FAIRFIELD — Some rooms in United Heart Training Center look like a hospital, right down to the beds with patients in them.
These patients have liquid flowing in their veins and can shed tears, but they’re not human. They are high-tech mannequins that help nurses, paramedics, doctors and others in the health profession get ready for the real thing.
Dr. Yvonne Lawson-Thomas founded the training center in 2011 in a waterfront Suisun City office building. She recently moved the operation to 420 Executive Court, Suite G in Fairfield.
Business is apparently booming. The new location has 8,000 square feet – twice as much as the Suisun City site – and Lawson-Thomas has filled it up.
NorthBay Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente employees trained at United Heart as the hospitals worked on their trauma center status, Lawson-Thomas said.
“Our center is the only one in the world that stands on its own and we’re not affiliated with anyone,” Lawton-Thomas said. “It’s just me, a single owner, no partners or anything.”
The center has a simulation emergency room with four beds and an infant warmer for premature babies. It has a training room for spinal cord injuries. It has an operating room where the mannequins have a rubber-like skin that doctors can cut into. It has a room for X-ray and ultrasound training. It has an outdoor area where paramedics can train.
Lawton-Thomas was born and raised in Jamaica and came to California in 1960. Her specialties are trauma surgery and cardiology. She worked at David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base and retired in 2011.
But retirement only meant a new career. Lawton-Thomas disliked the idea of sitting around at home trying to figure out what to do. Instead, she decided to launch a venture that merged her love for medicine with her love for teaching.
The center has other doctors involved besides Lawton-Thomas. Among them are Thomas Lenz of David Grant Medical Center, Michael Allhouse of Children’s Hospital in Madera and retired U.S. Navy Capt. John Bartlett. Courses range from advanced cardiac life support to advanced trauma care for nurses to pediatric advanced life support.
Go to www.unitedhearttrainingcenter.com/home.html to learn more about United Heart Training Center.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.