EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J., Dec. 8 President Barack Obama and United States Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke named AtlantiCare one of only five winners of the 2009 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) December 7. AtlantiCare includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC), AtlantiCare Health Services, AtlantiCare Surgery Center, AtlantiCare Health Plans, AtlantiCare Behavioral Health (ABH) and the AtlantiCare Foundation. It is the largest healthcare provider and the largest non-casino employer in southeastern New Jersey. More than 5,000 AtlantiCare physicians, staff, trustees and volunteers provide services at more than 60 locations.
The award is traditionally presented by the President of the United States. Representatives of AtlantiCare will attend the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in 2010.
"This recognition has great meaning for our organization because it affirms our 22-year quest for excellence," said David P. Tilton, president and chief executive officer (CEO), AtlantiCare. "That quest has been driven by the extraordinary vision, commitment and hard work of our trustees, our staff, physicians, leadership team, volunteers and our community. We believe a commitment to quality and continuous improvement is imperative in the health care field. Part of our responsibility as a recipient of the Baldrige Award is to share our performance excellence strategies and practices with other organizations. We humbly look forward to serving as mentors and role models for those who wish to join us on our quality journey."
There were 70 applicants for the 2009 Baldrige Award, 42 of which were in the Health Care category. AtlantiCare was one of only two health care organizations to receive the recognition this year. Eight applicants in the Health Care category and 15 applicants in all six Baldrige categories received a site visit by Malcolm Baldrige National Quality examiners in 2009. The examiners held comprehensive interviews with nearly 1,000 AtlantiCare physicians, staff, trustees and volunteers during visits to many AtlantiCare locations.
"The comprehensive Baldrige Award process ensures recognition of only the most outstanding organizations and the people behind them," said Michael Neustadter, chairman, AtlantiCare Board of Trustees. "AtlantiCare has maintained a relentless pursuit of excellence."
Congress established the Baldrige National Quality Program in 1987 to recognize organizations for achievements in quality and business performance and to raise awareness about the importance of quality and performance as a competitive edge. Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th secretary of Commerce, it is the nation's highest presidential honor awarded to organizations for quality and organizational performance excellence. Each year, the Department of Commerce can recognize up to three organizations in each of the following categories: education, health care, manufacturing, service, nonprofit and small business. The Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) manages the Baldrige National Quality Program in conjunction with the private sector.
Baldrige criteria are acknowledged worldwide as the standard for performance excellence. Organizations striving for excellence measure their efforts in leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management and results. Baldrige winners demonstrate increased market share, greater customer satisfaction, improved employee relations and enhanced operating performance.
"AtlantiCare is proud to be among the respected organizations the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award has recognized, and we congratulate all of the 2009 recipients," said Joan Brennan, DNP, RN, vice president of Quality and Performance Excellence, AtlantiCare. "At AtlantiCare, we frequently ask, 'How can I personally contribute to AtlantiCare's vision of creating healthy communities?' We will continue our journey of excellence by asking and answering this question as we strive to exceed quality benchmarks in our more than 60 locations."
For more information about AtlantiCare being named a winner of the 2009 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award please visit http://www.atlanticare.org/about/baldridge.php, the NIST web site at www.nist.gov, or AtlantiCare's web site at www.atlanticare.org.
AtlantiCare is a regional healthcare organization based in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, whose more than 5,000 employees serve the healthcare needs of the community at more than 60 locations. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC), the AtlantiCare Foundation, AtlantiCare Health Plans, AtlantiCare Behavioral Health and AtlantiCare Health Services. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet(TM) designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet(TM) hospital in 2008.