Northwest Health 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. Northwest Health was one of only two organizations to receive the Achievement Award level, which was the highest level presented this year. Achievement Award recipients have earned the third of four award levels on their quality journey to the highest award level—the Governor’s Quality Award for Performance Excellence.
At the Achievement Level, applicants must write a 50-page application responding to more than 200 questions and demonstrate mature processes, a commitment to continuous improvement and favorable performance. Applicants are also required to demonstrate their efforts during a site visit. Southridge Village Nursing and Rehab of Heber Springs also received the Achievement Award.
The awards were presented by Governor Asa Hutchinson at a small luncheon where attendance was limited to comply with social distancing protocols. Whitney Kindell, Director of Quality, Northwest Medical Center – Bentonville and Willow Creek Women’s Hospital, received the award on behalf of Northwest Health.
Three organizations received the second award level, the Commitment Award, which were Arkansas Department of Transportation, Little Rock; Arkansas State Veterans Home, North Little Rock; Lennox Commercial Industries, Stuttgart; UAMS Health; Little Rock.
Eight organizations received the first award level, the Challenge Award which included Avenir Memory Care, Fayetteville; Avenir Memory Care, Little Rock; Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Little Rock; Koontz Electric Company, Inc., Morrilton; Medical Center of South Arkansas, El Dorado; Quadrivium, Springdale; Spring Creek Health and Rehab, Cabot; and White River Medical Center, Batesville.
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 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.