February 2018 Sonographer Volunteer of the Month- Merri Bremer, EdD, RN, RDCS, ACS, FASE

By Natalya Read posted 02-07-2018 10:44



When and how did you get involved with cardiovascular ultrasound?

My healthcare career began in 1984 as an RN on a medical-surgical unit at Methodist Hospital in Rochester, MN.  Not long after that, I discovered I loved cardiology and transferred to the CCU.  In the late 1980s, a cardiac sonographer and cardiologist came to the CCU to perform a bedside echocardiogram.  I was fascinated by the technology and learned the Echo Lab was hiring nurses to train as sonographers.  Several months later, I began my twenty-eight year career in echocardiography as an RN sonographer, and I have never looked back.

What is the name and type of facility/institution at which you work, and what is your current position?

I am the Quality Improvement and Education Coordinator for the Mayo Clinic Echocardiography Laboratory and hold an academic appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine.  I coordinate staff development and training as well as quality improvement and lab accreditation, function in the clinical role of Advanced Cardiac Sonographer, and recently became Program Director of the Mayo School of Health Sciences Advanced Cardiovascular Sonography Program. 

When and how did you get involved with the ASE?

In 1995, Janel Mays took me under her wing and encouraged me to become a member of ASE.  In 1996, I presented an oral abstract at the Scientific Sessions and have since participated by lecturing at the Scientific Sessions, becoming a member of committees and task forces, and volunteering for everything I can.

Why do you volunteer for ASE?

Since the beginning of my career, I have been interested in helping to further develop the field of cardiac sonography.  ASE’s dedication to patient care through education, advocacy, research, innovation and service supports continued development of the profession and provides opportunities for me to “pay it back” and “pay it forward” by volunteering.  In addition, the members and staff of ASE are a wonderful group of people!

What is your current role within ASE? In the past, on what other committees, councils or task forces have you served and what have you done with the local echo society?

I am currently a member of the ASE Education Committee and the JASE Editorial Board, as well as serving as Sonographer Co-Chair for the 2018 ASE Scientific Sessions.  I have served in the past on the ASE Board of Directors, ASE Foundation Annual Appeal Committee, Guidelines and Standards Committee, Ventricular Assist Device Writing Group, Advanced Practice Sonographer Task Force, ACS Exam Development Task Force, Industry Relations Committee, and Finance Committee.  I am also a member of the Midwest Society of Diagnostic Ultrasound (MSDU) and have lectured at the MSDU annual Spring Seminar several times.

What is your advice for members who want to become more involved in their profession or with the ASE?

There are a variety of opportunities for different levels of involvement with ASE and your local society: committee work, Connect@ASE or other professional social media, educational conferences, research, etc.  Probably the most important thing to remember is to never let an opportunity pass you by.  Network, network, network, then network some more.  Motivate yourself to perform at a higher level, and reach even higher.  Invest in your career, demonstrate your value, and continually add to your knowledge.

What is your vision for the future of cardiovascular sonography?

I am passionate about supporting the concept of Advanced Cardiovascular Sonographers, who work with physician and sonographer colleagues in a mid-level role to provide high-quality echocardiographic services in a cost-effective manner.  This addition to the sonographer career ladder provides a superb opportunity for current and future sonographers.  ASE has been integral in supporting the development of this role as well as a formal educational pathway and CAAHEP program accreditation. In addition, CCI must be recognized for their vital role in development of the ACS credentialing exam.






02-21-2018 12:15

​​Well deserved, congrats Merri! See you in Nashville in a few months! :) jen

02-11-2018 04:11

Congratulations Merri. You are a true inspiration having devoted so much of your time, skills and experience to the ASE.