Three Receive National Quality Awards

President Bush and Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez have named three organizations as recipients of the 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

The recipients and their categories are:

  • MESA Products Inc., Tulsa, OK, in the small business category. MESA provides engineering, installation and materials for cathodic protection systems.
  • Premier Inc., San Diego, in the service category. Premier is a performance improvement consulting firm for the healthcare sector.
  • North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC), Tupelo, MS, in the healthcare category. NMMC is the flagship hospital in the North Mississippi Health Services system.

The awards are expected to be presented in a Washington, DC, ceremony in early 2007. The Baldrige program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the Commerce Department, with sponsorship and administrative support from ASQ.

Award recipients were chosen from 76 applicants this year: three in manufacturing, four in service, eight in small business, 45 in healthcare and 16 in education. There were also 10 applications for the new nonprofit category, which is still in pilot stage. Thirteen of this year’s applicants were selected for site visits.

The number of recipients is down from 2005, when six organizations won Baldrige awards. According to Harry Hertz, director of the Baldrige National Quality Program, the Baldrige process is not designed to yield any specific number of recipients.

“All recipients must reach the judges’ standard,” Hertz explains. “And the bar for that standard has been rising over time through evolution of the Baldrige criteria, through evolution of the scoring guidelines and through the rigor required by the judges and examiners.”

The Baldrige award is named after the 26th secretary of commerce, Malcolm Baldrige, and was created by Congress in 1987. Since then, 67 organizations have received awards.

For more information, go to http://baldrige.nist.gov.


ISO 9001 Amendment Stays on Track

A proposal to expand the scope of an amendment to ISO 9001 has been rejected.

ISO technical committee (TC) 176 on Quality Management/Quality Assurance, the body responsible for developing the ISO 9001 standard, met in Korea in November and voted on the proposed expansion. The U.S. delegation to ISO/TC 176, with support of the International Automotive Task Force, was among the groups that opposed it.

The amendment to ISO 9001:2000 currently under development is intended to improve and clarify the standard but will not add new requirements. The proposed expansion, presented by an ad hoc committee led by New Zealand, would have allowed new requirements to be added to the standard.

Because the proposal was not accepted, the amendment’s publication date of 2009 remains unchanged. Had the proposal passed, the estimated publication date would have been pushed to August 2012.

The first public draft will be available for review and comment in February and March through ASQ. ASQ is a liaison member of ISO/TC 176 and administers the U.S. delegation committee.

For more information, go to www.tc176.org.


AIAG to Apply Auto Quality Methods to Improve Healthcare

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) plans to investigate how to make healthcare more affordable for auto manufacturers, suppliers and consumers by applying automotive quality methodologies to healthcare processes.

This new approach was featured at the AIAG AudoMed conference in December, where a report by the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) called for collaboration among various stakeholders.

The approach is an expansion of a program AIAG and MSMS began in March 2006 to improve healthcare delivery in Michigan. Through that program, the organizations collaborate with businesses, health plans, state government representatives, hospital leaders, physicians and other healthcare providers.

An AIAG health focus group has identified medical errors, redundancies and waste in processes, and a lack of common business practices as contributors to increased healthcare costs.

For more information, go to www.aiag.org.


Joint Commission Names Award Recipients

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has presented four organizations and one individual with the 2006 Ernest Amory Codman Award. The award recognizes the use of outcomes measurement to improve healthcare quality and safety.

The award recipients in the four categories are:

  • Ambulatory care: Denver Health and Hospital Authority Community Health Services, Denver.
  • Behavioral healthcare: (two winners) Grandfather Home for Children, Banner Elk, NC, and Henry Ford Behavioral Health Services, Detroit.
  • Hospital: The Howard Phillips Center for Children and Families, Orlando, FL.
  • Individual: Brent James, executive director of the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research and vice president for medical research and continuing medical education at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City.

The 2006 awards were presented in November during the Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources’ National Conference on Quality and Patient Safety in Chicago.

According to the Joint Commission, the award is named after “the physician regarded in healthcare as the father of outcomes measurement.” For more information, go to www.jointcommission.org/newsroom/newsreleases/06_codman_awards.htm.


NQI Names Award Winners

The National Quality Institute of Canada has announced the 2006 Canada Awards for Excellence (CAE) winners.

Recipients of the CAE order of excellence, the highest award level, were Diversicare Canada Management Services and Homewood Health Centre. Gold quality trophies, representing the next level, went to Calian Technologies, the Department of National Defense-Formation Construction Engineering and the Region of Peel.

The Alberta Health and Wellness Client Services Branch, the Alberta Personnel Administration Office, the City of Kamloops, Mill & Knowlton Canada Ltd., the Ministry of Natural Resources-Ontario Parks Branch, Ricoh Canada Inc., Saskatchewan Trade & Exports Partnership and the Toronto Transit Commission-IT services department received silver awards.

