Hannah Hedtke Receives Prestigious Sal Guercio Memorial Scholarship From The Texas Heart Institute Perfusion School

Houston, TX — June 2, 2023 — The Texas Heart Institute’s School of Perfusion Technology has honored student Hannah Hedtke with the school’s Sal Guercio Memorial Scholarship. The award celebrates the memory of Sal Guercio, Perfusion School alumnus and respected clinical instructor, and recognizes an outstanding Junior or Senior student enrolled in the Perfusion Technology program.

Ann Guercio, CCP, LP, MBA, who championed the creation of the scholarship to honor her late husband’s commitment to teaching, presented the award to Ms. Hedtke on June 2 during the school’s 2023 Perfusion Conference (#PerfCon2023). Deborah Lowery Adams, MA, LP, CCP, the school’s director and clinical coordinator, was also instrumental in establishing the scholarship to celebrate her late friend and colleague.

Mrs. Guercio led the scholarship’s selection committee. “The committee and I faced a difficult choice, as all the applicants were deserving and expressed themselves well. Hannah’s selflessness and dedication exemplify Sal’s commitment to patient care and perfusion education,” she said.

Determined to Pursue a Career in Perfusion Despite Tragic Loss 

Hannah was just days away from starting her perfusion training when tragedy struck. She received news that her mother had succumbed to heart and lung disease, the very conditions that had driven her to pursue a career in perfusion in the first place. Despite this devastating loss, Hannah is more determined than ever to follow through with her education and be an asset to her community.

Hannah’s goals center on improving cardiac care and the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) life-support program in her home state of Montana. As a perfusionist, she recognizes the challenges that arise in this field, such as the emotional weight of losing a patient and the lack of awareness about perfusion. Nevertheless, Hannah is committed to confronting these challenges head-on and contributing to the growth and success of her profession.

Supported by her family and colleagues within the perfusion community, Hannah is grateful for the opportunity to continue her education and become a clinical instructor in the future. She hopes to inspire the next generation of perfusionists and share the importance of this small but crucial profession.

“Receiving this scholarship is a testament to Hannah’s hard work and dedication and serves as a source of motivation for her as she faces new obstacles. She hopes to honor her mother’s memory and make her family proud by becoming an outstanding perfusionist and educator,” said Mrs. Guercio.

The Texas Heart Institute Sal Guercio Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding Junior or Senior School of Perfusion Technology student as a lasting tribute to Sal and his dedication to his students. The vision is to grow the Scholarship to sustain itself in perpetuity. Make a donation to the Sal Guercio Memorial Scholarship Fund