An architect firm, hospital, makeup manufacturer, dental insurance provider, two long-term care facilities and two service organizations had one thing in common earlier today. Each organization was awarded with an Arkansas Governor’s Quality Award during the 29th Annual Awards Celebration at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. Secretary of Commerce Hugh McDonald presented the awards.
The architect firm and hospital earned the highest level awarded this year—the Achievement Award. Cromwell Architects Engineers and White River Medical Center have both worked over the last few years to advance to the third of four award levels. Achievement Award recipients have shown a commitment to and practice quality principles demonstrating systematic processes and favorable performance results. These applicants prepare a 45-page application and participate in a one and one-half day site visit.
Delta Dental of Arkansas, Sherwood, and L’Oreal USA, North Little Rock received the second level—the Commitment Award. Applicants are required to respond to a condensed set of questions and receive a feedback report to better understand their process and results, strengths, and opportunities.
Four organizations received the first award level, the Challenge Award which included: ARORA of Little Rock, MEMS of Little Rock, Manila Healthcare Center of Manila and Gosnell and Rehabilitation of Gosnell. The Challenge Level is the starting point for any organization and requires organizations to define key characteristics such as mission, vision, values, customer groups, and strategic challenges and advantages.
The award process drives organizations toward quality principles. Organizations self-assess and carefully review the award-level requirements before deciding at which level to apply. Each level increases the requirements of the applicant to describe systematic processes and results. In addition to the award recognition, the greatest value for program participants is the in-depth evaluation and written feedback report citing strengths and areas for improvement. Only 27 Arkansas organizations have ever received the highest-level, the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence.
The goal of the program is to encourage Arkansas organizations to engage in continuous quality improvement, which leads to performance excellence. Created as a not-for-profit organization, the program is dedicated to assist in building a strong infrastructure for Arkansas businesses. The award process aligns with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality award and used the Baldrige Excellence Framework.
The Governor’s Quality Award program is coordinated by the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.