Awards & Memberships

The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services has received numerous accreditations, certifications and awards, as have our physicians and staff.

Board Certification

According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, a medical specialist who treats patients with infertility is known professionally as a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Training in Reproductive Endocrinology requires four years of college followed by four years of medical school. The physician must then complete a four-year residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The final course of training is a two or three year Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology. Fellowship training focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of infertility and related female disorders. In addition, the physician spends a significant amount of time performing clinical or laboratory research.

Upon completion of a Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology, a specialist seeks Board certification, a multi-step process. To become Board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology, the physician must first obtain Board certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology. This requires successful completion of both a written and oral examination. Board certification in Reproductive Endocrinology requires successful completion of additional written and oral examinations. The entire certification process takes several years to complete. Only a physician who has successfully completed a Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine and passed the examinations can become Board certified as an infertility specialist. Board certified physicians are required to maintain certification through continuing medical education approved by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

It is often quite difficult for a patient to determine whether or not their physician is an infertility specialist. Board certification is the only objective criterion by which patients can measure a physician’s qualifications. All physicians at The Center are Board certified or actively under consideration for board certification in REI.

Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA)

The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988, or CLIA, resulted from a Congressional examination of lab practices, including investigation of testing performed in Physician’s Office Laboratories (POLs). CLIA sets standards designed to improve quality in all laboratory testing and includes specifications for quality control, quality assurance, patient test management, personnel and proficiency testing.

CLIA regulations set minimum standards for laboratory practice and quality. When a laboratory satisfies CLIA regulatory requirements, greater confidence can be had in the quality and reliability of laboratory results.

The Center is licensed with CLIA as a high complexity lab.

College of American Pathologists (CAP)

The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is granted deemed authority for all laboratory specialties and subspecialties defined by CLIA and awarded by The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS; formally known as Health Care Finance Administration (HCFA). The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is also recognized by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) as an equivalent program in JCAHO-accredited institutions.

When an institution chooses to be CAP-accredited, its laboratory will not only meet federal regulations, but will exceed them. Participation in the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program demonstrates to patients, clinicians, and payors a continuum of high-quality testing in the clinical laboratory. No other accrediting agency inspects infertility labs as a sub-specialty.

The laboratory is the most complex ancillary service. CAP inspections are performed in this complex environment by experienced, knowledgeable professionals who are in tune with emerging technologies, new procedures, and patient issues.

Dedicated laboratory physicians are the foundation and leadership of the College of American Pathologists. Their adherence to the most stringent requirements in laboratory accreditation ensures accountability for quality laboratory results and ultimately improves patient outcomes.

Accurate and reliable laboratory results can significantly contribute to improved patient outcomes. Investment in the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program returns its value by ensuring the processes are in place that improve laboratory practices, thus generating higher quality test results, fewer complications, and more satisfied patients. Click here to read the CAP accreditation letter.

Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART)

SART is the premier organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of assisted reproductive technologies in the United States. The organization includes over 370 practice members, representing over 95% of the ART clinics in the nation.

One of the many functions of SART is to act as a quality assurance advocate – collecting and validating outcome data and requiring accreditation of embryology laboratories. SART is the only American professional society to collect its members’ clinic specific outcome data (subsequently published by Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Submitting data and allowing validation of this data is a requirement for membership in SART. In addition, all SART members must have their embryology laboratories accredited by CAP/ASRM, JCAHO, or NYSTB.

Many insurance companies and networks are noting that SART members publish their validated data and have accredited laboratories. Many carriers have adopted SART membership as a measure of excellence. Click here to learn more about SART Recognition.

American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM)

The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services has achieved accreditation in recognition that the practice has met standards set by the diagnostic ultrasound profession. The entire practice was reviewed, including the practice’s personnel, physical facilities, documentation, storage, and record keeping practices; policies and procedures, quality assurance methods, and how the practice meets the AIUM Standards. The accreditation process allows ultrasound practices the opportunity to assess their strengths and weaknesses and initiate changes for improving and strengthening their overall operation.

Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)

The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services is accredited by AAAHC. Status as an accredited organization means we have passed a series of rigorous and nationally-recognized standards for the provision of quality health care, set by the AAAHC. “Accreditation underscores our long-standing commitment to providing the highest possible levels of quality care to the community we serve,” says John Nulsen, M.D., Medical Director. “We are pleased and proud to have our efforts recognized with this accreditation.”

Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive onsite, peer based survey of its facilities and services. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation; not all undergoing the onsite survey are granted accreditation. Over 1300 ambulatory organizations across the United States are accredited by the AAAHC.

State of Connecticut, Department of Health, Outpatient Surgical Facility

The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services is licensed by the State of Connecticut Department of Health as an Outpatient Surgical Facility. Obtaining this level of state licensure involves a rigorous inspection process of all clinical and administrative processes, as well as, physical facility standards.

Special Awards & Honors

Guide to America’s Top Obstetricians and Gynecologists 2004-2005 Edition

The Consumers’ Research Council of America is pleased to announce the inclusion of Dr. Claudio Benadiva and Dr. John Nulsen in the 2004-2005 edition. Consumers’ Research Council of America is an independent research company based in Washington, DC that evaluates professional services throughout America. Its publications are available to consumers and corporate human resource departments.

The selection process is based on a point value system that awards points for education, years in practice, affiliations with professional associations and board certifications. No fees, sponsorships, donations or advertising are accepted from Obstetricians, Gynecologists, medical treatment facilities or hospitals to ensure an unbiased selection.

Best Doctors in America 2003-04

Dr. Claudio Benadiva and Dr. Donald Maier have been selected as part of “Best Doctors in America 2003-04″. Inclusion is a special honor because selection is based on a peer-reviewed survey and is limited to those physicians who earn consensus support. Drs. Benadiva and Maier now join the 31,000 physicians nationwide in the Best Doctors database. Best Doctors, a private sector service, strives to connect patients with the best medical care. Services include referrals to doctors highly skilled in the patient’s medical condition, as well as, coordination of medical second opinions.

Best Doctors database represents the top 5% of physicians in more than 400 subspecialties. Both are past recipients of this honor.

America’s Top Doctors

Dr. John Nulsen was selected as a Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. “Top Doctor” for 2006. This nationwide database, developed in partnership with Access Medical Services LLC, is a unique, extensively researched directory that identifies outstanding physicians throughout the United States.

Castle Connolly published recognized consumer guides America’s Top Doctors and other books to assist consumers in finding the best healthcare. They are also the leading partner for national magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, Town & Country, Bottom Line Health, and others.

American Infertility Association (AIA) Family Building Award

Dr. Benadiva received a “Family Building Award” from the American Infertility Association (AIA), an international education and advocacy organization for women and men concerned about family building. The Award was presented at the AIA’s annual benefit, The Kokopelli Ball, held in October, 2004 in New York City, NY.

Dr. Benadiva is being acknowledged for his ongoing commitment to the AIA, especially with regard to his participation on their interactive website which offers 24/7 information and support to people challenged with infertility issues. Dr. Benadiva is the first Connecticut physician who is a recipient of this prestigious award.

UConn PAWS Team Award

In September, 2003 The UConn Cares Council, a committee within the UCONN Health Center, awarded the PAWS TEAM AWARD to the staff of The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services for demonstration of teamwork and commitment to the UConn Health Care Community. The TEAM award represents Togetherness, Effort, positive Attitude, and Motivation. Recipients received individual TEAM AWARD Certificates and a trophy to be displayed in the practice.

Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing

Maureen Rescildo, RNC, APRN, MS, Nurse Manager at The Center, was awarded the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing in 2004. This award is based upon the impact she has had on patient care, going “beyond the call”, demonstrated excellence, commitment to the community she serves and the achievement of lifelong professionalism. At The Center, Maureen is responsible for direct clinical and administrative nursing management of the IVF program. This award celebrates her as an outstanding nurse who elevates the profession.

Candy Litwinczyk, BSN, RN is a 2008 recipient of the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing. Candy has been the nurse coordinator of The Center’s Anonymous Egg Donor (AED) program for the past 6 years. Under her guidance and dedication, this program has grown dramatically to an average of 50 or more donor egg cycles per year. In her role as a nurse coordinator, Candy generously and humbly gives her all. In addition to the extensive knowledge and skills needed to oversee the complicated coordination of both egg donors and recipients, Candy gives her heart, her time and a friendly and encouraging ear.

Since 2005, AED programs in the United States have undergone dramatic changes due to newly established FDA regulations. Candy has capably taken on the responsibility of seeking out and implementing new standards inclusive of all the planning, backtracking and problem solving required to meet these standards. She has developed our donor based procedure manuals and put our program into compliance with all FDA regulations. She serves as a resource for both our program and staff as well as a teacher/mentor/lecturer for other nurses in this specialized field of nursing.