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Six Health Care, Nonprofit and Education Organizations Win Baldrige Awards for Performance Excellence

Mary Greeley Medical Center employees bringing patient into emergency care.
Credit: Mary Greeley Medical Center

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce announced today that six organizations will be presented with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Baldrige is the nation’s only presidential award for performance excellence, recognizing U.S. organizations and businesses that have shown an unceasing drive for innovative solutions to complex challenges, visionary leadership and operational excellence.

“With an emphasis on efficiency and best practices, the Baldrige public-private partnership generates $1 billion per year in economic impact for the U.S. economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The Baldrige Award embodies the competitive spirit and commitment to excellence that fuels our economic resurgence and drives our country forward.”

The 2019 honorees are as follows: 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) manages the Baldrige Award in cooperation with the private sector. An independent panel of judges reviewed the evaluations performed by the Baldrige Board of Examiners and recommended this year’s award recipients from a field of 26 applicants.

The 2019 Baldrige Awards will be presented at a ceremony on March 24, 2020, during the Baldrige Program’s 32nd annual Quest for Excellence® conference, which will be held in National Harbor, Maryland.

The expert Baldrige judges evaluate organizations in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Excellence Framework: leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce; operations; and results. An organization may compete for the award in one of six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education or nonprofit (including government agencies). The review process results in detailed constructive feedback on how to improve performance that is provided in written reports to the applicant, regardless of whether they win the award or not. Past applicants have noted that they benefited from bringing a rigorous, objective, external viewpoint to their organization’s internal improvement process.

Since 1987, the Baldrige Award has been the highest recognition for performance excellence in the nation. There are approximately 30 independent Baldrige-based state, regional and sector award programs covering all 50 states. Internationally, there are more than 80 programs based in whole, or in part, on the Baldrige Program. In addition, many organizations use the Baldrige framework as a leadership and management guide to drive improvement and innovation strategies. The Baldrige framework is reviewed and updated regularly to reflect best practices in organizational leadership and performance across key organizational categories that drive the U.S. economy and enhance our quality of life.

Over the years, millions of copies of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, the program’s core framework, have been distributed or downloaded. The widespread adoption of Baldrige practices, both nationally and globally, has dramatically improved operations and results for all types of organizations.

Below is a sample of the achievements of the 2019 Baldrige Award winners.

Adventist Health White Memorial (AHWM)
Over nearly two decades, AHWM has worked closely with its partners in the Hispanic-majority community to train more than 224 local residents in nursing. Of these, 100% received registered nurse licensing, 70% pursued advanced degrees and 90% stayed at AHWM after three years. The result is a nursing staff that reflects the demographics of AHWM’s community, providing culturally competent care in the primary language of its patients.

Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE)
As the result of managing the costs, efficiency and effectiveness of its operations, including two on-site operating rooms and research laboratories, CORE achieved cost savings of over $300,000 in 2014, over $600,000 in 2018 and over $2.6 million to date.

City of Germantown
Germantown earned a net promoter score of 71 in customer engagement in 2018 and has consistently exceeded the industry benchmark of 50, which is considered excellent; over 70 is considered world-class.

Howard Community College (HCC)
HCC’s growth rate for the attainment of associate degrees and certificates has consistently outperformed its local and national comparators by more than 200%. Compared against the baseline year of fall 2002, HCC’s full-time-equivalent student growth rate increased from under 40% in 2003 to 340% in 2018, whereas state, national and best peer rates are close to just 100%. 

Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF)
With a funding level of 90%, IMRF provides retirement, disability and death benefits to more than 429,000 members, in support of 3,010 units of government in Illinois. IMRF provides these benefits — and industry-leading customer service levels — while keeping costs stable for taxpayers. IMRF is the first public pension fund in the nation to receive a Baldrige Award.

Mary Greeley Medical Center (MGMC)
To serve patients, the entire workforce rallies around the tag line “Doing What’s Right.” For example, MGMC provides patient-centered scheduling, the result of an employee suggestion: Patients are scheduled for needed procedures on an aligned, coordinated schedule, in which all necessary procedures and tests are done in sequence. This improvement has eliminated a significant amount of delay in patient care and was recognized with an award for patient-centered innovation by the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative.

Best-Practice Awards

The Baldrige judges also may recognize best practices in one or more of the Baldrige Criteria categories by organizations that are candidates for the award but are not selected as winners. This year, the judges have chosen one organization for this honor (listed with the category for which it is acknowledged):

GBMC HealthCare System in Towson, Maryland, is recognized for its role-model practices in leadership.

The Baldrige Program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economies; provides organizational assessments, training, tools and criteria; educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations and government and nonprofit organizations; shares the best practices of national role models; and recognizes those role models with the Baldrige Award. The Baldrige Program is a public-private partnership managed by NIST and funded in part through user fees and support from the Baldrige Foundation

The Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 and is not given for specific products or services. Since the first group was recognized in 1988, 129 awards have been presented to 121 organizations (including eight repeat winners).

The 2020 Baldrige Award Application is now available.

Released November 14, 2019, Updated December 3, 2019