Meet Our Team

Jim Rinehart

GME & NGMC Director of Clinical Skills and Simulation

In 2019, Jim Rinehart joined Northeast Georgia Medical Center as the GME Director of Clinical Skills and Simulation. Jim received his graduate and undergraduate degrees from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, and his Paramedic Certificate from Davenport University in Grand Rapids, MI. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Simulation Education from Grand Canyon University. Jim is a veteran serving in the United States Marine Corps and he has thirty years of healthcare experience. Throughout his healthcare career, Jim has worked in many roles and he has taught with medical simulation for the past fifteen years. Jim worked as the Operations Manager and Professor of Practice in the Simulation Center at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, AZ. At the University of Arizona College of Medicine, he designed and orchestrated the start-up of their world-class Simulation Center.

Jim continued his career at Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ as the Assistant Director of Simulation and Clinical Skills and as Medical School Faculty. During his time at Midwestern, Jim implemented and directed their American Heart Training Center for multiple academic healthcare disciplines, helped facilitate a four-year ultrasound program for the medical school, and helped coordinate more than 27,000 standardized patient encounters and high-fidelity simulations each year.

Jim has three children, Kalee, Jimmy (1993-2019) and Joshua. He enjoys spending time his two amazing granddaughters, Pearl and Coral, as well as caring for his two fur children, Durga and Bhavani. Jim is pursuing his doctorate in Psychology, with an emphasis on innovation and technology in simulation education. Jim is a firm believer in exercise; and in the absence of exercise, going fast in a muscle car may cure any ailment.

Christina Van Den Handel, MSN-Ed, APRN

Clinical Simulation Manager

Christina Van Den Handel currently serves as a Clinical Simulation Manager and Educator at Northeast Georgia Health System’s Center for Simulation and Innovation. Christina received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, AL. She studied advanced practice nursing in family and pediatrics, and education. Christina has over a decade of experience as a Critical Care Nurse and as a Nursing Professor. She also serves as a BLS and ACLS Instructor for the American Heart Association and as an Adjunct Faculty Member for nursing students at Brenau University in Gainesville, GA.

Christina develops, designs, delivers, and overseas innovative experiential learning for NGHS’s healthcare professionals and community partners. She collaborates with providers and faculty to develop and enhance clinical training. Christina organized the development of a Standardized Patient Program, Graduate Medical Education’s Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs), and the philanthropic events that led to the build of the Mobile Simulation Program.

Nicole Beringson, MSN, RN, CNML 

Clinical Simulation Educator

Nicole Beringson is a Clinical Simulation Educator for the NGHS Center for Simulation and Innovation. Nicole received her Associate Degree in Nursing from Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, Minnesota, her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and her Master of Nursing in Leadership and Management from Western Governors University based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She started her nursing career at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

She continued her nursing career at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Nicole moved to Georgia twenty one years ago to work at Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta as a nurse manager. She has been at NGHS for the last nineteen years serving in various leadership roles before becoming a Clinical Simulation Educator. Nicole is certified by the American Organization for Nursing Leadership as a Certified Nurse Manager and Leader. She is an instructor in Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support through the American Heart Association. Nicole is taking the lead to build the Standardized Patient Program for the NGHS Center for Simulation and Innovation.

Reta Garner, MSN, RN, CCRN

Clinical Simulation Educator

Reta Garner is a Clinical Simulation Educator for Northeast Georgia Health System’s Simulation Center. She received her Associate Degree in Nursing from North Georgia College in Dahlonega, GA, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Nursing from the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, GA. Reta has been a Registered Nurse for thirty-three years. Her nursing experiences include ICU and CVICU. She has also served in nursing leadership as a Neuro Intensive Care Unit Nurse Manager in Winchester, Virginia, and Charge Nurse and Interim Nurse Manager at NGHS.

Reta is certified by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses as a Certified Critical Care Nurse.  Reta is an active member and simulation education representative at NGHS’s shared governance, VOICE. Reta specializes in critical care simulation scenario development and procedures for physician residents.  

Nicole Drury, BSN, RN, CEN

Clinical Simulation Educator

Nicole Drury is a Clinical Simulation Educator for the Northeast Georgia Health System’s Simulation Center. Nicole received her Associate Degree in Nursing from Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Science from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. She started her nursing career in the Nurse Residency Program at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. She went on to become the Neuroscience Clinical Educator. She continued her nursing career in the Emergency Depart at Piedmont Athens Regional in Athens, Georgia. Nicole is certified by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nurses as a Certified Emergency Nurse Specialist.

While at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Nicole has served as the RN Residency Program Coordinator before becoming a Clinical Simulation Educator with the Simulation Center. She is an active member of NGHS’s Employee Advisory Council.  Nicole has worked to develop and offer simulation experiences to local nursing school programs. She also specializes in ED simulation scenario development and internal medicine procedure development.

