Mar 30, 2023 The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Pediatric ECMO Program Earns National Award

Program recognized as on the Path to Excellence in Life Support achieving the Silver Level ELSO Award for 2023-2025


(New Brunswick, NJ) – The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Pediatric ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) Program has been recognized as on the Path to Excellence in Life Support, achieving the Silver Level ELSO (Extracorporeal Life Support Organization) Award for 2023-2025.

The ELSO Excellence in Life Support Award recognizes centers that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes and quality measures, staff training, continuing education, patient satisfaction and ongoing clinical care. ELSO is an international non-profit consortium of health care centers and individuals who are dedicated to the development, evaluation and improvement of ECMO and other innovative therapies for the support of failing organ systems in the neonate, child and adult.

“We are honored to be the recipient of such a prestigious award recognizing our program’s dedication to providing the most advanced, highest-quality life support care for our most vulnerable neonates and children,” said Jennifer Owensby, MD, Medical Director of BMSCH’s

ECMO Program and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “Earning this award is deeply gratifying because it affirms our commitment to education, evaluation and the development of this technology so that we can give children and families the best possible chance for successful outcomes and an opportunity to lead healthy and active lives.”

“ECMO is a perfect example of a highly specialized, advanced capability that is available at only a small number of academic medical centers in our state and region,” adds Yi-Horng Lee, Chief, Pediatric Surgery, BMSCH and Chief, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Associate Professor of Surgery, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School “We’re proud that our team has earned this recognition, which is testament to their commitment to training, education and providing the highest quality care to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients and families.”

ECMO is a treatment for serious problems with the heart and or lungs. The specialized cardiopulmonary bypass system is used when a patient’s heart or lungs are too sick to continue supporting a patient’s life and all other treatments that could help have been attempted. The ECMO pump adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide from the blood just as the lungs do. BMSCH is one of only two hospitals in the state that provide ECMO, which is considered quaternary care for the most critically ill children.

“ECMO is extraordinary in that it is a technologically advanced life support provide at the bedside by a dedicated team of specially trained Physicians, Surgeons and Nurses. We are very fortunate to be able to provide this advanced life support, at BMSCH, during what is the most challenging time in our patient and family’s lives,” notes Tracy Ann Low, MSN, RN, CCRN, ECMO Coordinator for BMSCH. “Receiving the Silver Level center of Excellence ELSO Award signifies to our patients, families and the community, the commitment our ECMO Specialists, ECMO physicians and ECMO Surgeons have to providing lifesaving exceptional, value driven patient care.”

BMSCH’s ECMO Team provides expert care to patients ranging from newborns through 21 years of age. Using a family-centered care model, BMSCH physicians can rapidly evaluate a patient’s need for ECMO in consultation with referring physicians for transfer to BMSCH. The ECMO team is available 24/7 for consultation.

About The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, part of the Children’s Health Network of RWJBarnabas Health, is the focal point of New Brunswick’s growing children’s health campus, which includes the Rutgers Child Health Institute and PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital.

The 105-bed, state-designated, acute care children’s hospital is a state-of-the-art facility that is specially designed for children and family-centered care. From pediatric surgery, urology, and cardiology to oncology, hematology, pulmonology, and pediatric/emergency care, BMSCH’s specialists and intensivists provide advanced care for children of all ages – from fragile newborns to adolescents. BMSCH is also home to New Jersey’s first designated pediatric trauma center, internationally recognized adolescent bariatric surgery center of excellence, and nationally recognized center of excellence in pediatric urologic robotic surgery.

Contact: Peter Haigney
RWJUH Public Relations
(732) 937-8568