Three Health Care Organizations Win Baldrige Awards

This is the first time three health care recipients were winners in the same year. The fourth 2011 winner, in the nonprofit category, is Concordia Publishing House, the St. Louis-based publishing arm of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson on Nov. 22 announced four organizations -- three health care operations and one nonprofit publishing company – have won 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards for performance excellence through innovation, improvement, and visionary leadership. This is the first time three health care organizations have been selected in a single year.

The largest health care organization among the three is Henry Ford Health System, which is based in Detroit and operates six hospitals, as well as outpatient behavioral health, nursing homes, hospices, dialysis centers, and optometry and home medical products. HFHS employs 24,322 people, 2,200 independent community physicians, and 3,334 volunteers. Its 2010 revenue was $4.08 billion, according to Commerce Department data.

The other two health care recipients are Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Ind., and Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska. Concordia Publishing House, the St. Louis-based publishing arm of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, also won in the nonprofit category.

"With innovative practices, an unwavering commitment to excellence, dynamic management, and proven results, the four organizations recognized today with the 2011 Baldrige Award will serve as role models -— not only for their peers in the health care, nonprofit, and business sectors, but for every American organization that strives for a higher standard of performance and never settles for second best," Bryson said.

There were 69 applicants for the awards this year, all of which were evaluated by an independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. The evaluation process included about 1,000 hours of review and an on-site visit by a team of examiners.

The winners will receive their awards at an April 2012 ceremony in Washington, D.C. These awards are named after Malcolm Baldrige, a secretary of Commerce, and were established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses. Congress expanded the program in 1999 to include education and health care organizations and again in 2007 to include nonprofit organizations. For more information, go to http://www.nist.gov/baldrige.

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