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Four U.S. Organizations Honored with the 2011 Baldrige National Quality Award

For Immediate Release: November 22, 2011

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Contact: Jennifer Huergo
301-975-6343

Additional Contact: Michael E. Newman
301-975-3025

First Year with Three Health Care Recipients

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson today named four organizations—three health care operations and one nonprofit business—as recipients of the 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership. This marks the first year that three health care organizations have been selected at one time.

The 2011 Baldrige Award recipients—listed with their category—are:


"With innovative practices, an unwavering commitment to excellence, dynamic management and proven results, the four organizations recognized today with the 2011 Baldrige Award will serve as role models—not only for their peers in the health care, nonprofit and business sectors—but for every American organization that strives for a higher standard of performance and never settles for second-best,” said Commerce Secretary John Bryson.

The 2011 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from a field of 69 applicants. All of the applicants were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. The evaluation process for each of the recipients included about 1,000 hours of review and an on-site visit by a team of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in the applications.

The Baldrige Award and the Baldrige Criteria, as well as the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) under which they both operate, all continue to grow in stature and impact each year. This will be reaffirmed by a soon-to-be-published economic evaluation of the BPEP that looked at the value of the program to 273 Baldrige Award applicants since 2006. Benefits to these organizations on three levels— cost savings, customer satisfaction and financial gain—outweighed the overall cost of the BPEP by a ratio of 1,252-to-1. The study researchers surmise that if the value of the BPEP to all organizations over the program’s 24-year history could be compared with the total cost, the 1,252-to-1 figure would probably be very conservative. They state that the study result “certainly supports the belief that the Baldrige Program creates great value for the U.S. economy … that could not be replicated by private sector actions alone.”

The 2011 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be presented with their awards at an April 2012 ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses. Originally, three types of organizations were eligible: manufacturers, service companies and small businesses. Congress expanded the program in 1999 to include education and health care organizations, and again in 2007 to include nonprofit organizations such as charities, trade and professional associations, and government agencies. The award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 90 organizations have received Baldrige Awards.

The BPEP is managed by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction with the private sector. The program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy; provides organizational assessment tools and criteria; educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations, and government and nonprofit organizations about the practices of national role models; and recognizes them by honoring them with the only Presidential Award for performance excellence.

For more information, go to http://www.nist.gov/baldrige.

As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.