Master of Science Cardiovascular Perfusion

Cardiovascular Perfusion Faculty and Staff



Kevin McCusker, PhD, CCP, LP

Program Director

Since 2003, McCusker has been an assistant professor of surgery at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. He trained in the disciplines of physiology, biostatistics, and multidisciplinary health and human services.

McCusker established a Cardiovascular Perfusion Program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. He was also the program director at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. In addition, McCusker served as an adjunct professor, teaching Pathophysiology at the University of New Hampshire and Cardiopulmonary Physiology at Northeastern University. McCusker holds several U.S. Patents towards the advancement of extracorporeal circulation and holds the U.S. Device and Method Patents for inventing Condensed Perfusion Circuitry for Cardiopulmonary Bypass and Cardioplegia. He has been a practicing Perfusionist for more than 30 years. He is the author of more than 60 publications and serves on the editorial boards of several medical journals. McCusker has released two new books, “Systems Theory: A Modified Extracorporeal Circuit to Attenuate Systemic Inflammatory Response” and “Acid-Base Balance.”


Kristen Fanelli, MS, BScN, CCP, RN

Assistant Program Director

Fanelli has a Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion from Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. She has more than eight years of experience as a Certified Clinical Perfusionist (CCP) and clinical instructor for graduate-level perfusion students at multiple institutions. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is licensed as a registered nurse in Ontario and Michigan.


Philip L. Robinson, MD

Medical Director




Chelsea Johnson, MS, CCP

Clinical Coordinator

Chelsea Johnson is a Certified Clinical Perfusionist with more than 7 years of experience. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Studies from Michigan State University. She then earned her Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion from Long Island University. She began her career working at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center before moving back to her home state of Michigan to continue her perfusion career. She has been a clinical preceptor to students throughout her career.


La'Yuntae Dukes

Administrative Assistant

La’Yuntae Dukes is a mom of 5 sons. She grew up between The Big Apple and Detroit. Besides her fulltime job as the Administrative Assistant for the MS in Cardiovascular Perfusion program, she is also an entrepreneur owning and operating three businesses. Her favorite things to do are cooking, spending time with her kids and workout.


Robb Johnson, CCP, RRT

SIM Lab Director/Adjunct Instructor

Robb Johnson is a Certified Clinical Perfusionist with more than 7 years of clinical experience in the field of perfusion as well as in training others using high-fidelity simulation. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Perfusion Technology at the Medical University of South Carolina after practicing for years as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. He began his perfusion career at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center prior to joining the Orrum Clinical Analytics and Comprehensive Care Services teams here in Michigan. He has trained perfusion and respiratory concepts to multiple disciplines during his career, ranging from students to physicians alike, and his passion for the perfusion field has often been described as “contagious.”


Jennine (Nina) Paugh, CCP

SIM Lab Instructor

Jennine (Nina) Paugh has been a practicing perfusionist for over 30 years. She spent the majority of her career at the University of Michigan as an adult and pediatric congenital perfusionist. She earned the distinguished title of Fellowship of Pediatric Perfusion in 2017. She has been a preceptor for perfusion students from MUSC, Midwestern University and the Ohio State University for nearly my entire career. During her career at U of M she became interested in simulation. She assisted with a NIH grant on team training simulation in cardiac surgery. She was part of a group that evaluated root cause analysis for low frequency high acuity cardiac surgery events. She created a team based simulation for all members of the pediatric and adult teams. She also created a training program for cardiac anesthesiologist and a “boot camp” for cardiac residents. In 2019 she became certified as a simulation in healthcare educator, becoming one of two perfusionists in the country who hold this certification.

In 2018 she left U of M to work at Comprehensive Care Services to help with the development of a state-of-the-art simulation center for cardiac surgery and ECMO training. She also developed a continuing education simulation program for all perfusionist within the organization. Through this program perfusionist around the country practices high risk situations annually to improve performance and skills in a safe environment. By practicing these events perfusionist improve patient safety and outcomes.


Amanda Flack, PhD

Senior Lecturer

Amanda Flack has a PhD in Physiology. She is an enthusiastic educator committed to student success with proven expertise in curriculum development and educational technology implementation gained through over 10+ years leading virtual, face-to-face, & hybrid classrooms.


Lexi Storey,  MS, CCP

Adjunct Faculty

Lexi Storey is a certified clinical cardiovascular perfusionist in Michigan with more than 12 years experience at different hospitals in the surrounding area. She earned both a Bachelor of Science Degree and Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Windsor, Ontario. She then obtained her Master of Cardiovascular Science Degree from Midwestern University in Glendale Arizona. She has since mentored and acted as a clinical preceptor for aspiring students and is now taking on the role of teaching didactic curriculum.


John M. Toomasian, CCP

Adjunct Faculty

John M. Toomasian is a retired clinical perfusionist and medical device researcher that spans five decades. He was a certified perfusionist for 42 years and retired from clinical practice in 2022. His specialties include general, pediatric and adult cardiovascular perfusion, development and implementation of prolonged extracorporeal life support (ECMO) systems at multiple institutions. He’s served as a consultant for many medical device entities, both in commercial and regulatory applications. He has been a past department head at the Medical University of South Carolina ECT Program, a past director and officer of the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, past President of the American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion and an author of over 75 scientific publications. He is currently an Associate Editor for the peer review journal, Perfusion. He has served and participated in different perfusion groups, medical societies and academic circles. He continues to be active in perfusion education, both as an adjunct professor at LTU and a researcher at the University of Michigan Extracorporeal Circulation Laboratory that studies many applicable areas of perfusion and related artificial organs. More recently, he has focused on teaching students entering the perfusion field.


Melissa Grayson, CCP

Adjunct Faculty




Sean Murtha, BS, CCP

Adjunct Faculty

Murtha has an extensive background in medical laboratory technology, adult and pediatric perfusion, and has many years of teaching experience in the healthcare field. He is a Certified Clinical Perfusionist (CCP) with more than 25 years of clinical experience. He is president and CEO of ORRUM Clinical Analytics and serves as the chief informatics officer at Comprehensive Care Services. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, Penn. Murtha also holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science from Pennsylvania State University. Additionally, he has completed coursework at Northwestern University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue a Master of Science in Healthcare Analytics.


Patricia Fanelli, CCP

Adjunct Faculty

Patricia Fanelli is a graduate of Wayne State University and the Harper Hospital School of Perfusion Technology. She is a board certified clinical perfusionist and has been working in cardiac surgery for over 35 years. She serves on the Lawrence Tech perfusion program’s advisory board. Fanelli has a degree as a medical technologies and has a strong background in Joint Commission guidelines, federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) requirements, and other federal regulations. She developed policies and procedures, education competencies, regulatory guidelines, and training manuals currently used in perfusion services and regenerative medicine. She currently serves as chief clinical officer of Comprehensive Care Services, one of the nation’s leaders in Perfusion and Autotransfusion services. Comprehensive Care Services is certified by the Joint Commission, and provides superior perfusion and autotransfusion services.