Health Professionals Lab Research

LISEI - surgical education

Legacy Institute for Surgical Education and Innovation (LISEI)

"Our mission is to improve surgical outcomes and patient care through 
innovative research, simulation, education and training."

The ultimate goal for the team of individuals caring for a patient requiring surgery is to provide safe, quality healthcare. In the daily practice of surgeons, this goal is achieved despite the rising demands of patient expectations, declining healthcare reimbursement, and the proliferation of litigation. To maintain the quality of care within this challenging environment, surgeons have to continue their education and training in order to cure disease without introducing surgical errors.

Surgical education, quality, and patient safety have been a central element of Legacy Health's mission. Surgeons and nurses collaborate closely to provide state-of-the-art surgical care. Surgeons, human factor scientists and nurse educators continue to work together to design curricula for surgical training at all levels to ensure quality and patient safety.

Three distinct educational programs within Legacy Health were merged to create the Legacy Institute for Surgical Education and Innovation. These include:

  • The Advanced Trauma and Life Support (ATLS) Program/Trauma Center, established in 1981
  • The Legacy Research Department of Comparative Medicine, established in 1998
  • The Carl Peterson Education Center, opened in 2005


The American College of Surgeons (ACS) first accredited LISEI as a Level I Educational Institute in 2008, and in July 2011 LISEI was re-accredited for three years. LISEI continues to grow, evolve and deliver outstanding educational activities.  LISEI is also a regional test center for the SAGES Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery program (link below).

We have also undergone a change in leadership, expanded the scope and mission as well as completed a strategic planning process required to plan for the future. In 2009, the Director of LISEI was transitioned from Dr. George A. Cioffi to Dr. P. Ashley Wackym, with his recruitment to Legacy Health. Dr. Wackym was recruited from the Medical College of Wisconsin where he served as Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences for over a decade. Dr. Wackym also serves as the Clinical Vice President of Research. Dr. Duncan R. Neilson, Jr. serves as the Surgical Program Director. Dr. Neilson also serves as the Clinical Vice President of Surgical Specialties. These leaders are also practicing surgeons.

**LISEI is described in more detail in an article by Dr. Wackym et al in the Sept-Oct 2011 issue of the Journal of Surgical Education. See the full text at: Legacy Institute for Surgical Education and Innovation: Current Progress and Future Direction 


Course development


LISEI facilities and resources are available for coursework by corporate sponsors and community-based health care providers. Those interested in designing and presenting a course are invited to complete a pre-application for review and follow-up by the LISEI Coordinator. 



For more information, please contact:

Katie Lehner, LISEI Coordinator

Related links


To schedule FLS testing, please contact:
Katie Lehner
Randy Armstrong