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Eight Arkansas organizations honored with Governor's Quality Awards

The Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence (AIPE) today honored eight Arkansas organizations with an Arkansas Governor's Quality Award during the 29th Annual Governor's Quality Award Celebration at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. The recipients, which include an architect firm, a hospital, a makeup manufacturer, a dental insurance provider, two long-term care facilities and two service organizations, were recognized for their accomplishments within the program. Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Hugh McDonald presented the awards at the event.

Cromwell Architects Engineers and White River Medical Center have both worked for several years to earn the Achievement Award, the third of four levels of achievement within Governor's Quality Award program. These award recipients demonstrated a commitment to practice quality principles and adhere to systematic processes that result in favorable performance results within their organizations. Additionally, these honorees each completed a 45-page application, received a feedback report to identify key strengths and opportunities and participated in a one-and-one-half-day site visit to qualify for this award.

Delta Dental of Arkansas, Sherwood, and L'Oreal USA, North Little Rock, received the Commitment Award, the second of four Governor's Quality Award program levels. To qualify for this award, the applicants were required to respond to a condensed set of questions about their organization's respective processes and each received a feedback report to better understand their organizations' results, strengths and opportunities.

Four organizations received the Challenge Award--the first award level within the program. Recipients of this award 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 organizations within the program. To qualify for the Challenge Award, these organizations defined key characteristics such as mission, vision, values, customer groups and strategic challenges and advantages.

The Governor's Quality Award program is coordinated by the AIPE, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. 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 uses the Baldrige Excellence Framework.

Before applying for the program, organizations must determine which level of the program to pursue by assessing their organizational processes and reviewing the award-level requirements. Each level of the program poses a higher standard of performance requirements for participants and provides participants with an in-depth evaluation of their organization and a written feedback report citing their organization's strengths and areas in need of improvement. Only 27 Arkansas organizations have ever received the highest achievement level within the program--the Governor's Award for Performance Excellence.