White River Health System (WRHS) was one of fourteen organizations from across the state to be recognized with an Arkansas Governor’s Quality Award during the 26th Annual Awards Celebration Tuesday, October 6 in Little Rock. WRHS received a Challenge Award which is the starting point for any organization on the Governor’s Quality Award journey. Challenge Award recipients have completed the first of four award levels and are moving toward the fourth and highest level in the state—the Governor’s Quality Award for Performance Excellence.
The awards were presented by Governor Asa Hutchinson at a small luncheon where attendance was limited to comply with social distancing protocols. Stephanie Welch, Director of Quality at WRHS, received the award on behalf of WRHS.
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. 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 26 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.