Okuda Haru

Haru Okuda, MD, FACEP, FSSH
CEO & Executive Director
USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, HPCC
Associate Vice President, Interprofessional Education and Practice
University of South Florida Health
Professor, Morsani College of Medicine

Dr. Okuda is the Executive Director of USF Health’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS). In this role, he has oversight of a 90,000 ft2 state of the art, advanced training facility, with the mission of creating and providing experiential learning that improves clinical skills and patient care in the community and around the globe. In addition to this role, Dr.Okuda also serves as USF Health’s Assistant Vice President of the Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice (https://health.usf.edu/ipep) focused on creating interprofessional learning opportunities from early healthcare training to clinical practice. He is Professor at the Morsani College of Medicine and practices clinically in the emergency department at Tampa General Hospital.

Prior to coming to USF Health, Dr. Okuda was the national medical director for the Simulation Learning Education and Research Network (SimLEARN) where he established national strategyand business plans for simulation-based programs at more than 150 U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ medical facilities. In addition to his role as national medical director of SimLEARN, Dr. Okuda served as the acting deputy chief of patient care services officer for the Veteran’s Health Administration, where he was responsible for policy development and oversight of the national Office for Women’s Health Care, Community and Preventative Health, Social Work and Pharmacy Benefits Management. Before joining the VA, he was assistant vice president and director of the Institute for Medical Simulation and Advanced Learning for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the largest public health system in the United States.

Dr. Okuda received his Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience from Brown University, his medical degree from New York Medical College, and his certificate in Healthcare Modeling and Simulation from the Naval Postgraduate School in California. He completed a residency in emergency medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he served as their chief resident, and then completed a clinical quality fellowship from the Greater New York Hospital Association. He is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an inaugural fellow of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Academy. He has also served as a chair or member of several medical and simulation committees; and most recently serves as a board member for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

He has co-authored numerous textbooks, peer-reviewed publications and textbook chapters. Known for his passion for teaching, innovation and business, Dr. Okuda received the 2017 Distinguished Educator Award by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Simulation Academy for the creation of the simulation-based training program SimWARSTM; was named one of the top 25 Healthcare Leaders Under 40 by New York’s Rising Stars in Business by Crain’s NY Business Magazine in 2011; and was awarded the 2017 Healthcare and Medicine Leader of the Year by i4 Business Magazine.

Diane Ray, BS
Director of Operations and Business Systems

Diane Ray serves as the Director of Operations and Business Systems at the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation.

Diane has been with USF for over 20 years in a variety of administrative roles working her way up to leadership positions due to her dedication, hard work, and exceptional organizational and leadership.  As the longest-serving employee of HPCC, her most recent roles include manager of admin and business services and most recently as Assistant Director.

Diane Ray began her career with USF in June 2002 at the USF Health College of Public Health Office of Continuing Education department.  In March 2003 the USF Health College of Public Health and College of Medicine merged into one Continuing Professional Development (CPD) department under a 501c3 corporation entitled USF Health Professions Conferencing Corporation (HPCC).  As manager of administration and business services for CPD, Diane served as a key member of the continuing education team to ensure operational effectiveness, as well as, assisting with accreditation compliance for activities through annual reports and self-studies.  She was a key member of the team to submit over 8 comprehensive accreditation self-studies that all resulted in re-accreditation.  Diane was responsible for managing the CE administrative team including registration management, fiscal processing, annual continuing education state reporting and activity preparation.

While simultaneously serving in her role as manager for USF Health CPD, Diane assisted in the opening preparations, operations and logistics of the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) in February 2012.  In December 2016 Diane was promoted to Assistant Director for Administration and Business Services for CAMLS and is responsible for the day-to-day operational management of support team members including scheduling, proposal and contract development, guest services reception, national curriculum programming, metrics/data collection and analysis, supply procurement, project management, vendor liaison, information technology liaison and systems administrator.

Diane has been successful in her career with USF as she is a collaborative and confident leader who works well across departments/units and provides leadership and structure to business process improvement.

Luis E. Llerena, MD, FACS, CHSE-A
Medical Director

Luis E. Llerena, MD, is the Medical Director of USF HEALTH CAMLS and Professor, Department of Surgery at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine.

He holds both national and state leadership positions: Surgical Director of the American College of Surgeons Accredited Educational Institute (ACS AEI) at USF CAMLS, ACS AEI Committees (Accreditation Review and Curriculum), Florida Committee of Trauma (FCOT) Vice Chair, and Florida Trauma State Faculty. He is a course director for key surgical and critical care curriculum, including Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS®), Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM®), and Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma (ASSET®), Stop the Bleed®, and the Fundamental Critical Care Support (FCCS) program. He is an FCCS consultant. Additionally, Dr Llerena is a trauma site surveyor for the Pennsylvania Trauma System Foundation.

Dr. Llerena received both his undergraduate and his medical degrees from the University of Maryland. He completed his surgical residency at the Medical College of Pennsylvania/Hahnemann University in Philadelphia and UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Camden, New Jersey. He received his trauma/surgical critical care fellowship training at Orlando Regional Medical Center in Orlando, Florida. He is board certified in Surgery and Surgical Critical Care.