Katie Parrish, BSN, MS, RN, CHSE

Clinical Simulation Educator

Katie Parrish is a Clinical Simulation Educator for Northeast Georgia Health System’s Simulation Center. Katie received her Associate Degree in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Master of Nursing Education from the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, GA. Katie worked at Northeast Georgia Medical Center on both orthopedic/neurology and medical-surgical units before becoming an Assistant Professor of Nursing and Director of Simulation for the College of Health Sciences and Profession at the University of North Georgia. During her tenure at UNG, she was involved in research, book chapter and journal publication, and both national and international presentations related to Simulation. Katie is a member of the 2015 cohort of the NLN’s Leadership Program for Simulation Educators and is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

Katie specializes in simulation education including simulation curriculum, faculty/facilitator development, and simulation program operational management.

Jane Buffington, DNP, CHSE

Clinical Simulation Educator

Dorothy Jane Anderson-Buffington is a Subject Matter Expert at the Northeast Georgia Health System’s Simulation Center. Jane received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA, her Master of Nursing as a Clinical Nurse Specialist from Mercer University in Atlanta, GA, and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice in Leadership and Management from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA. Her DNP project focused on the BSN students’ perceptions of clinical learning for both traditional clinical and simulated clinical experiences.

Jane is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. She is a full-time professor in the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing at Brenau University. Her nursing background consists of cardiac intensive care, emergency medicine, healthcare leadership, and legal nurse consulting. She has been an active Healthcare Simulation Educator since 2012 and she is currently the President of the Nu Gamma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Nursing Honor Society. She is an active member of the International Association of Simulation and Clinical Learning (INACSL), Society of Simulation in Healthcare (SSIH), American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), and the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC).

Corey Hill, MSN-Ed, RN, CRRN, NPD-BC, CNEcl

Clinical Simulation Educator

Corey Hill is a Clinical Simulation Educator at Northeast Georgia Health System’s Simulation Center. Corey received her Associate Degree in Nursing from Gainesville State College in Oakwood, GA, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA. She received her Master of Nursing in Nursing Education from Western Governors University in Millcreek, Utah. She has been a Registered Nurse since 2009 specializing in Orthopedics, Neurology, Trauma, and Inpatient Rehabilitation prior to working in nursing education. Corey is certified by the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses as a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse, by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification in Nursing Professional Development, and by the National League for Nursing as a Certified Academic Clinical Nurse Educator.

At NGHS, Corey has served as the RN Residency Program Coordinator and as a Clinical Competency Educator before becoming a Clinical Simulation Educator with the SIM Center. She is an instructor in Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support through the American Heart Association. Corey specializes in new graduate nurse curriculum development and education and accreditation. She manages and collaborates with Public Relations on content marketing.

Hadassah Rowland, BSN, RN

Clinical Simulation Educator

Hadassah Rowland is a Clinical Simulation Educator at Northeast Georgia Health System’s Simulation Center. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wichita State University in 2007 with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She began her nursing career in the Coronary Intensive Care Unit at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita, Kansas. She relocated to Georgia in 2013 to take a position as a Critical Care Flex Pool Nurse with the Resource Pool at NGHS, which expanded her critical care skills and experience to all the intensive care units on each NGHS campus. Additionally, Hadassah assisted with integrating the Critical Response Team into the hospital system.

In October 2019, she accepted the position of Critical Response Nurse, where she acted as the Team Lead RN for all Rapid Responses, Code Blues, Code Strokes, and Code Greens hospital wide. This role put her in a position to assist in GME simulations and lectures for the GME physician residents on critical response nurse processes. She was a pilot on the project to replace the MEWS score with the Deterioration Index predictive model for EPIC.

Hadassah carries her ACLS, ASLS, TNCC, and PALS certifications. She is currently in her practicum to obtain her board certification as a health and wellness nurse coach and to become certified as a Critical Care Registered Nurse.

Yesica Castaneda-Garcia, BSN, RN, TCRN

Clinical Simulation Educator

Yesica Castaneda-Garcia is a Clinical Simulation Educator at Northeast Georgia Health System’s Simulation Center. Yesica received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Piedmont College in Demorest, GA. She has been a Registered Nurse since 2014 specializing in Emergency Medicine prior to working in nursing education. Her clinical experience includes working at pediatric and adult trauma centers. At NGHS, Yesica has served as the Emergency Department Educator for multiple campus’s before becoming a Clinical Simulation Educator with the Simulation Center. She is currently the ENA Educator Chair for the Northeast Georgia Emergency Nurses Association Chapter.  Yesica is certified by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing as a Trauma Certified Registered Nurse. She is an instructor in Pediatric Advanced Life Support through the American Heart Association.

As a Clinical Simulation Educator, Yesica specializes in Graduate Medical Education curriculum, scenario and procedure development for physician residents.

