Ascension Providence Hospital Staff Resources

Valerie Overholt, D.O.


Dr. Valerie Overholt is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Community Assistant Dean for the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Southeast Michigan Campus at Ascension Providence Hospital. She is also the Director of the Simulation and Education Center at the hospital. After earning her osteopathic medical degree from the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Overholt completed Family Practice residency training at Detroit Osteopathic Hospital, followed by additional training in Adolescent Medicine. Board-certified in Family Practice, Dr. Overholt worked as the Medical Director of the Taylor Teen Health Center, and then the Medical Director of the Oakwood Teen Health Centers. In 2007, she became the Director of Students and the Clerkship Director for Internal Medicine at Ascension Providence Hospital. She assumed an additional role with the Simulation and Education Center in 2012. She facilitated the development of the new campus for the first cohort of MSU College of Human Medicine students who started in July 2016. Dr. Overholt was also involved in planning the renovation of the nearly 7,000 square foot space to house the new, state-of-the-art Simulation and Education Center at Ascension Providence Hospital.

Vijay Mittal, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Surgical Director

Peter Lopez, M.D.
Associate Surgical Director

 In addition to his role as a practicing trauma surgeon at Ascension Providence in Southfield, Dr. Lopez acts as the Associate Surgical Director for the Center.  He is board certified in Trauma and General Surgery as well as Family Practice and Surgical Critical Care.  Dr. Lopez is an accomplished medical researcher who lends his both his surgical and research expertise to the Center to ensure the training of the residents and fellows utilizing the facility meet the highest of standards.  

Joseph Crutcher, M.Ed.

Simulation and Education Center Manager


Joseph Crutcher began his career as a paramedic in Southwest Florida where he operated as a paramedic and flight paramedic with Lee County EMS. Since 2001, Mr. Crutcher has been a full-time educator where he has opportunity to utilize simulation for the education of well over 3000 individuals throughout the United States that range from EMS to search and rescue personnel as well as practicing physicians. Mr. Crutcher has multiple master’s degrees in adult education and educational assessment.  He is currently defending his dissertation for his doctorate in Academic Health Science. His primary research interest is the development of models for the relationships of observable behaviors to latent traits.

Stephen Shemes, B.S.
Simulation Specialist

Stephen Shemes is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Biology and began working for Ascension hospital in 2002 as a research assistant.  He started in simulation three years ago where he ran the simulation lab at Ascension St. John's Morose Hospital.  Mr. Shemes is an expert in the programming of high fidelity simulators as well as the incorporation of audio visual into simulation practice.  

Kenny Hernandez, M.D.
Devry Simulation Fellow

Dr. Hernandez graduated with an M.D. from the American University of the Caribbean in January of 2018 and will be working with the Center to learn the use of medical simulation as a medical education tool.  As a part of his work here in the lab, Dr. Hernandez is developing a program utilizing high fidelity simulators to teach high school educators how to manage opioid overdoses.