Dr. Llerena is an associate member of the American College of Surgeons’ Academy of Master Surgical Educators, master trainer for TeamSTEPPS® and the Patient Safety Education Program (PSEP), and Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator – Advanced (CHSE-A) by the Society for Simulation Healthcare (SSH). His main research interests include military medicine, simulation-based education, patient safety, and trauma education.

Paul AyresPaul Ayres
Director of Sales, Marketing & Business Development

Paul Ayres joined the USF CAMLS team in September 2011 as Director of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development. His responsibilities include the development of business relationships with various associations, industry partners, and the healthcare community to encourage them to utilize CAMLS. Prior to joining CAMLS, Mr. Ayres worked with the Tampa Downtown Partnership as director of marketing and business development. His responsibilities for the Partnership included the development and implementation of public relations and marketing strategies that position downtown Tampa as the premier location for people to enjoy, launch a project, or open a business.

Mr. Ayres has held positions with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and The Florida Aquarium and aided in the creation and implementation of various marketing and sales efforts. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a degree in American Studies and is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council. Mr. Ayres is also a graduate of the 2003 class of Leadership Tampa and a member of the University of South Florida’s President’s Council.

Greg_Vannette Gregory Vannette, BS, CPA
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Gregory Vannette is the CFO of USF Health Professions Conferencing Corporation and the Director, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) at USF Health. He has been with the Corporation since its beginning in 2007. He is responsible for all financial aspects of the Corporation, which includes the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS). A graduate of Northern Michigan University, Mr. Vannette went on to pass all parts of the CPA exam at his first sitting.

Mr. Vannette previously practiced as a CPA, was finance director of a non-profit corporation, and served as a consultant for non-profits guiding boards of directors and executive directors’ financial and managerial decisions during times of financial crisis and CFO transition. He has over 20 years of accounting, management advisory and consulting experience. He is currently the Treasurer of the USF Health and Education International Foundation.

Colleen Reiner, EdM, PMP
Director, Education & Research Administration, USF Health

Colleen serves as the Director of Education & Research Administration for USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS). She is responsible for oversight over the development, implementation, and evaluation of educational activities at USF Health CAMLS, as well as providing leadership and administrative guidance over CAMLS’ research program.

Colleen is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 17 years of experience in the strategic development of sustainable, educational programs and the creation of research-driven, curricular experiences for global audiences. She has provided operational coordination of instructional design and multimedia technology teams at multiple universities, and assisted in the development of NiH, NSF, and DoD funding proposals to support transdisciplinary research. Before coming to USF, Colleen managed the largest curriculum development unit for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), providing support for 14 Colleges and over 100 departments. In her role there, she collaborated with instructors, researchers and other experts to develop evidence-based STEM curricula for the University’s online, degree-seeking and continuing education programs, including several Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), reaching international audiences of close to 1 million participants in 165 countries. She has participated in interdisciplinary research on 4 continents, and her original curricula has been integrated into courses and programs by the US National Park Service, NASA, Coursera, and educational institutions around the world.

Colleen received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College of Motion Picture, Television, and Recording Arts at Florida State University and her Masters of Education in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Melissa Milner
Director, Clinical Simulation

Dr. Melissa Milner is the current Director of Clinical Simulation at the Center for Advanced Medical Learning & Simulation (CAMLS).

Holding a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in Nursing Education/Leadership from Regis University, in addition to a Master of Science in Nursing and a Post Master’s Certificate in Health Care Education, Dr. Milner is a seasoned and highly qualified educator.

With over two decades of experience as a registered nurse, Dr. Milner has dedicated her career to enhancing healthcare services, primarily within acute care settings in rural areas. Her pioneering efforts have led to the development of processes aimed at improving healthcare delivery for a wide range of patient populations. Dr. Milner has spearheaded transformative initiatives in educational programs through her strategic vision and collaborative approach. With a keen eye for innovation, she successfully integrates the latest trends in simulation technology, creating fresh avenues for program enhancements.

In addition, Dr. Milner is a highly accomplished and dedicated nursing educator, boasting a wealth of expertise in healthcare education, simulation, and leadership. Her extensive background in nursing, education, and healthcare simulation underscores her unwavering commitment to elevating the nursing profession through innovative teaching methods, strategic planning, and a steadfast passion for the advancement of healthcare education.

Dr. Milner has authored and co-authored numerous publications and is actively involved in several prestigious professional associations such as the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH).

Todd Wills, MD
Director, USF Health Continuing Professional Education
Professor, College of Medicine Internal Medicine
Assistant Dean & Program Director, Physician Assistant Program, Morsani College of Medicine




Denise Magid, SHRM-CP
Human Resource Administrator

Denise Magid is the Human Resource Administrator for USF Health Professions Conferencing Corporation, supporting USF Health CAMLS, USF Health Continuing Professional Development and USF Health Interprofessional Education and Practice. Denise joined the organization in 2013 and has since been providing business administration and human resource services to USF Health Leadership.

She is responsible for managing HR strategic initiatives and facilitating HR projects that drive organizational change. She oversees the employee life cycle to include everything from recruitment to evaluation, and professional development to compensation for nearly 50 full-time employees and approximately 160 temporary employees.

Denise brings over 20 years of professional experience working in international, corporate, and local government organizations and is a SHRM Certified Human Resource Professional. Denise’s focus for organizational success includes culture, leadership, professional development, employee engagement, competitive compensation, and total rewards.