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//Center of Excellence
Center of Excellence2020-06-17T13:24:50-05:00

Centers of Excellence

The Center of Excellence (COE) designation is to recognize institutions and programs that demonstrate excellence in obstetric anesthesia care, to set a benchmark level of expected care to improve the standards nationally, and to provide a broad surrogate quality metric of institutions providing obstetric anesthesia care. The criteria for the Center of Excellence designation covers various domains including personnel and staffing; equipment, protocols, and policies; simulation and team training; obstetric emergency management; cesarean delivery and labor analgesia care; recommendations and guidelines implementation; and quality assurance and patient follow-up systems. The criteria for the Center of Excellence designation, which covers all aspects of obstetric anesthesia care, were generated by expert consensus and incorporate evidence-based recommendations.

Click here to view the 2019 SOAP Center of Excellence Recipients Press Release.

Click here to view the 2018 SOAP Center of Excellence Recipients Press Release.

The 2020 SOAP Center of Excellence (COE) for Anesthesia Care of Obstetric Patients’ Designation Application is will be opening in August 2020.

Information for the 2020 COE Designation Application will become available in the Summer of 2020.

Have questions regarding your application?

Stanford University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and The Johns Hopkins Hospital have provided their 2018 SOAP Center of Excellence Applications and handouts to help provide examples and expectations of what it takes to be a Center of Excellence. Please feel free to use the provided samples as a template to help guide you when completing the application, and to determine what is expected when responding to criteria. If you have any additional questions, please email soap@soap.org.

View the three sample applications (Member’s Only)

Ad Hoc COE Committee members, Brendan Carvalho, M.B., B.Ch., FRCA and Jill M. Mhyre, M.D., authored, “Centers of Excellence for Anesthesia Care of Obstetric Patients”, which was published as an editorial in Anesthesia & Analgesia. View the full article here.


The application is accessible via the fillable PDF. No on-site visit is required. All awards are on a conditional approval basis; inaccurate reporting is grounds for revocation of the COE designation. The Center of Excellence application requires detailed responses with the inclusion of relevant policies and procedures as appropriate.

Applications will be accepted annually.  The certificate will be valid for 4 years, after which time a center must reapply. If applications are rejected, you are welcome to reapply the following year. If applications are provisionally accepted, you have 1 month to provide clarifications and revisions.

Each application will be reviewed and graded by the COE committee. A majority committee vote will determine whether COE status is granted. Highlighted (with *) criteria are considered as ‘essential’. Applicants must provide evidence that they offer all the ‘essential’ criteria and the majority of the other important criteria, as outlined below. The committee will consider criteria within the context of the care setting (as defined by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s obstetric care consensus on levels of maternal care; Obstet Gynecol 2015;125:502–15).

Fees will be charged to cover costs related to reviewing and certifying applications. The application fee is $500. If your institution is selected to be a COE, then an additional certification fee of $2000 (initial certification) or $1000 (recertification) is required.

Phone and in-person consultation will be offered to help institutions navigate and attain COE designation. The fee schedule for this consultation service is still to be determined.

The current 2019 Ad Hoc COE Committee members include: Drs. Brendan Carvalho (Chair), Brian Bateman, Jeanette Bauchat, Rachel Kacmar, Jill Mhyre, Ruth Landau, Mark Zakowski, Cristy Morgan, David Gambling, Grace Lim, John Markley and David Berman. Additional members will be added as needed. Select individuals from COE designation centers will be invited to serve on the COE review board (as needed).

The only option to complete and submit the COE application is a fillable PDF.  Once you complete and submit the fillable PDF, you will need to email the completed PDF and supporting documents to soap@soap.org. Those who complete and submit the fillable PDF will also need to call the SOAP office at 414-389-8611 to coordinate payment for the application fee. Your application will not be considered complete until the application fee is received.

If you have any questions, please contact the SOAP office at 414-389-8611 or email at soap@soap.org .