Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Awards Program

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The American Pain Society Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Awards Program helps advance the quality of pain management in the United States by recognizing and rewarding excellence in quality clinical care.

Central to the APS vision: "APS envisions a world where pain prevention and relief are available to all people"—this program aims to identify U.S.-based, multidisciplinary teams providing distinguished, comprehensive pain care to serve as examples to other pain management programs.

These awards are given annually and recognize pain-care teams that overcome difficult challenges to provide outstanding, exemplary care for those with chronic pain disorders, acute pain after surgery or trauma and in palliative care settings for pain from cancer and other terminal conditions.

Applications for the 2015 CCOE Award are now closed.

Examples of previous recipients' applications are listed here for your reference

CCOE Eligibility Requirements

The award program is intended to honor programs or services that exemplify the provision of outstanding clinical care regardless of size. Any U.S. based, multidisciplinary clinical program that provides direct patient care and is primarily focused on the treatment of pain that believe they meet the award criteria are encouraged to apply. Selection of awardees will be based on judgment of the quality of services provided and not size of program. Attempts will be made to balance service excellence with available resources. CCOE award recipients are ineligible to re-apply for the award for three years.

University-based versus Community-based Programs

The Clinical Center of Excellence in Pain Management Award recognizes that academic and community-based pain programs may have different priorities, resources and components. On this basis the APS has defined two categories of awardees:

University-based Programs are those that, in addition to providing superior clinical care, are exemplars of academic excellence, with active research, educational, and administrative programs. In order to be considered in the "University-based" category a program must have:

  1. An active research program.
  2. An affiliation with an accredited university or academic health science center.
  3. An accredited medical educational program

Community-based Programs are those that are primarily clinical, without necessarily a strong research or education component. To be considered Community-based a program must:

  1. Be either free-standing, within a community hospital, or an integrated healthcare system. In addition, submission from clinical teams that are integrated across a community or region but are not part of a single healthcare system and are not under one roof will also be considered for Community Based COE recognition if they are able to demonstrate that they consistently provide coordinated and effective interdisciplinary pain care that meets the standards of excellence for CCOE recognition.
  2. Have a primary focus on provision of clinical services, rather than research or education.

Award Criteria

For both university-based programs and community-based programs, the Clinical Center of Excellence in Pain Management Award honors programs that:

  • Provide care that is patient-centered, state-of-the-art, evidence- based, and safe.
  • Provide appropriate access to multidisciplinary and multimodal care through the involvement of specialists from a variety of disciplines to ensure expert care.
  • Act as local champions to improve pain management in systems of care that are related to the program, and/or are regional or national.
  • Demonstrate innovation and serve as models of excellence in the structure, processes, and outcomes that are critical for excellence in pain management.
  • Actively work with other health care organizations, health care providers, and the community to improve the quality of pain management across the continuum of care.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to advancing and applying current scientific knowledge related to pain and disseminating relevant information to patients, colleagues, and the public.

Honoring our CCOE Programs

Congratulations to the 2014 CCOE Award Recipients

The APS presents this prestigious recognition annually at the APS Annual Scientific Meeting. A special mark of distinction will be provided to each winning program to use (in accordance with APS guidelines).

View previous CCOE Award Recipients

Clinical Centers of Excellence Review Committee
Robert D. Kerns, PhD, Chair
John Markman, MD, Co-Chair
Stefan J Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP
Ted Jones, PhD
Niriksha Malladi, MD
Jennifer L Murphy, PhD
Diane Novy, PhD
Sanjog Pangarkar, MD
Gregory Polston, MD
Judith Scheman, PhD
William T. Zempsky, MD MPH 
Sean Mackey, MD PhD
Mark Wallace, MD, Board Liaison