Best Buy Founder Announces $1 Million Matching Grant for Hospital Training Center | Business Observer

The Judith & Marvin Herb Family Simulation Center at NCH Healthcare System in Naples has received a $1 million grant opportunity from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. The foundation is the charitable arm of Naples resident Dick Schulze, who founded electronics retailer Best Buy.

To receive this grant, NCH must raise $1 million for the simulation center by May 1, 2023, according to a statement. Donations of any size made within the simulation program deadline will count toward the Schulze Family Foundation Challenge Grant, the statement added.

The Herb Family Simulation Center, the statement said, “is an invaluable resource that dramatically improves patient outcomes at NCH. Similar to flight simulation training used in the airline industry, simulation training provides realistic clinical scenarios that allow healthcare professionals to practice new procedures and explore advanced technologies, while providing a collaborative space for complex problem solving and community involvement.

A temporary facility was opened in May 2021, specializing in advanced simulation training and has already seen a marked improvement in patient care, according to hospital officials. In one example, medical professionals transformed and implemented protocols to cut the time needed to treat a life-threatening heart attack in half, officials add.

The permanent 10,000 square foot center is slated to open in early 2023 and will build on the current success of using high-tech robotic “patients” to mimic real-life medical scenarios. Due to the amazing complexity of these robots and their similarity to real humans, clinicians and community partners can perform realistic patient examinations, care and procedures. Simulation training results in 90% retention of learning material, compared to 10% to 40% retention with traditional lectures and clinical observation.

“I am proud to invest in the Judith & Marvin Herb Family Simulation Center at NCH,” Schulze said in the statement. “I have always been attracted to innovative and entrepreneurial ideas and solutions and I am convinced that this project will undoubtedly contribute to improving the lives of patients and their families. My goal in issuing this $1 million challenge grant is to rally new donors who wish to multiply their donations to help improve the quality of care offered to our community.

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation was established in 2004 to give back to the communities where he, Dick Schulze and his family live and work. The foundation “seeks meaningful investments that produce specific, measurable results with a focus on human and social services, education, health and medicine in the Minnesota Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area and five southwest Florida counties, which includes Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.

The NCH Healthcare System is a not-for-profit, multi-facility healthcare system and a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. It includes 713 beds at NCH Baker Hospital and NCH North Naples Hospital and an alliance of 775 physicians and medical facilities at dozens of locations across Collier County and Southwest Florida.


Milton S. Rodgers