Our Team

Texas Children's Hospital has provided a strong foundation for the Simulation Center at Texas Children's Hospital. In addition to the physical space, the hospital supports the center by allocating full-time personnel including a director, assistant director, medical director, simulation education specialists, systems specialist, and unit specific associate medical directors. Below, please find a brief overview of our leadership.

Elaine Whaley, MSN, RN, CIC

Elaine Whaley, Director of Quality and Safety for Texas Children’s Hospital, worked over 15 years in a PACU setting before focusing her career on performance improvement, quality, patient safety and infection control. In addition to providing direct leadership oversight to the simulation program since June 2020, she also oversees Quality and Patient Safety, as well as Quality Education. Elaine obtained her Associate of Science in Nursing and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Marshall University.  She later received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at El Paso. Partnered with Royanne Lichliter, who is hands on with day to day leadership operations, Elaine looks forward to supporting the simulation program as it continues to grow.

Royanne Lichliter, MSN, RN, CPN
Assistant Director

Royanne Lichliter, Assistant Director of Quality Education and Simulation at Texas Children's Hospital, has been part of the healthcare arena for over 16 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mesa State College, and her Masters of Science in Nursing Leadership from Western Governors University. Royanne has been actively involved in quality improvement and simulation with a focus in complex care, and has gained over 12 years of leadership experience. In addition to Royanne’s collaborative work and national presentations in quality improvement and sim, she has been published - “Therapeutic antibiotic serum concentrations by two blood collection methods within the pediatric patient: A comparative effectiveness trial.”

Cara Doughty MD, MEd
Medical Director

Having created and directed multiple simulation curriculums over the past 10 years, Dr. Doughty works closely with nursing leadership to develop, evaluate and maintain simulation-based educational courses, faculty development, simulation-based quality and safety initiatives, and simulation-based research. Also serving as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Section of Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, her interests lie in the use of simulation to improve medical education, especially related to resuscitation, quality and patient safety.  Dr. Doughty has presented internationally, and published widely, especially focused on RCDP, debriefing clinical events, pediatric EMS, and simulation-based systems testing.

Natasha S. Alfonso MD, MPH
Associate Medical Director, Simulation Center

I strive to provide exceptional and compassionate care for patients using the strengths of a collaborative and multidisciplinary team.  My clinical interests include:Congenital heart disease, Simulation, Education, Global health, Acute kidney injury, Single Ventricle physiology.  My research interests include:Acute kidney injury in the pediatric cardiac population and Teaching critical care skills in resource limited settings.



Education Specialists, Systems, Analytics, & Operations

  • Arjun Dangre, Analytics
  • Cassidy Penn, Education Specialist
  • Dan Feux, System Specialist
  • Gemma Elegores, Education Specialist
  • Jeannie Eggers, Education Specialist
  • Julia Lawrence, Education Specialist
  • Melissa Cashin, Education Specialist
  • Gemma Elegores, Education Specialist
  • Tracye Anderson, Sr. Admin Asst.