The laughter and smiles show kids at camp enjoying themselves. But this camp, now in its 18th year, serves important therapeutic and educational purposes.
The Cardiovascular Perfusion Division recently hosted the 21st Annual Update on Perfusion Conference. The event brought cardiovascular perfusionists from across the United States to Charleston, SC for a weekend of learning. Attendees experienced a blend of hands-on learning and didactic content that highlighted contemporary issues facing the perfusion profession, as well as topics like teamwork, collaboration, communication, and safety.
The focus of this year's conference was on quality and resource utilization. The keynote speaker, Donald Likosky, Ph.D., an associate professor at Michigan Medicine University of Michigan, delivered a presentation on "An evidence-based approach toward reducing blood product utilization after cardiac surgery," aimed to inform and spark conversation about improving quality of care in the profession. The presentation, given during the kick-off dinner, was a favorite of Division Director, Dave Fitzgerald, DHA, MPH, CCP. "I really enjoyed the keynote and dinner program. It helps underpin the theme of the conference and sets the tone for the rest of the event."
Other presentations, from MUSC faculty and visiting presenters, focused on resource utilization, more specifically how to address the workforce shortage currently facing the perfusion profession. Additionally, attendees got to experience the college's state-of-the-art simulation lab. Some participants participated in a high-fidelity simulation that was simulcasted to a classroom for other attendees to observe. During the simulcast, the video was paused for discussions, and clinicians weighed in on how they might have handled the situation differently. This interactive approach kept attendees engaged throughout the weekend event. "People seemed to be engaged. There was a lot of great dialogue, people sharing their experiences, and the positive conference feedback we received reflects that," said Fitzgerald.
Throughout the weekend, device manufacturers exhibited in the College of Health Professions atrium, demonstrating the latest technological advancements in the field. On Friday evening, attendees networked with faculty, alumni, and students, and enjoyed a musical performance by Joseph Sistino, Ph.D., CCP, FPP, the cardiovascular perfusion division's former director.
The event is an excellent opportunity for alumni of the program to return to MUSC and for students to experience their first professional conference. This year, MUSC welcomed 81 registered attendees, 28 first-year cardiovascular perfusion students, and 11 manufacturers. Attendees were made up of practicing perfusionists, clinical affiliates, MUSC alumni and students, and other health care professionals from across the MUSC enterprise.
The division expects to host the 22nd annual event in Fall 2020.