Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital: 2017 Baldrige Ceremony Acceptance Speech

Photo of representatives from 2016 Baldrige winner Memorial Hermann with DOC and Baldrige representatives

2016 Baldrige Award Winner: Memorial Hermann. From left-to-right: Acting U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Acting NIST Director Kent Rochford, chairman of Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award George Benson, Memorial Hermann Vice President of Operations Malisha Patel, Memorial Hermann Senior Vice President and CEO Greg Haralson and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross


Credit: Mark Hamilton, Hamilton Photography

Greg Haralson
Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital


As Prepared for Delivery, April 2, 2017

Thank you, Secretary Ross, and my deepest thanks to the Baldrige community including NIST, and Quality Texas. Together, along with the amazing Examiners who spent countless hours getting to know our Sugar Land family – thank you. You have all made us a better hospital, better leaders, and better people along the way. And a special thank you to the Governing Board and the System Senior Leadership of our Memorial Hermann Health System, Dr. Ben Chu, Erin Asprec, and of course, Chuck Stokes, who entrusted me with the responsibility of leading this hospital as a first-time CEO almost five years ago.  Your unwavering support along this journey has been essential and much appreciated. 

In addition, I congratulate this year’s deserving recipients: Don Chalmers Ford, Momentum, and Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation Center - Mountain Valley. I am honored to share the stage tonight with these high performing organizations.
I accept the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award on behalf of the family of caregivers at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital, most of whom are home tonight serving our community and delivering a “Family Caring for Family” experience for every patient. These include:

  • Our Physicians partners who make up the most collaborative, no-nonsense, high performing medical staff with whom I have ever worked. 
  • Our Employees who have remained committed to excellence through the challenges of rapid growth and expansion; and
  • Our Volunteers who receive payment only in the smiles they receive from our patients or the intrinsic rewards that they find in helping those in their most anxious and vulnerable times in life.  

The legacy of this family was established over 20 years ago by former CEO Rod Brace and cultivated by my predecessor, Jim Brown. I knew it was special from my first day when I was greeted by the genuine warmth of so many and noticed that warmth and genuineness was not unique to me or my position. For years, we have said that the foundational elements of this special family committed to excellence would take us to new heights and push us to achieve our vision of becoming the preeminent community hospital in the nation. Although we have not arrived yet at the achievement of our vision, I am proud to stand with this family tonight knowing that we are so much closer based on the validation of being a recipient of this prestigious award.

364 days ago, I was sitting in this audience, observing everything I could and listening to the four amazing organizations who were such deserving recipients of the 2015 Baldrige Award. I spent the next several days soaking up everything I could from some of the brightest minds across multiple industries. My team and I left the conference inspired to take action.

As I now look out at the many faces of performance excellence, I feel an enormous sense of obligation to sustain the gains we’ve achieved through a relentless focus on high reliability and an overt preoccupation with failure.  We recognize that tonight represents a crowning achievement for our hospital. And although we have worked extremely hard to achieve this recognition, we know we have not yet arrived at our destination. Now more than ever, we recognize the responsibility we have as a Baldrige Award recipient. The responsibility to promote and to expect excellence in all that we do. 

As I mentioned, at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, it starts with our culture, our core competencies and of course our Values Driven Leadership System that challenges us every moment to be the standard of transparency and integrity every member of our organization deserves. It progresses with a focus on our workforce that recognizes that even though the times have changed, and generations long for more than work, we continue to redefine ourselves to not only satisfy an employee’s need for compensation, but to look beyond that, to purpose, the calling of healthcare.  And it will continue with a practical adoptable approach to innovation that seeks to differentiate us via a culture that deliberately focuses on organizational, community and societal zones of impact, and in so doing we will change the world for the better; one person, one patient at a time.

We have a saying at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, Why Not Us.  Over time this has become a standard we rally behind to reach towards our goals, our vision of preeminence, and our own personal growth. This statement has matured into Why Not Me …why not me to lead MHSL in a manner that transforms healthcare for the better. 

In closing I cannot leave this stage without honoring a few people who really made a significant contribution in us being here today. The entire Sugar Land Leadership Team, specifically our VP - Operation, Malisha Patel, who picked up the Baldrige assignment more than six years ago and kept us focused every step of this journey. Our Strategy Council Champions, Directors, and Managers, who, for years, have developed and deployed countless approaches and improvements. To Efrain Solis, Senior Project Manager for Performance Excellence, who has challenged us in our day to day performance to stay the course. Thank you to Joel and Josh Ettinger, who saw something special in us and pushed us to achieve reliable excellence in everything we do.  And lastly my entire family, in particular, my wife Alison and our two children Grant & Anna. You constantly inspire me. 

On behalf of Memorial Hermann and the team at Sugar Land and the community we serve, I thank you, and next year…Why Not You to be standing here!

Created April 3, 2017, Updated March 15, 2018