Sarasota, Florida – Echo Healthcare, a leader in highly realistic training manikins is thrilled to announce the first global sale of the world’s first Child with Down Syndrome training manikin, Gwen, which was purchased by the Penn State Mont Alto Nursing Program in Penn State University’s Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing.

Echo Healthcare announced the release of the newest Lifecast Body Simulation manikin, Gwen in November, 2022 and debuted the new manikin at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) in January, 2023. Gwen was created by Lifecast Body Simulation and the University of Greenwich in the United Kingdom who also received support from the Down Syndrome Association. This realistic manikin was formed from a real-life 3D body scan of a seven (7) year old girl with Down syndrome named Gwen and allows healthcare education facilities around the world to facilitate inclusive training in properly managing children with Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome (also called Trisomy 21) is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in extra genetic material from chromosome 21. While varied amongst patients, a few common physical traits of Down Syndrome are low muscle tone, a difficult airway for intubation and airway management, smaller stature, gapping in the toes, almond-shaped eyes, a single deep crease across the center of the palm, smaller hands and feet – all of which are accurately represented in the Gwen training manikin to provide learners with a realistic, hands- on clinical experience.

Penn State Mont Alto’s nursing program remains on the forefront of nursing education. As part of the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing, an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, Penn State Mont Alto’s Nursing Simulation Lab is outfitted to simulate real-life situations and allows learners the ability to enhance their development of nursing skills, teamwork, interdisciplinary communication, critical thinking and clinical judgement skills. Their faculty and staff are trained to provide students with hands-on clinical experiences using a variety of simulator platforms and recording and debriefing equipment. With the addition of Gwen, Penn State Mont Alto Nursing students will have the ability to practice and become more proficient in treating children with Down Syndrome so they are better prepared for their real-life clinical encounters. Penn State Mont Alto will receive their Gwen manikin in August, 2023.

“With the recent opening of our new, hi-tech Allied Health Building and as the first educational institution to purchase this cutting-edge technology, Penn State Mont Alto is a frontrunner in offering talented students with the highest-quality nursing education that prepares them to manage real-life situations in healthcare competently,” said Dr. Francis Achampong, Chancellor at Penn State Mont Alto.

Echo Healthcare is thrilled to see the first Gwen manikin sold globally going to the prestigious Penn State University!s Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing program at Penn State Mont Alto. Our valued customers have always expressed the need for more inclusive training manikins and Gwen is a wonderful example of how we will remain on the forefront of providing these realistic medical manikins to meet those needs. Since Penn State Mont Alto’s first global purchase, we have watched many others follow suit. We are looking forward to delivering these manikins, and watching the impact Gwen has on inclusive training in medical education,” says Kevin King, CEO of Echo Healthcare.