madeline lassche header
Maddy Lassche and her children
How Madeline is Moving Forward
Simulation Center director Madeline Lassche shares her personal story of grief and struggle from last year, and how the support of her family and team members has guided her through it all.

Madeline, how are you really? 


name is Madeline Lassche and I’m the director of the Simulation Center for the College of Nursing. Like many of my colleagues, I’ve experienced lots of ups and downs this year. I have to say, though, that the Simulation Center has been a family to me this whole time.  

When we started this COVID journey, the team was so amazing. We decreased their hours so that we could afford to close the center for a little while. They also took on all these other jobs so that students could continue their education via Zoom. They kept up with the CDC’s changing policies so that we could safely return to the Sim Center and get students back on the road to graduation.  

sim christmas
Simulation Center for the College of Nursing Christmas photo

For me personally, it's been a difficult journey. I started out feeling great because my whole family was working from home. Unfortunately, in February we lost Stevi Gire, who was one of our full-time Sim faculty members. Initially, she was COVID negative, so we were all relaxed about her recovery. Then she unexpectedly passed away at home, and our team found her. Losing her was incredibly difficult, and we all grieved a lot. 

Then, this past month, I found out that my breast cancer had returned and metastasized to my spine. Despite this blow, I want to say that I feel really blessed because I got to work from home with my husband this year. That was a lovely silver lining, since we got to enjoy lunches and dates together every day. My children are grown, but they haven’t moved out yet. Before the pandemic, I complained about that, but when COVID hit I was so happy to have them with me. I’m so grateful for the support of my family and the simulation team. 


Madeline Lassche

Executive Director of Simulation at University of Utah, College of Nursing, University of Utah Health

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest insights in health care equity, improvement, leadership, resilience, and more.