Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank named four U.S. organizations as recipients of the 2012 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership. The winners in this, the 25th anniversary year of the award, represent four different sectors, one repeat recipient and a health network recognized for the same honor earned previously by its flagship hospital.
The 2012 Baldrige Award recipients – listed with their category – are:
1. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, TX (manufacturing)
2. MESA Products Inc., Tulsa, OK. (small business)
3. North Mississippi Health Services, Tupelo, MS. (health care)
4. City of Irving, Irving, TX (nonprofit)
MESA previously received a Baldrige Award in 2006, also in the small business category. Another 2006 award winner, North Mississippi Medical Center in the health care category, is the primary hospital of this year’s much larger recipient, North Mississippi Health Services.
“The four organizations recognized today with the 2012 Baldrige Award are leaders in the truest sense of the word and role models that others in the health care, nonprofit and business sectors worldwide will strive to emulate,” said Acting Secretary Blank. “They have set the bar high for innovative practices, dynamic management, financial performance, outstanding employee and customer satisfaction, and, most of all, for their unwavering commitment to excellence and proven results.”
This year marks the silver anniversary of both the award and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) that supports it. To date, more than 1,500 U.S. organizations have applied for the Baldrige Award, and there are Baldrige-based award programs in nearly all 50 states. Internationally, the program has served as a model for nearly 100 quality programs. A December 2011 study by Albert N. Link and John T. Scott measuring the Baldrige Program’s value to U.S. organizations conservatively estimated a benefit-to-cost ratio of 820 to 1, while a 2011 report by Thomson Reuters found that health care organizations that have won or been in the final review process for a Baldrige Award outperform other hospitals in all but one metric the company uses to determine its “100 Top Hospitals” in the nation (and were six times more likely to be among the top 100).
The 2012 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from a field of 39 applicants. All of the applicants were evaluated rigorously 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 for each of the recipients included about 1,000 hours of review and an on-site visit by a team of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in the applications.