May 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Academic Catalog-June Update 
2023-2024 Graduate Academic Catalog-June Update [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Perfusion, M.S.

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Program Director (Academic)

Dr. Ronald Gerrits
(414) 277-7561

Program Director (Clinical)

Kirsten Kallies, MS, CCP, LP
(414) 277-7209

Medical Director

David Kress, M.D.
(414) 277-7209


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.

The clinical perfusionist is commonly involved in a variety of procedures. These include cardiopulmonary bypass, patient monitoring, blood conservation, intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) management, ventricular assist device (VAD) placement, total artificial heart placement, selection of equipment, extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) management, etc. In addition to a variety of administrative duties, the perfusionist may be responsible for several educational and research functions.

Application materials can be submitted at any time. The program will start reviewing applications after December 15 for entry the following fall (typically September). A common timeline includes interviews of top applicants in January and February with acceptance decisions made in March or April. Applications will be considered until the class is full. Because of the extensive clinical experience required, enrollment is commonly 7-8 students per year.

Because there is a limited capacity in this program, meeting the requirements does not ensure acceptance. The most highly qualified applicants will be invited for interviews, and acceptance decisions will be made after interviews are completed. A criminal background check and urine drug screen will be conducted for all students entering the program. Most years, the entering class significantly exceeds the minimum requirements.


Jennifer Anderson, CCP, LP; Shannon Anderson, CCP, LP; Theresa Bliss, CCP, LP; Kevin Daley, CCP, LP; Holly Estill, CCP, LP; Dr. Larry Fennigkoh; Brittany Finger, CCP, LP; Shawn Geary, CCP, LP; Dr. Ronald Gerrits; Amy Heikkinen, CCP, LP; Kate Herrmann, CCP, LP; Matthew Hietpas, CCP, LP; Jonathan Howard, CCP, LP; Dr. Olga Imas; Kristine Kaiser, CCP, LP; Kirsten Kallies, CCP, LP; Suzanne Keuler, CCP, LP; Donald Krauske, CCP, LP; Dr. Jeffrey LaMack; Joshua Larson; Courtney Lockwood; Natalie Neisen, CCP, LP; Phillip Oettinger, CCP, LP; Kathy Princer, MS; Megan Roethl, CCP, LP; Cassie Seefeldt; Mark W. Simmons, CCP, LP; Kyle Schilling, CCP, LP; Nick Starkey, CCP, LP; Matthew Tittl, CCP, LP; Dr. Charles Tritt; Brett Vander Ploeg, CCP, LP; Marguerite Wellstein, CCP, LP

Program Educational Objectives

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

  • All graduates will become certified clinical perfusionists (CCPs)
  • Each graduating class will collectively score above the national average on the certification exam
  • All new graduates will be employed in the field of perfusion, if that is their desire
  • All graduates will report meeting the performance and behavioral standards needed in their profession
  • 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:

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge in the areas of cardiovascular science
  • Have acquired the clinical skills needed to provide quality perfusion services to the patient
  • Be able to formulate, design, perform, analyze, and communicate the results of a research project
  • Demonstrate initiative in their professional activities


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 term of each academic year (August or September) and is five consecutive terms (including summer) in length, if the student successfully completes all the program requirements. Students are required to pass all courses in order to remain in the program. 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 multiple 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. During the pediatric rotation, students participate in about 25 cases.

During the program, students are not allowed to receive compensation for any clinical duties that fall within the scope of practice of perfusion. 

Perfusion, M.S. Version S1

Year One

Year Two


Total: 1 lecture hour - 6 lab hours - 6 credits

Program total: 23 lecture hours - 60 lab hours - 46 credits

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