Three perfusion school students and one clinical technician will receive a one-time, $20,000 award

April 29, 2019 (Brentwood, TN)—SpecialtyCare—the nation’s leading provider of outsourced perfusion services—announced today the winners of the 2019 Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Scholarship. This capped, one-time award of $20,000, will help relieve the financial burden of perfusion school tuition for a group future cardiovascular perfusionists.

SpecialtyCare awarded four scholarships altogether. Three of the awards were designated for students currently enrolled in a CAAHEP-accredited perfusion program. SpecialtyCare expanded its scholarship program this year to provide a clinical technician serving in a perfusion assistant role the opportunity to advance their career by enrolling in perfusion school. Each winner is offered post-graduation employment with SpecialtyCare.

Meet the Winners

Leah HadenLeah Haden – Leah will graduate in May from the University of Iowa Health Care with a Certificate of Perfusion Technology. She holds a master’s degree in Exercise Science from Wichita State University, where she also served as a graduate teaching assistant. Originally a pre-med major, Leah realized her passion for work in cardiac rehabilitation and cardiac physiology so she changed her major. Leah is currently employed as an EKG Monitor Technician at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, IA.


Bryce Davidson – Bryce will graduate in May with a Master of Perfusion Science from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and holds a BS, Science in Exercise Physiology from Brigham Young University. He gained experience in all areas of cardiopulmonary bypass in several hospitals, including Methodist Hospital in Nebraska, Nebraska Medical Center, Columbia- New York Presbyterian Medical Center, and Arkansas Children’s Hospital.


Shannon Barletti – Shannon will graduate in May 2020 with a Certificate of Perfusion Technology from Thomas Jefferson University Institute of Emerging Health Professions. She has a BS in nursing from Drexel University in Philadelphia and is currently an RN in the Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit at Abington Hospital, Jefferson Health. Her interest in perfusion began when she shadowed a cardiac surgery patient, saw the cardiopulmonary bypass machine and met several perfusionists – she was “instantly enamored.”

A committee selected the finalists based on a stringent application process that included a personal essay, recommendation letters, and personal interview. SpecialtyCare will begin the application process for the 2020 Brown-Brukardt Scholarship in December 2019.

“On behalf of the executive leadership and the perfusion service line of SpecialtyCare, we welcome each of these winners as they complete their schooling and prepare to join the associate ‘family’ of perfusionists within our organization,” said Andy Stasko, CCP, MS, RRT, director; operational performance for perfusion services and chairperson of the scholarship committee team. “Each finalist demonstrated the values, drive, determination, and passion to advance our profession and we are thrilled to acknowledge and congratulate these deserving individuals. Welcome to SpecialtyCare!”

About the Scholarship

SpecialtyCare first announced the Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Education Scholarship along with our support of Thomas Jefferson University’s Center for Perfusion and Extracorporeal Technology Education in 2015, as two major initiatives from SpecialtyCare to generate future perfusionists, as the profession is facing a shortage. The scholarship honors Jim Brown, a long-time perfusionist and Gary Brukardt, who founded SpecialtyCare and served as CEO and chairman. They exemplified integrity, leadership, and dedication to patient care and this scholarship is designed to support students who share these same qualities and demonstrate outstanding potential as cardiovascular perfusionists.

About SpecialtyCare

More than 1,100 hospitals and 13,500 physicians trust SpecialtyCare to help them achieve exceptional care outcomes, regulatory compliance, and financial results in cardiovascular perfusion, intraoperative neuromonitoring, minimally invasive surgical support, surgical first assistance, autologous transfusion services and sterile processing. With nearly 1,500 clinicians supporting over 400,000 procedures annually, we maintain the SpecialtyCare Operative Procedural Registry (SCOPE™), the largest procedural database of its kind, which we use to identify standards, determine benchmarks, disseminate best practices, and foster innovations that improve patient outcomes, increase efficiencies and minimize costs. We are accredited and certified by The Joint Commission. By developing expertise beyond industry requirements, our customers can be certain they have the best partner for clinical excellence.


Kaitlin Pickrel, 615-345-5395
Senior Marketing Communications Specialist
[email protected]