Isle Polonko is the recognized leader in the field GTA/MUTA methodology with a long and diverse history in the field. She has been in the field of simulated invasive exam skills training (Gynecologic Teaching Associate programming) since 1988. She trained as a GTA in the late 1980’s, served as Lead GTA trainer at New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers in 1994 under the direction of the program’s coordinator, Judi Marraccini and the program’s founder, Dr. Gerson Weiss and became the Program Director in 2005. Ms. Polonko dedicated her work to developing Standards of Practice for GTA/MUTA education and developing innovative ways to utilize the specialized skills of GTAs and MUTAs in diverse education and certification practices. She is the founder of the GTA/MUTA Special Interest Group at the Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) and the SIG’s former Chair. Ms. Polonko is also a founding member of IGMA, the International GTA/MUTA Association. Her dedication in founding the organization was fueled by a desire to ensure that those working and practicing in the field have an organization to represent them where they can obtain information on scholary research and on gold standards of best practices of this highly effective method of education.
Ms. Polonko is a sought after lecturer in this methodology and presents dozens of workshops and presentations annually at various conferences and health symposiums worldwide. She has presented in Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Brazil and Canada. Additionally, Ms. Polonko has assisted in the training of GTAs and the setup of GTA programs internationally, most recently in Brazil, as an invited trainer for SOBEF, the Sociedade Brasileira de Enfermagem Forense, and Tiradentes University. Isle Polonko is also a published author. Her work internationally with Dr. Melih Elcin at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey resulted in an article published © 2016 International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning, Elsevier Inc. and authored by Sarmasoglu, S. et al. She has contributed to a number of additional publications and has developed training curriculum for case workers in government service organizations in several states in the areas of child physical and sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Isle Polonko was a recipient of a grant award in 2010 that developed a program designed to train medical residents in the forensic evidence collection kit. Results of the project detailed the efficacy of utilizing highly trained GTAs in simulation both for the trauma interview and physical exam and as such became instrumental in the movement to employ GTA simulation in Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner certification training. Ms. Polonko wrote the only GTA Train the Trainer curriculum in the field while tenured at Rutgers and has now written the only Forensic GTA curriculum in the field. She has worked with Richard Claflin and Samm Maloney to produce the first and only MUTA Train the Trainer curriculum, and the new GTA Train the Trainer curriculum respectively, incorporating latest techniques and best standards of practice. Isle Polonko is committed to GTA/MUTA education and to utilizing the specialized skills of these extraordinary women and men in increasingly creative ways to meet the goals and objectives of teaching safe, comfortable, effective clinical exam procedures designed to empower both patients and providers. Her decades of experience and dedication to the field of GTA/MUTA methdology make her uniquely qualified to serve on the Board of IGMA as a founding member.