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Banner University Medicine receives Center of Excellence in Life Support Award

During the COVID pandemic, ECMO saved countless lives

TUCSON, Ariz. (Oct. 18, 2022) – Banner – University Medical Center Tucson has earned a 2022 Center of Excellence in Life Support Award from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO).                                                                                                                                                                                 

During the COVID pandemic, ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) or ECLS (Extracorporeal Life Support) proved to be a much-needed resource as it is used to support the failing organ systems of patients. ECMO allows time for the patient’s lungs or heart to heal over a period of time by using a heart-lung machine to oxygenate the blood outside the body. 

Banner – University Medical Center Tucson earned the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support for demonstrating an exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes delivered in a healing environment while providing quality measures, staff training and continuing education, that promote programmatic excellence and exceptional on-going clinical care. The recognition also considers patient satisfaction as a measurement of success.

“We are honored to be the recipient of such a prestigious award. It recognizes the critical care services and life support equipment and training provided to our patients at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson,” said Sarah Frost, CEO, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner University Medical Center South. “The ECMO Center accomplishments reflect the dedication to advancing health care that we continuously strive to achieve at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and continues to save lives now as it did during the pandemic.” 

ECMO is one of the most advanced forms of life support available to patients experiencing acute failure of the cardio-respiratory system. It involves the use of specialized heart-lung bypass equipment and techniques to support the most critical patients with refractory cardiac and respiratory failure. This can only be done with a highly trained multidisciplinary and multispecialty team of physicians, nurses, perfusionists, pharmacists, respiratory therapists and physical therapists.  

The highly trained ECMO team members at Banner – University Medicine provide this life-saving treatment and thanks to a full range of health care services available throughout Banner’s hospital and clinical care system, ongoing care is available to recovering patients.  

During the COVID pandemic, the team provided care for an increased number of critically ill patients who required extreme dedication by a highly skilled bedside staff, including perfusionists and physicians who worked round the clock to provide adequate equipment and medical expertise.  

“We would like to recognize the hard work and leadership of our program coordinators Tera Schuetta CCRN and Chris Mogan CCP, as instrumental in reaching this achievement,” said Jarrod Mosier, MD, medical director of the Banner – University Medical Center adult ECMO program. “Thanks to the team’s expertise, Banner – University Medicine and the University of Arizona group were able to contribute to statewide efforts to coordinate services and provide treatment for all Arizonans in need during the pandemic,” said Mosier. 

In earning the 2022 Center of Excellence Life Support Award, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson has now been recognized with the award for 12 consecutive years. ELSO is made up of a broad multidisciplinary collaboration of physicians, nurses, perfusionists, respiratory therapists, technicians, researchers, and industry experts.

About Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and South

Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center South are part of Banner – University Medicine, a premier academic medical network. These institutions are academic medical centers for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. Included on the two campuses are Diamond Children's Medical Center and many specialty clinics. The two academic medical centers are part of Arizona-based Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit or

Awards Banner Health COVID-19 Care Banner - University Medical Center Tucson

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