Bronze quality awards went to Alberta’s Education-Learning Technologies Branch, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development’s Hilton Training Centre and the Industrial Accident Prevention Assn.

Healthy workplace awards went to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia and Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (gold) and Calian Technologies (silver). Toronto East General Hospital received the organizational quality and wellness award in the healthcare category, while Vincent Massey Public School received a gold trophy in education.

For more information, go to www.nqi.ca.


QUARTERLY QUALITY REPORT Covers Manufacturing Non-Durables

ASQ’s most recent Quarterly Quality Report says consumers’ perceptions of quality are shifting among food and beverage giants.

The Quarterly Quality Report examines one component of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)—the perceived quality of goods and services. The ACSI, which is produced by the University of Michigan and ASQ, reports on a different sector each quarter. For the third quarter of 2006, the ACSI focused on manufacturing non-durables: foods and beverages, pet foods, cigarettes, apparel, athletic shoes, and personal care and cleaning products.

Food manufacturer Sara Lee had the biggest gain in perceived quality—4.6%—putting it in the top ranks of its category for the first time. It trails H.J. Heinz, Hershey and General Mills, which are in a three-way tie for the top spot.

Sara Lee’s improvement has come from “a combination of major restructuring that included shedding of certain non-core food product lines and the introduction of lean manufacturing processes that have improved employee efficiency,” says Jack West, author of the report.

Beverages had the highest perceived quality in the third quarter, with an overall score of 91. Pepsi took a slight lead over Coca-Cola—a reverse of last year’s third-quarter results.

The standings of footwear rivals Reebok and Nike also reversed. Reebok, which was bought by Adidas in 2005, saw a 2.4% gain in perceived quality, while Nike’s perceived quality dropped by the same margin.

To view the Quarterly Quality Report or download a PDF, go to www.asq.org/quality-report/reports/20061114.html.

ASQ News

SOAR WEBSITE LAUNCHED The Summit Outcome Activity Response (SOAR) initiative has launched a website at www.asq.org/communities/
summit-outcome-activity-results/index.html. It includes updates on SOAR’s various task forces. SOAR is an ASQ initiative developed to respond to needs identified at the 2005 Member Value Leadership Summit.

PRESIDENT-ELECT RELEASES BOOK A new book co-authored by Michael Nichols, ASQ president-elect, is now available. Six Sigma for Financial Services: How Leading Companies Are Driving Results Using Lean, Six Sigma and Process Management is available at http://qualitypress.asq.org/perl/catalog.cgi?item=P1280.

AGREEMENT SIGNED WITH CHINESE QUALITY ASSN. Representatives from ASQ and the China Certification and Accreditation Assn. (CCAA) met recently in Beijing and signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). CCAA is a not-for-profit, nongovernmental association that promotes regulations and standards in China. ASQ President Ron Atkinson and CCAA Chair Madame Wang Fengqing signed the MOU, which states that the organizations will work together to advance quality in the two countries, mostly through the exchange of information and other resources.

ECUADOR CONFERENCE LOOKING FOR PAPERS, SUCCESS STORIES ASQ and Corporation 3D Quality are co-sponsoring the Quality International Congress, June 22-23, in Quito, Ecuador. The organizations have issued a call for success stories and a call for papers. Success story presentations will be 45 minutes and in Spanish. Accepted papers will be presented by their authors. The deadline is March 16. For more information, contact César Dìaz Guevara, ASQ country councilor for Ecuador, at cesardiaz@corporacion3d.com or go to www.asq.org/global/networking-events/events.html.

STATISTICS DIVISION ACCEPTING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS ASQ’s Statistics Division is accepting applications for the Ellis R. Ott scholarship, which supports students enrolled in master’s degree or doctorate programs in applied statistics or quality management. Application instructions and forms can be downloaded from www.asqstatdiv.org. Applications for the 2007-2008 academic year will be accepted between Jan. 1 and April 1. The 2006-2007 winners were Dana Fritzemeier Krueger of Arizona State University in the doctorate category and Mark Wolters of Simon Fraser University in the master’s degree category. Winners receive $5,000.

NEW SECTION, DIVISION APPROVED ASQ’s board of directors has approved two new member units. The Ambos Nogales Subsection, in Nogales, Mexico, is now Ambos Nogales Section 714. A subsection must exist for at least one year and grow in membership to become a section. The Lean Enterprise Forum, formerly an ASQ interest group, is now the Lean Enterprise Division. Interest groups must exist for at least two years and attract a significant number of members to apply for division status. For more information on sections and divisions, go to www.asq.org/sections/index.html and www.asq.org/forums-divisions/index.html.


New Leadership Takes Over Environmental Management TAG

W. Gary Wilson has taken over as chair of the U.S. technical advisory group (TAG) to ISO technical committee (TC) 207 on environmental management. Wilson is among three new officers who will serve three-year terms that began Jan. 1.

Administered by ASQ, the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 207 advises the International Organization for Standardization on the development of environmental management standards. The group represents the U.S. position on the standards.