Leah Wallace

Leah Wallace, MHA, BSN, RN, TCRN

Clinical Simulation Educator

Leah Wallace is a Clinical Simulation Educator at Northeast Georgia Health System’s Simulation Center. Leah received her Associate of Science in Nursing from The University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, GA, Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Alabama, and Master of Health Administration from the University of Cincinnati. She has been a Registered Nurse since 2012, specializing in Medical-Surgical Nursing and Emergency Medicine prior to working in nursing education. Her clinical experience includes working at adult trauma centers. At NGHS, Leah has served as the Emergency Department Educator, Assistant Nurse Manager, and Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department. She is currently the ENA Membership Chair for the Northeast Georgia Emergency Nurses Association Chapter and recent Past President. Leah is certified by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing as a Trauma Certified Registered Nurse. In addition, she is an instructor in Trauma Nursing Core Course through the Board of Certifications for Emergency Nurses.

As a Clinical Simulation Educator, Leah specializes in Graduate Medical Education curriculum, scenario, and procedure development for physician residents.

Tommy Benefield, AAS, EMT-P, FP-C

AHA Training Center Coordinator

Tommy Benefield is the AHA Training Center Coordinator for Northeast Georgia Health System.  He has been an AHA BLS, ACLS, and PALS Instructor since 2019. Tommy also coordinates Fundamental of Critical Care Support (FCCS). Tommy received his AAS in Emergency Medical Science from Tri-County Community College in Murphy, NC. He is completing his Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL.  Tommy started his healthcare career in pre-hospital medicine.  He has been a Paramedic since 1998. He has worked in various clinical settings including ground EMS, critical care ground transport, fixed wing and helicopter critical care transport for both pediatrics and adults, and at the Gainesville Emergency Department at NGHS.

Tommy has been serving as an instructor at Lanier Technical College in Gainesville, GA. He has served as a Supervisor and Clinical Base Lead for both ground and air transport teams for Air Life Georgia. Tommy is certified by the International Board of Specialty Certification as a Certified Flight Paramedic (FP-C). Tommy has been a guest speaker at the Phil Hart Critical Care Conference and the South Carolina Pediatric Trauma Conference. At NGHS’s Simulation Center, Tommy coordinates all AHA courses (BLS, ACLS, PALS) and he leads simulation scenarios involving pre-hospital medicine, critical care transport, advanced airway management, and difficult vascular access. 

Chad Cooper, EMT-P

Simulation Fleet Maintenance Coordinator

Chad Cooper is the Fleet Maintenance Coordinator for Northeast Georgia Health System’s Simulation Center. Chad is a National Registry Paramedic. He has served thirteen years in public safety where he gained experience in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and as a Firefighter. He is an instructor in Basic Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Advanced Cardiac Life Support through the American Heart Association.

Chad operates and provides educational training for the Mobile Simulation Program. He specializes in technical rescue response, pre-hospital medicine, advanced airway management, and public safety.

Caroline Coleman, BA

Simulation Technologist

Caroline Coleman is the Simulation Technologist for Northeast Georgia Health System’s Center of Simulation and Innovation. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication from the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia. In 2019, Caroline began working at NGHS as a Patient Emulator for NGHS as well as serving on the Non-Clinical Covid-19 Response Team.

As a Simulation Technologist, Caroline maintains and operates simulation equipment and assists in educational training for physician residents.

James D. Hogue, DO, FAAEM

Simulation Faculty Subject Matter Expert

In 2020, Dr. Hogue joined Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) as a subject matter expert to teach medical procedures in the Center for Simulation and Innovation. He has been practicing emergency medicine for forty years and was a member of the NGHS Emergency Department medical staff. Dr. Hogue received a Bachelor of Science degree from Ursinus College, in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, then went on to graduate from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia (PCOM) in Pennsylvania. Prior to that he was a helicopter gunship pilot for the United States Marine Corps during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and thirty-six Air Medals for combat action in Vietnam.

Dr. Hogue has been assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at the Georgia campuses of PCOM since 2013. He is also a flight physician for the Medway Air Ambulance Company in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Since 2012, he has flown all over the world bringing patients back to the United States for medical care.

His expertise in simulation-based procedure training comes from being an active part of the simulation team at Georgia campus PCOM, having helped set up the school’s sophisticated simulation center and standard patient program.

Pamela Glasper

Simulation Administrative Secretary

Pamela Glasper is the Administrative Secretary for Northeast Georgia Health System’s Center for Simulation and Innovation. Pamela comes to Northeast Georgia Medical Center with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of North Georgia. While at UNG, Pamela received a Human Resources Master Certificate of Leadership and Supervision and Franklin Covey’s Championing Diversity recognition. She brings over 15 years of Human Resources and Managerial experience. 

Pamela provides system support, including classroom scheduling, managing customer interactions, and performing clerical work.