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President and Commerce Secretary Announce  Recipients of Nation's Highest Quality Award

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2002

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Contact: Jan Kosko

Health Care Category Wins for First Time in History of Baldrige Awards

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President George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary Don Evans today announced three winners of the 2002 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's premier award for performance excellence and quality achievement. For the first time in the history of the Baldrige awards, a winner was named in the health care category.

The 2002 Baldrige Award recipients are: Motorola Inc. Commercial, Government and Industrial Solutions Sector, Schaumburg, Ill. (manufacturing category); Branch-Smith Printing Division, Fort Worth, Texas (small business category); and SSM Health Care, St. Louis, Mo. (health care category)."The three 2002 Baldrige Award winners are role models of world-class excellence, and they have achieved extraordinary results. The men and women of these organizations represent the highest ethical standards in public responsibility and corporate stewardship. I am particularly pleased to join the President today in announcing a first-time winner in health care," said Evans.

These three organizations are expected to receive the Baldrige Award in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., early next year.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is given to U.S. organizations that have exemplary achievements in seven areas: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource focus, process management, and results.

All applicants for the Baldrige Award undergo a rigorous examination process that involves a minimum of 300 hours of review by an independent board of examiners primarily from the private sector. Final-stage applicants receive about 1,000 hours of review and are visited by teams of examiners to clarify questions and verify information. Each applicant receives a report citing strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Named after the 26th secretary of Commerce, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. organizations. The award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the quality and performance achievements of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. It has five categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education and health care. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 49 organizations have received the Baldrige Award.

The Baldrige program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction with the private sector. As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST develops and promotes measurements, standards and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade and improve the quality of life.

Statement by President George W. Bush

Statement by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson

Additional Contact: Trevor Francis, DOC, 202-482-4883