and neonatal fellows: a pilot study. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine (2016)1-5. PMID:27549009.

Gray MM, T Sawyer. Procedural Training and Assessment of Competency Utilizing Simulation. Seminars in Perinatology. 2016 Nov;40(7):438-446. PMID: 27692475.

Sawyer TL, Loren DJ, Halamek LP. Post-event debriefings during neonatal care: why are we not doing them, and how can we start? J Perinatol. 2016 Jun;36(6):415-9. PMID: 27031321

Sawyer TL, Eppich W, Brett-Fleegler M, Grant V, Cheng A. More Than One Way to Debrief: A Critical Review of Healthcare Simulation Debriefing Methods. Simul Healthc. 2016 Jun;11(3):209-17. PMID: 27254527

Sawyer TL, French H, Ades A, Johnston L. Neonatal-perinatal medicine fellow procedural experience and competency determination: Results of a national survey. J Perinatol. 2016 Jul;36(7):570-4. PMID: 26938919

Ishizuka M, Rangarajan V, Sawyer TL, Napolitano N, Boyer D, Morrison W, Lockman J, Berg R, Nadkarni V, Nishisaki A. The development of tracheal intubation proficiency outside the operating suite during pediatric critical care medicine fellowship training: A retrospective cohort study using cumulative sum analysis. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Jul;17(7):e309-16. PMID: 27214591

Sawyer TL, Ades A, Ernst K, Colby C. Simulation and the neonatal resuscitation program 7th edition curriculum. NeoReviews. 2016 Aug;17(8):e447-e453. DOI: 10.1542/neo.17-8-e447.

Sawyer TL, Starr M, Jones M, Hendrickson M, Bosque E, McPhillips H, Batra M. Real versus simulated umbilical cords for emergency umbilical catheterization training: A randomized crossover study. J Perinatol. 2016 Oct 27. PMID: 27787505. [Epub ahead of print]

Ali N, Sawyer TL, Barry J, Grover T, Ades A. Resuscitation practices for infants in the NICU, PICU and CICU: Results of a national survey. J Perinatol. 2016 Oct 27. PMID: 27787506.

Sawyer T, Umoren RA, Gray MM. Neonatal resuscitation: Advances in training and practice. Advances in Medical Education and Practice. 2017;8:11-19. PMID: 28096704.

Gray MM, Delaney H, Umoren RA, Strandjord T, Sawyer T. Accuracy of the nasal-tragus length Measurement for correct endotracheal tube placement in a cohort of neonatal resuscitation simulators. Journal of Perinatology. 2017 May 4. PMID: 28471440

Sawyer T, Foglia E, Hatch D, Moussa A, Ades A, Johnston L, Nishisaki A. Improving neonatal intubation safety: A journey of a thousand miles. J Neonatal Perinatal Med. 2017; 10(2):125-131 PMID28409758

Starr M, Sawyer T, Jones M, Batra M, McPhillips H. A simulation-based quality improvement approach to improve pediatric resident competency with required procedures. Cureus. 2017;9(6): e1307. DOI 10.7759/cureus.1307

Davidson L, Utarnachitt R, Mason A, Sawyer T. Development and testing of a neonatal intubation checklist for an air medical transport team. Air Medical Journal. 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.amj.2017.09.010

Umoren RA, Poore JA, Sweigart L, Rybas N, Gossett E, Johnson M, Allen M, Scott PJ, Truman B, Das R. TeamSTEPPS virtual teams: Interactive virtual team training and practice for health professional learners. Creative Nursing: A Journal of Values, Issues, Experience, and Collaboration. 2017:23(3).

Chapters/Textbooks/Other Publications

Sawyer T. Lead Instructor. Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) Instructor Course Learning Activity (online). Neonatal Resuscitation Program. American Academy of Pediatrics. 2016.

Johnston L, Auerbach M, Nagler J, Nishisaki A, Sawyer T, White M, Wolbrink T. Neonatal Tracheal Intubation. 11/2016. Online video. OPENPediatrics.

Umoren RA, Rybas N. Who am I as a healthcare provider? Identity and transformative learning in virtual environments in Stricker A, Calongne C,  Truman B,  Arenas F (Eds). Integrating an awareness of selfhood and society into virtual learning. A volume in the Advances in Educational Technologies and Instructional Design (AETID) Book Series. Hershey: IGI Global. 2017 Jan 5:166.

Cheng A, Eppich W, Sawyer TL, Grant V. Debriefing: The state of the art and science in healthcare simulation. In: Healthcare Simulation Education: Evidence, Theory and Practice. Hoboken NJ: WileyBlackwell; 2017: In press


  • University of Washington Neonatal Bioresearch Fund (2014)
  • Seattle Children’s Academic Enrichment Fund (2016)
  • UW CoMotion Innovation Fund (2016)
  • UW Center for Leadership and Innovation in Medical Education (2017)
  • UW Patient Safety Innovations Program (2017)
  • National Science Foundation I-Corps Grant (2017)
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2017)
  • National Institute of Health (2017)


Neonatal Education and Training Courses Offered by the NEST Program:

For more information on the NEST Program please send us an email: