Andy Stasko, MS, CCP, RRT
Associate Director of Clinical Quality and Outcomes Research
November 17, 2016
Every year, about 350,000 people need open heart surgery and related cardiovascular perfusion support. Perfusionists operate the heart-lung bypass machine. They are responsible for maintaining the patient’s blood flow and lung function during surgery through an artificial heart-lung bypass circuit. In 2015, 154 new perfusionists entered the medical field. About 200 departed our profession. With this 30% attrition rate, the perfusion profession is in dire need of qualified staff. As this perfusionist shortage escalates, patients will increasingly be at risk of not having skilled, essential care available when they need it most.
To combat this situation, SpecialtyCare is determined to drive awareness of perfusion as both a vital medical service and a smart career choice. As part of this effort, we are proud to officially launch the Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Scholarship Program. Every year, SpecialtyCare will award perfusion education tuition to two students enrolled in CAAHEP-accredited programs. Jim Brown and Gary Brukardt—men with close ties to SpecialtyCare who helped evolve the practice of perfusion over the last three decades—exemplified integrity, leadership, and dedication to patient care. Our goal is to support students who share these qualities and demonstrate outstanding potential as cardiovascular perfusionists.
Apply now for one of two available scholarships.
The application deadline is February 1, 2017.
In addition to financial assistance, scholarship winners who successfully complete the program will be offered employment at SpecialtyCare, the nation’s largest outsourced perfusion company. They will become part of our network of 450+ perfusionists who provide essential patient care in over 100,000 surgeries every year. And, they will be able to take advantage of other benefits that SpecialtyCare has to offer, such as certification preparation and the chance to work with top surgeons, expand specialized skills, and participate in industry-leading research projects.
Visit the Perfusionist Education section of our website to learn more about the Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Scholarship. Download and complete the application form; it provides more details and will walk you through the process. If you have questions after reviewing the materials, feel free to email us at [email protected].
We first announced this scholarship opportunity along with our support of Thomas Jefferson University’s Center for Perfusion and Extracorporeal Technology Education during our Mechanisms conference earlier this year. Since then we have written about the perfusionist shortage and continue to actively recruit smart, motivated men and women into the field. In the coming months, members of our Medical Office—myself, Al Stammers, MSA, CCP, and Linda Mongero, CCP—will visit the accredited perfusion schools to discuss the program and meet with students.
Linda, Al, and I have dedicated our careers to excellence in perfusion and understand the satisfaction and rewards that go hand-in-hand with the exciting challenges of being a vital member of the surgical team. We encourage our colleagues throughout the industry to join our efforts and address the perfusionist shortage. Talk with the talented young people in your life who are interested in science and medicine and make them aware of perfusion as a career.
By engaging and developing competent clinicians now we can ensure that surgeons and patients will continue to receive the expert support they need in the years to come. We are grateful for the inspiration and career-long dedication of Jim Brown and Gary Brukardt, and we look forward to meeting the perfusionists of tomorrow who will benefit from their legacy.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PERFUSION
Editor’s note: In addition to the information on our website and Resource Library, you can learn more about perfusion from the American Society of Extracorporeal Technology (AmSECT) and Perfusion.com.