UW News

May 17, 2007

UW Medical Center receives award for leadership excellence

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

The Washington State Quality Award (WSQA) was established by the state Legislature to help make Washington a better place to live, learn and work. It does so by encouraging businesses, schools, health care institutions, government agencies, and other organizations to adopt a strategic approach to performance excellence.

The award recognizes organizations at various stages on their path to performance excellence. The program encourages the use of performance assessments and benchmarking to identify successes and opportunities for improvement.

UW Medical Center was recently notified that it will receive a 2006 WSQA at the Leadership Level, the next to the highest of five levels. The Leadership Award is given to Washington-based organizations that have demonstrated significant progress toward excellence. Only four other Organizations in the state have achieved this award since the levels were initiated in 2000 and none at the highest level.

“This recognition,” said Preston Simmons, senior associate administrator of UWMC, “is an acknowledgement of the hard work on the part of everyone at UWMC in the pursuit of excellence.”

Governor Christine Gregoire will present the WSQA at a special ceremony during the Performance Excellence Symposium on May 9. The award is accompanied by a site visit report that gives feedback on strengths, opportunities for improvement and valuable guidance in planning and implementing further improvement.

The WSQA is modeled after the Baldrige National Quality Program, run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to enhance the competitiveness, quality and productivity of U.S. organizations. The Baldrige criteria for peak performance include leadership; strategic planning; customer- and market-driven approaches; knowledge management; analysis and measurements; a human resources focus; process management, and results.