Wilson is a principal professional for Kleinfelder Inc. in Littleton, MA, a firm that assists with environmental performance and regulatory compliance. His involvement with the TAG to ISO/TC 207 has included serving as chair of working group 4, which developed the guidance standard on environmental communication (ISO 14063).

Wilson has written articles on environmental management topics and co-authored a book on ISO 14001 for business executives, The ISO 14000 Answer Book. He succeeds Dorothy Bowers of New Jersey Future.

Other newly elected officials for the TAG to ISO/TC 207 are Susan L.K. Briggs of Textron Systems, who will be vice chair, and Bowers, who will now serve as secretary and treasurer.

If you are interested in joining this or any TAG, contact ASQ’s standards department at standards@asq.org or go to

Who’s Who in Q

Name: Rebecca Walzak.

Residence: Deerfield Beach, FL.

Education: MBA from the University of Maryland; quality manager certification from George Washington University.

First job related to quality: Home mortgage vice president for Residential Services Corp. of America/Prudential; responsibilities included risk management, regulatory compliance and quality control.

Current job: President and founder of Walzak Risk Analysis, a consulting firm that provides automated quality control reviews for mortgage loan files. A review finds defects in a file and assigns each defect a score of 0 to 100, indicating the impact it might have on performance. She also provides consulting to help analyze the results of the reviews, evaluate risks and improve processes to eliminate the issues.

ASQ activities: Member.

Other activities and achievements: Former executive editor of Quality Connection, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. of America (MBAA) committee newsletter; former chair of the MBAA quality assurance committee.

Published works: Several articles on risk management and quality control in the mortgage industry.

Personal: Married; two children and two grandchildren.

Favorite ways to relax: Boating and other water activities, reading, travel; has traveled to Europe, Asia, Australia, and throughout the United States and Canada.

Quality quote: What the financial services industry must realize is that quality in consumer lending is directly related to the quality of the underwriting process. When a quality loan is made, the consumer, the investor and the lender benefit. For the customers of this process to benefit from quality, the industry’s underwriting processes need to be evaluated using a standardized measurement and common reporting guidelines. Only then will investors and consumers be able to determine their lender of choice and lenders be able to meet their customers’ expectations.

Short Runs

THE 2007 NATIONAL PAY FOR PERFORMANCE SUMMIT, Feb. 14-16 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, has added a preconference session called “Improving Quality and Paying for Excellence.” Bridges to Excellence, a not-for-profit organization that promotes healthcare improvement, will sponsor the session. For more information, go to www.pfpsummit.com.

KAPLAN UNIVERSITY HAS INTRODUCED an online Six Sigma certification program. It is a self-study program that can be completed in six months for the Green Belt level and 12 months for the Black Belt level. Kaplan University offers online degree and certificate programs. For more information, go to

THE SOCIETY OF AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERS OF CHINA and the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) have agreed to promote dialogue and collaboration between North American and Chinese automotive industries in technology, management and standards development. Their goal is to support needs for standardized processes in quality, materials management, logistics and e-commerce. For more information, go to www.aiag.org.

WORLDWIDE CONVENTIONS AND BUSINESS FORUMS, an organization that hosts Six Sigma conferences, has announced several calls for papers for its upcoming events. January and February deadlines include calls for papers about Six Sigma in retail, design for Six Sigma and Six Sigma in software. For more information go to www.wcbf.com/quality/events.php.

A NEW INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP AGREEMENT from the International Organization for Standardization provides recommendations for emergency preparedness efforts and the common elements for a series of related international standards. For additional information on IWA 5:2006, go to http://web.ansi.org/news_publications/news_story.aspx?menuid=7&articleid=1371.

ISO/PAS 28003, the latest in the International Organization for Standardization’s series of documents for supply chain security management systems, provides the requirements for ensuring that the groups certifying these systems perform their work competently and reliably. For more information, go to www.iso.ch/iso/en/commcentre/pressreleases/2006/Ref1035.html (case sensitive).

THE AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS IN-STITUTE says it has improved its site license delivery mechanism for standards. It combines access to more than 270,000 standards, codes and regulatory documents with a vertical search tool to facilitate content integration into a company’s internal network. For more information, go to www.ansi.org/news_publications/news_story.aspx?menuid=7&articleid=1355.

THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATIONS of the United States and China have agreed to fund joint projects of U.S. and China based mathematicians and statisticians. Funding requests from existing divisions of mathematical sciences awards should be submitted by the U.S. partners of collaborative teams. For details, go to www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=dms.

WINNERS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED for the APICS Corporate Awards of Excellence, sponsored by the Assn. for Operations Management. Recipients are Supply Chain Consultants and Mother Parkers Tea and Coffee in the technology partnership category, Infosys Technologies Ltd. in the education category, and TIBCO in the innovation category. For more information, go to www.apics.org/default.htm.

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