Oct 01, 2023  
2012-2014 Graduate Academic Catalog 
2012-2014 Graduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Perfusion (MSP), M.S.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments, Degree Programs and Certificates

MSOE’s Master of Science in Perfusion (MSP) program is designed to provide a quality didactic and clinical education for those who want to become perfusionists. Clinical perfusionist, as defined by the American Society of Extra-Corporeal Technology, “is a skilled person, qualified by academic and clinical education, who operates extra-corporeal circulation (meaning blood outside of the body) equipment during any medical situation where it is necessary to support or replace the patient’s cardiopulmonary / circulatory functions and ensures the proper management of physiologic functions by monitoring the necessary variables.”

The clinical perfusionist is involved in cardiopulmonary bypass, patient monitoring, blood conservation (cell salvage, modified ultrafiltration and plasmapharesis), intra-aortic balloon pumping (IABP), ventricular assist devices (VAD), total artificial heart placement (TAH), selection of equipment and biomaterials, extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), etc. In addition to a variety of administrative duties, the perfusionist may be responsible for a number of educational and research functions.

As with most allied health professionals, advances in biomedical technology have broadened the scope of responsibilities of perfusionists. The rapid and proper application of these technologies demands that the clinical perfusionist of today and tomorrow possess strong academic and clinical skills involving many areas of biomedical technology.

Program Director (MSP):

Dr. Ronald Gerrits
 (414) 277-7561, gerrits@msoe.edu

Co-Program Director (Clinical):

Shannon Voborsky, MS, CCP, LP
(414) 277-7209, voborsks@msoe.edu

Co-Program Director (Clinical):

Kirsten Kallies, MS, CCP, LP
(414) 277-7209, kalliesk@msoe.edu

Medical Director:

Alfred J. Tector, M.D.
(414) 277-7209

Didactic Faculty:

Dr. Jon K. Borowicz; Dr. Larry Fennigkoh; Dr. John D. Gassert; Dr. Ronald J. Gerrits; Matthew J. Hietpas, CCP, LP; Dr. Olga Imas; Kirstin Kallies, CCP, LP; Kathy Princer, MS; Mark W. Simmons, CCP, LP; Matthew P. Tittl, CCP, LP; Dr. John Traxler; Dr. Charles S. Tritt; Patrick L. VanderWal, CCP, LP; Shannon R. Voborsky, CCP, LP

Program Educational Objectives

The objectives of the MSP program are that, within one year of graduation:

  1. all graduates will become certified clinical perfusionists (CCPs).
  2. each graduating class will collectively score above the national average on the certification exam.
  3. all new graduates will be employed in the field of perfusion, if that is their desire.
  4. all graduates will report meeting the performance and behavioral standards needed in their profession.
  5. all employers will report satisfaction with the behavior and performance of the graduates.

Student Outcomes

The outcomes of the MSP program are that each student, at the time of graduation, will:

  1. demonstrate advanced knowledge in the areas of cardiovascular science.
  2. have acquired the clinical skills needed to provide quality perfusion services to the patient.
  3. be able to formulate, design, perform, analyze, and communicate the results of a research project.
  4. demonstrate initiative in their professional activities.

Curriculum Format

The MSP curriculum is designed for full-time students. Each student is required to complete approximately 125 surgical procedures under the supervision of the clinical faculty. The MSP program starts in the Fall Quarter of each academic year (September) and is six consecutive quarters (including a summer quarter) in length, if the student successfully completes all of the program requirements. Since the curriculum is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Committee of Perfusion Education, graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Clinical Perfusionist’s examination administered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. Most of the academic courses are scheduled to meet on the campus, but all students are required to provide their own transportation to the various affiliated clinical sites. Most of the affiliated institutions are located within 25 miles of the campus.

The MSP program is currently affiliated with surgical groups covering six hospitals that perform adult CPB cases. During the adult cases, students are exposed to a wide variety of surgeries including CABG, valve replacements, redo-operations, VAD placement, heart transplantation, lung transplantation, liver transplantation, cath-lab assist cases (CPS) and deep hypothermia/circulatory arrest. The pediatric rotation is performed at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin under the direction of pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons. In general, students participate in about 25 cases during their pediatric rotation.


In considering an applicant, MSOE takes into consideration the overall academic performance as indicated by transcripts, test scores, personal interview, letters of reference, work experience, if applicable, and other factors. Completion of all admission criteria does not ensure that the applicant will be selected for admission into the program. Because of the extensive clinical experience required, the maximum enrollment is limited to eight students per year. In general, applicants selected for admission to the program are the most qualified of all those who apply. Accepted students will be required to complete criminal background checks and provide documentation of required immunizations prior to being placed at the clinical sites.

The program will start reviewing applications after January 15 each year for the September class. Applications will be considered until the class is full, after which applicants will have the option of being considered for the waiting list as well as carrying over their application for the following year.

Model Full-time Track - V2.7

Year One

Year Two

Total: 7 lecture hours - 9 lab hours - 10 credits

Total: 6 lecture hours - 9 lab hours - 9 credits


During the sixth quarter, the MSP student is expected to do the following:

  1. Complete all clinical cases required as specified by the Clinical Competency Review Committee and obtain a letter verifying clinical competence.
  2. Write and pass the Clinical Comprehensive Examination.
  3. Complete and successfully defend the Master’s Thesis.


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments, Degree Programs and Certificates