BRENTWOOD, TN – December 4, 2018 – SpecialtyCare, the largest provider of perfusion services in the U.S., announced today that applications are now being accepted for the Brown-Brukardt Perfusion Scholarship, an opportunity for four individuals who demonstrate outstanding potential as cardiovascular perfusionists to receive financial assistance.
This will be the third year for the scholarship program, which honors the legacy of Jim Brown, a long-time perfusionist, and Gary Brukardt, SpecialtyCare founder, CEO, and chairman. Their decades-long contributions to the perfusion industry helped advance the practice and improve cardiovascular care for patients.
SpecialtyCare will increase the number of available scholarships from two to four this year. Three awards will be reserved for students currently enrolled in a CAAHEP-accredited perfusion education program. Also new to the program, SpecialtyCare will earmark one scholarship for a clinical technician serving in a perfusion assistant capacity who would like to advance their career by enrolling in perfusion school.
In addition to a capped, one-time, $20,000 award, scholarship winners will be given employment at SpecialtyCare, where they will join a network of more than 450 perfusionists. These winners will benefit from all that SpecialtyCare has to offer, including certification preparation, excellent training programs, and the opportunity to participate in industry-leading research projects.
“We are grateful for the inspiration and career-long dedication of Jim Brown and Gary Brukardt,” said Andy Stasko, director, operational performances for perfusion services. “They exemplified integrity, leadership, and dedication to patient care and with this scholarship, our goal is to support students who share these same qualities. We look forward to meeting the perfusionists of tomorrow who will benefit from their legacy.”
The perfusion industry is facing a critical shortage of qualified professionals. In 2017, around 280 people retired or left the industry but only 180 entry-level perfusionists were there to take their place. As a leader in the industry, SpecialtyCare is addressing this shortage by supporting a future generation of perfusionists with this scholarship as well as continuing to support Thomas Jefferson University’s Center for Perfusion and Extracorporeal Technology Education.
Perfusionists operate the heart-lung machine during cardiac surgery, taking over the function of the patient’s circulatory and respiratory functions while the surgeon operates. There are 350,000 people that open-heart surgery and other cardiovascular support each year.