The ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support
The application is a multi-focus assessment of an ECLS Center. It was developed based on the ELSO Guidelines for New ECLS Programs and the ELSO Guidelines for Training and Education. ECLS Centers that wish to achieve the Center of Excellence designation should use these guidelines and go above and beyond expectations. Centers must be experienced in patient care with established policies and procedures. They should have a comprehensive, in-depth training and education process, as well as a defined family education program. Centers must incorporate highly developed quality initiatives and continuously review processes within their program. Outcome reviews must be demonstrated as an integral component of their organization.
The application is divided into seven sections:
- Systems Focus – the ECLS Center provides generalized information about your institution
- Environmental Focus – the Center provides information about the facility and equipment available for ECLS
- Workforce Focus – the center describes the personnel caring for the patient
- Knowledge Management – the Center provides information on the ECLS Team training and competencies
- Quality Focus – the Center provides evidence regarding continuous quality improvement activities
- Process Optimization – the Center provides information concerning outcome reviews and developmentally focused care
- Patient & Family Focus – the Center describes the family education and participation in care
Centers may apply for the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support after meeting these qualifying criteria. A Center:
- must be an ELSO member in good standing for at least 3 years,
- must have supported an average of five (5) patients per year for the past 5 years,
- must have reported all patients to the ELSO registry
After meeting these requirements, a Center may complete the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support application. A minimum score must be achieved on the application in order to be designated as a Center of Excellence. The application is reviewed and scored in seven categories; the score is received using a standardized Award Scoring Tool based on a five (5) point Likert Scale. Each question is scored and the total score is tabulated.
Centers may apply for the Path to Excellence in Life Support after meeting these qualifying criteria. A Center:
- must be an ELSO member in good standing and,
- all patients treated with ECLS must be reported to ELSO (there is no minimum patient requirement)
After meeting these requirements, the ECLS program may complete the application for the Path to Excellence recognition. A minimum score must be achieved on the application in order to be designated as on the Path to Excellence. The application is reviewed and scored in four categories; the score is received using a standardized Award Scoring Tool based on a five (5) point Likert Scale. Each question is scored and the total score is tabulated.
Achieving the Path to Excellence recognition allows the ECLS program to continue forward with patient care and the development of a robust quality review program that should allow them to meet criteria to apply for the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support designation.
The Gold or Platinum ELSO Award recognizes those centers who have achieved qualifying scores on the Excellence in Life Support Application. ELSO also recognizes new and developing centers that are following ELSO guidelines but do not yet meet all the application criteria required for the Center of Excellence designation at the gold or platinum levels.
The ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support has an entry-level application process for those new ECLS programs that desire a review of their initial processes, such as equipment, personnel and training. These programs are invested in following the ELSO guidelines.
The Silver ELSO Award recognizes these centers that are on the Path to Excellence.
Vision and Significance
The ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support recognizes ECLS programs worldwide that distinguish themselves by having processes, procedures and systems in place that promote excellence and exceptional care in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
ELSO's goal is to recognize and honor ECLS programs that reach the highest level of performance, innovation, satisfaction and quality.
A designated Center of Excellence has demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the following three categories:
- Excellence in promoting the mission, activities, and vision of ELSO;
- Excellence in patient care by using the highest quality measures, processes, and structures based upon evidence; and
- Excellence in training, education, collaboration, and communication supporting ELSO guidelines that contributes to a healing environment for families, patients and staff.
The ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support signifies to patients and families a commitment to exceptional patient care. It demonstrates to the health care community an assurance of high quality standards, specialized equipment and supplies, defined patient protocols, and advanced education of all staff members.
ECLS Centers may use the award to market themselves as distinguished leaders in critical care as it provides evidence of the commitment of the institution to high quality state of the art healthcare. The ELSO Award of Excellence is recognized by the US News and World Report and Parents magazine as one criterion for top institutions.
The ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support is valid for a three-year period. This designation is an honorary one and does not indicate a certification by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization.
The Center of Excellence Committee
Tracy Morrison is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s in Quality Assurance with a focus in healthcare and customer service. She has been the ECMO Coordinator at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio for the last 22 years and is the Quality Coordinator for the 67 bed level IIIb NICU. Tracy grows vegetables for the neighborhood and enjoys reading a good book while enjoying a glass of wine. Tracy is one of the founding members of the ELSO Award and currently serves as Co-Chair of the ELSO Award of Excellence in Life Support Committee and serves on the ELSO Steering Committee.
Barb Haney is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist at Children's Mercy Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri. Barb has been in a leadership role with the ECMO program since 1987 and is actively involved in quality improvement projects and safety work in the Level IV NICU as well as the ECMO program. She has been married to Mike for 40 years and has 3 adult sons. In her spare time, Barb enjoys relaxing at the lake, reading, and holding her new granddaughter. Barb is one of the founding members of the ELSO Award and currently serves as Co-Chair of the ELSO Award of Excellence in Life Support Committee.
Micheal Heard is a registered nurse but her entire career has been as a practicing ECMOlogist. Micheal is an ECMO & Advanced Technologies Coordinator at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She is a charter member of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. Micheal has a long history of helping ECMO programs with education and development across the country. Micheal has published multiple peer reviewed articles regarding extracorporeal life support, as well as chapters in the ECMO Specialist Training Manual and the Red Book, 5th Edition. Micheal has been married for 25 years and has 2 children, and in her spare time enjoys reading real books, and gardening. Micheal is one of the founding members of the ELSO Award and currently serves as Co-chair of the ELSO Award of Excellence in Life Support Committee.
Cory Ellis is a pediatric perfusionist and ECMO co-coordinator at Children’s Hospital Colorado. He graduated with honors from the Ohio State University where he found pediatrics and a love for college football rivalry. Cory pumps cases, is a Clinical Instructor for the Midwestern University perfusion program and shares a management role for the Children’s Colorado ECMO team. In addition to his clinical and leadership responsibilities Cory serves on the editorial board for Perfusion, is involved in ECMO research, volunteers in his community, coaches Little League baseball and works to keep up with his wife and 3 boys. Cory has been a member of the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support Committee since 2014.
Jim Connelly, is a Registered Respiratory Therapist, additionally credentialed as a Neonatal Pediatric Specialist (RRT-NPS). He has been an ECMO specialist since the opening the ECMO Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 1990, and has been the coordinator/manager of its ECMO Center since 2006. He has been married to Cindy for 35 years and has 2 adult daughters, Cailin and Jamie. Interests include trivia contests and following the major Philadelphia sports teams. Jim has been a member of the ELSO Award of Excellence in Life Support Committee since 2014.
To Contact the Committee please email