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The Official Baldrige Blog

Adventist Health White Memorial: A Most Excellent Quest Continues

Adventist Health White Memorial employee working with a patient in Cardiac Rehab.
Credit: Adventist Health White Memorial
Photo of Baldrige Crystal and Medallion.
Crystal Manufactured by Pelucida Glass LLC

Inscribed on the Baldrige Award medallion are the words “The Quest for Excellence.” Besides being the name of the Baldrige national conference that highlights winning organizations, those words have real meaning.

Organizations that use the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria—whether for self-assessment or to apply for an award at state/local or national levels—are on true quests.

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines a quest as an "act of seeking," in this case excellence. ("Quest" is also "a chivalrous enterprise in medieval romance usually involving an adventurous journey," but that is a different blog.) Oxford Dictionary defines quest as "a search for something." I also found this definition in an academic resource: "an exciting search involving an adventurous journey."

I asked the 2019 and 2020 Baldrige Award recipients what caused them to embark on their own quests for excellence, and how such quests helped them in the year 2020.

Mara Bryant, Operations Executive, for Adventist Health White Memorial, 2019 Baldrige Award recipient, offered these thoughts about the hospital’s quest for excellence:

Why did your organization get engaged in the Baldrige Excellence Framework (i.e., Baldrige Criteria)? In other words, what was the hook?

We were a strong-performing hospital and wanted to take our performance to the next level. We believed in systematic frameworks and after reviewing different approaches believed Baldrige was the most comprehensive and systematic. It challenged us on many levels.

Why did you stay involved?

Every year--as part of our organizational performance annual review--we ask ourselves whether the Baldrige Framework is still effective for us. Are we still learning and growing? Is there something better out there? Every year, we vote to continue this journey.

How did the Baldrige Framework help during the pandemic in 2020?

The discipline, agility, and process flow aptitudes learned from the Baldrige Framework all made our pandemic response not be frantic. We haven’t wasted a lot of energy on non-value added work.

We basically split our hospital into two hospitals so that every workflow needed to be redocumented. Also, connecting the dots--that system thinking, integration way that we look at the business--was so useful.

What quest is your organization on?


Join us for our first-ever virtual conference! 

Quest for Excellence Conference April 12-15, 2021 - Register Today!

Quest for Excellence® Conference

Monday, April 12–Thursday, April 15, 2021

The three-day virtual showcase will feature the 2019 and 2020 Award recipients, former recipients, pre-conference workshops, senior leader plenary sessions with live Q&A, more than 70+ on-demand concurrent sessions, conference keynote, and more!

Register Today! 


About the author

Dawn Bailey

Dawn Bailey is a writer/editor for the Baldrige Program and involved in all aspects of communications, from leading the Baldrige Executive Fellows program to managing the direction of case studies...

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