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Advocacy Update: March 25, 2018

Thanks for all your help with our effort to restore the Baldrige Program in the Federal Budget. As we move through the FY 2019 federal budget process, we will be posting additional steps you can take to assist in continuing the successes we have achieved. Here is an update of where we are:


In mid-March, President Donald Trump signed the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill into law. The $1.3 trillion spending bill appropriates $2.2 million for the Baldrige Program at NIST. This marks a significant achievement in our advocacy efforts to restore the federal government’s support for the Baldrige Program. Since Fiscal Year 2012, when the program was eliminated from the federal budget, the private Baldrige Foundation has paid the salaries and expenses for employees and program operations from its own foundation assets. Since 2012, the Baldrige Foundation has provided more than $22 million in private funds for salaries and expenses of public employees at NIST.

Now, through our advocacy efforts over the past three years, we have restored the federal government’s commitment to our public-private partnership. Working with members of Congress on the Senate and House; Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Subcommittees, we have built relationships and support where none previously existed. Many in both chambers, and on both sides of the aisle, have shown their willingness to help. In particular, we must thank Senators Richard Shelby of Alabama, and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, for their support in the Senate. Together, they crafted a Senate Subcommittee recommendation for $2.2 million for the Baldrige program in FY18.

The Foundation has also worked with many other members of Congress to include Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. Senator Capito is the first member of Congress to attend a National Awards Ceremony in recent memory in support of Charleston Area Medical Center from West Virginia. Congressman Sam Graves of Missouri, worked with us and submitted convincing written testimony to the House CJS Subcommittee in support of Baldrige and the positive impact it has made in his district, state, and across the nation.

In addition to the new administration and Congress, the Foundation has reached-out and met with federal agency cabinet heads and their staffs to gain support for Baldrige and to partner with them to make Baldrige resources available within their own departments, and with those whom they serve throughout the nation. We have recently met with: Dr. Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Dr. David Shulkin, Veterans Administration; Elaine Chao, Transportation; Sonny Purdue, USDA; Linda McMahon, Small Business Administration; Betsy DeVos, Department of Education, and many others.

Throughout the federal government we are building relationships and strategic partnerships to expand our reach and support for the Baldrige Performance Excellence program. The Baldrige Program’s mission is precisely aligned with NIST and the Department of Commerce. Our small, yet powerful and productive program has proven that when businesses adopt the Baldrige framework, they experience improved financial results, customer satisfaction, workforce engagement, and product and service quality results.

Publicly traded, whole company, Baldrige award recipients have outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 6:1. Many Baldrige organizations have demonstrated a median 92% revenue growth and 63% median job growth compared to a 3.5% growth for matched industries and time frames.

Health care organizations achieve evidenced-based, higher patient satisfaction, improved patient outcomes, and lower mortality rates at lower costs than their peers. According to the American Health Care Association, the largest user of the Baldrige Framework in the nation, “Baldrige nursing home recipients have been shown to exceed in a broad array of quality measures including lower hospitalizations.” Educational institutions that use the Baldrige Framework demonstrate lower drop-out rates, higher graduation and college attendance rates, better standardized testing scores and student achievement results, and greater success in closing the student achievement gap between minorities and non-minorities.

Non-profits and government agencies demonstrate improved customer and constituent satisfaction and engagement, improved efficiency and lower costs, workforce satisfaction and engagement, and innovation. Military organizations in the U.S. Army’s Communities of Excellence Program have achieved higher states of readiness and stakeholder satisfaction, while improving infrastructure at lower costs, saving the taxpayers millions of dollars annually. The Program’s new “Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder,” is a self-assessment tool that leverages the leadership, strategy, process improvement, and results focus of the Baldrige Excellence Framework and NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework to help organizations assess the effectiveness of their risk-management efforts to protect themselves and their customers from cyberattacks. The Congressional Task Force on Cybersecurity recently recommended it be modified for health care and become the industry-wide self-assessment tool.

For America to sustain its competitiveness in the global marketplace, the reach of the Baldrige Program must be expanded. More organizations, corporations, government entities, and education systems need access to Baldrige resources, research, and tools that will help them address the challenges presented by an ever-changing global economy.

This appropriation, and continued support for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program at NIST, is clearly, the best investment the federal government can make in America’s future.