SpecialtyCare Announces Support of New Advanced Perfusion Education Program

By June 1, 2016

Clinical services market leader to support Thomas Jefferson University in the development of advanced perfusion and extracorporeal technology education program

Program helps address severe staffing shortage in field of perfusion

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—June 2, 2016—SpecialtyCare®, the largest provider of outsourced staffing perfusion services in the United States, announced today that it will support Thomas Jefferson University’s Institute of Emerging Health Professions (IEHP) as it launches its Center for Perfusion and Extracorporeal Technology Education. Through this program, the University will educate perfusionists, specialized healthcare professionals who operate the heart-lung machine during cardiac and other surgeries. SpecialtyCare has committed to provide charitable donations of technology, equipment, and software to the University’s Dr. Robert and Dorothy Rector Clinical Skills and Simulation Center. These gifts will help ensure that perfusion students benefit from training using state-of-the-art tools and resources.

“We are thrilled to support the Institute’s efforts to expand the availability of outstanding perfusion education and minimize the severe shortage of perfusionists that the industry faces today,” said Melvin F. Hall, PhD, SpecialtyCare’s CEO. “This important educational initiative will be well served by Jefferson’s excellence as an academic medical center and health sciences educator.”

Richard Webster, MSN, RN, President at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, added, “Jefferson and SpecialtyCare have been partners in cardiothoracic surgery for a decade now. When we decided to create a program to do something about the shortage of perfusionists, working with SpecialtyCare just made sense. Our companies share a number of values, including a focus on innovation and high quality patient care, and it is our intention to provide the most advanced perfusion education option available.”

A current sample of 10% of active perfusionists found that nearly 50% of perfusionists are over 50 years old, and that in 2015, there were almost 30% fewer new graduates entering the field than professionals leaving it. This aging perfusionist workforce and net decline in clinicians illustrate the challenge of supporting the 350,000 heart surgeries performed annually in the United States and highlight the need for increased attention on the shortage and efforts to draw new talent to the field.

Samuel Weinstein, MD, MBA, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at SpecialtyCare, said, “As cardiac surgery continues to evolve in its complexity, perfusion education needs to adapt to ensure that healthcare has the necessary supply of expert certified perfusionists.” Charles Pollack, MD, MA, Jefferson’s Associate Provost for Innovation in Education and Director of the Institute of Emerging Health Professions, added, “The IEHP is excited to launch the first perfusionist training program that also prepares students to manage the increasing diversity and complexity of extracorporeal assist devices. Extended training opportunities such as this are a hallmark of the IEHP’s programs. We are also pleased that SpecialtyCare associate Brian Schwartz, CCP, RN, MBA, will serve as the program’s first director. Brian’s extensive experience in clinical practice, perfusion education, and business operations makes him an ideal choice to help establish the program as part of the University’s academic oversight team.”

Karen Brukardt, Gary Brukardt’s widow, said, “The Brukardt family is proud to have a scholarship created in Gary’s memory. He was passionate about providing the highest level of care for patients and it’s an honor to support the education of new perfusionists who share his vision.”

To learn more, visit http://www.specialtycare.net/perfusionist.

About SpecialtyCare

More than 1,000 hospitals and 13,000 physicians trust SpecialtyCare to help them achieve exceptional care outcomes, regulatory compliance, and financial results. This breadth of coverage makes SpecialtyCare the market leader in perfusion and intraoperative neuromonitoring, and the industry’s choice for autotransfusion, sterile processing management, surgical assist, and minimally invasive surgical support. With nearly 1,400 clinicians supporting 350,000 procedures annually, our national presence enables us to maintain the largest operative database of its kind. Our research team uses this information to identify trends, determine benchmarks, disseminate best practices, and foster innovations that improve patient outcomes, increase efficiencies, and minimize costs. We also hold accreditation in Surgical Ambulatory Healthcare and certification in Healthcare Staffing Services from The Joint Commission. By leveraging the rigor of these programs, our extensive experience, and SpecialtyCare University, we develop expertise beyond industry requirements so that our customers can be certain they have the best partner for clinical excellence, always.

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About SpecialtyCare

Over 13,500 physicians in more than 1,000 hospitals trust SpecialtyCare to help them achieve exceptional care outcomes, regulatory compliance, and financial results. With nearly 2,000 associates supporting almost 400,000 procedures annually, we maintain SCOPE, the SpecialtyCare Operative Procedural Registry®, which is used to define standards, determine benchmarks, establish best practices, foster innovation, and identify opportunities to reduce clinical variation that result in improved patient outcomes, increased efficiencies, and minimized 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 in perfusion, ECMO, autotransfusion, patient blood management, intraoperative neuromonitoring, deep brain stimulation, surgical assist, minimally invasive surgical support, and sterile processing consulting.