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The Official Baldrige Blog

A Baldrige Award-Winning Health Care CEO Highlights Challenges and Resilience

A smiling, female health care worker tends to an elderly male patient in a hospital bed.
Credit: GBMC HealthCare, Inc.
Photo of John Chessare.
John B. Chessare, MD, MPH, GBMC HealthCare, Inc., 2020 Baldrige Award Recipient

GBMC HealthCare System (GBMC) received the Baldrige Award in 2020. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, the provider of inpatient and outpatient care encompasses the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, an acute care community hospital; GBMC Health Partners, which includes 43 primary and specialty care medical practices; Gilchrist, which provides advanced care, elder care, post-acute care, and in-home and facility hospice care; as well as three locations that provide inpatient hospice.

Among its nationally distinguished performance achievements, GBMC has earned a 5-star rating (the highest) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the quality of its inpatient care. The organization also has demonstrated industry-leading and benchmark performance, for example, with 100% of stroke patients receiving antithrombotic therapy at discharge, 100% of high-risk mothers receiving antenatal steroids, and 100% of patients receiving combination chemotherapy for breast cancer.

I recently asked GBMC President and CEO John Chessare a few questions in anticipation of his upcoming presentation on April 10 at the Baldrige Program’s 35th Quest for Excellence®Conference. Following are his responses.

Please briefly highlight what you’ll cover as you discuss future emerging challenges for GBMC and other organizations in your sector at the Quest conference.

I’ll discuss the challenge of trying to drive greater value in the United States when the health care “system” is not driving value.

In light of the Baldrige Award’s added focus on organizational resilience, would you share an example or two of practices that have had a significant impact in supporting your organization’s success for the long term?

  1.  Our daily Lean Management System walk 
  2.  Our strategic planning process that is linked to our leadership system

How would you recommend that senior leaders get started using the Baldrige Excellence Framework®/Criteria for Performance Excellence® to be prepared to address challenges and to promote resilience? 

They should [each] begin by completing their Organizational Profile, which will force them to reflect on their “why.” 

Would you please share a challenge or update since GBMC HealthCare earned the Baldrige Award in 2020?  

We were seriously challenged when a few weeks after the call that we had achieved the Baldrige Award, we were attacked by cyberterrorists, who brought down all of our computer and telephone systems. Our core competency of redesigning care was immediately put to a massive test that proved our resiliency.

Join us at the Quest for Excellence® 2024!

The Quest for Excellence Conference April 7-10, 2024 - Register Today!

The Quest for Excellence® Conference

Sunday, April 7–Wednesday, April 10, 2024  |  #BaldrigeQuest

The conference will feature new and exciting opportunities to learn role-model best practices from nationally recognized thought leaders, Baldrige Award recipients, and representatives from other high-performing organizations. Conference highlights include sessions focusing on organizational resilience and future emerging challenges and take-home solutions to help your organization achieve breakthrough performance in areas such as leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce; and operations.

Register Today! 

About the author

Christine Schaefer

Christine Schaefer is a longtime staff member of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP). Her work has focused on producing BPEP publications and communications. She also has been highly involved in the Baldrige Award process, Baldrige examiner training, and other offerings of the program.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was an Echols Scholar and a double major, receiving highest distinction for her thesis in the interdisciplinary Political & Social Thought Program. She also has a master's degree from Georgetown University, where her studies and thesis focused on social and public policy issues. 

When not working, she sits in traffic in one of the most congested regions of the country, receives consolation from her rescued beagles, writes poetry, practices hot yoga, and tries to cultivate a foundation for three kids to direct their own lifelong learning (and to PLEASE STOP YELLING at each other—after all, we'll never end wars if we can't even make peace at home!).

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