2020 Stories

The Work of Perfusionists Continues During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Committed to the study of perfusion, THI School of Perfusion students voluntarily continued their clinical rotations from March to June of 2020. This team of students was the only perfusion program in the country whose students were so committed to remain in their rotations as most programs were closed during this timeframe. In addition, the annual THI Perfusion Conference continued but in a virtual format with over 200 attendees able to earn CATI CEUs for recertification by the American Board for Cardiovascular Perfusion. THI graduates were also busy winning scholarships in pediatrics and medical missions in 2020.

THI’s School of Perfusion has always been a leader in their field due to their alignment with the mission of THI promoting excellence in perfusion education rearing classes of knowledgeable, skilled and professional clinical perfusionists.

As the first perfusion program accredited in 1976, the School of Perfusion Technology maintains continuing accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, providing an exemplary educational experience for perfusion graduates.  In 2019, sixteen students were accepted to program from a competitive pool of over 150 applicants.  The program continues to exceed the accreditation outcome standard for graduation and job placement with 100% of the school’s graduates accepting perfusion positions nationwide.

In support of Dr. Cooley’s vision to provide highly trained and competent perfusion technologists, the school extended the twelve-month post-baccalaureate certificate program to eighteen months, expanding the student’s clinical experience to include rotations with ECMO, Circulatory Support and multiple clinical sites.  In addition, the program expanded its research opportunity for perfusion students under the direction of the school’s research coordinator and in partnership with THI Center of Clinical Research.  As well, the THI School of Perfusion continues its long history of providing perfusion support for THI Center of Preclinical Surgical and Intervention Research, which is an excellent learning opportunity for the perfusion student.

The THI School of Perfusion is not letting a global pandemic slow their efforts to impact cardiac surgery and is continuing to move forward with their studies and production of world-class perfusionists.


Perfusions Students Give Back

THI Perfusion Marks THI’s First Livestream Event

The Annual THI Perfusion Conference was live broadcasted online June 5-6, 2020 from the historic Texas Heart Institute TV studio. The agenda for the conference included case reviews and discussions about the latest trends in the industry. Conference participants earned 16.2 CAT I Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) from the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP).

Funds raised at the conference provided critical programmatic support for the School of Perfusion as they continue to train the next generation of perfusionists.


The 2020 meeting honored Terry Crane who was involved with the perfusion school for more than four decades and worked closely with Texas Heart Institute’s founder,  Denton A. Cooley, M.D.  His contributions to the success of the program are countless, and the perfusion school is presently thriving. Since its opening in 1971, more than 900 students have graduated from the program. Many of those graduates were touched by Terry’s passion for the vital role perfusionists play in operating the heart-lung machine and other ancillary devices to support patients who require cardiac surgery. The class of 2019 surprised THI with a special $2019.00 donation to honor Terry and start a tradition they hope will inspire their fellow alumni.