Award Recipients Announced

Five organizations have been named recipients of the 2007 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

The recipients and their categories are:

  • Mercy Alliance Inc., Janesville, WI, in the healthcare category. Mercy Alliance operates healthcare facilities in Wisconsin.
  • Sharp HealthCare, San Diego, in the healthcare category. Sharp HealthCare operates hospitals, medical groups and a health plan in California.
  • U.S. Army Armament Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, in the nonprofit category. ARDEC is the Army’s principal researcher and developer of armament and munitions systems.
  • City of Coral Springs, FL, in the nonprofit category. Coral Springs, with a population of nearly 130,000, is located about 20 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale.
  • PRO-TEC Coating Co., Leipsic, OH, in the small business category. PRO-TEC Coating is a producer of coated sheet steel rolls for automobile production facilities in North America.

The awards were announced last month by President Bush and Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez. Awards will be presented in a Washington, DC, ceremony early next year.

The Baldrige program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, with sponsorship and administrative support from ASQ.

The award recipients were chosen from 84 applicants this year: two in the manufacturing category; four in service; seven in small business; 13 in nonprofit; 16 in education; and 42 in healthcare.

The number of recipients is up from 2006, when three organizations received the award.

The Baldrige award is named after the 26th secretary of commerce, Malcolm Baldrige, and was created by Congress in 1987. Since then, 70 organizations have received awards. For more information, visit http://baldrige.nist.gov.

Award Process Revised

Next year, Baldrige examiners will have greater discretion in choosing what organizations receive one of the most prestigious quality awards in the United States.

Limits to the number of award recipients allowed in each individual category have been lifted. Previously, each of the six categories had a cap of three award recipients—for a maximum total of 18 Baldrige award recipients each year.

The elimination of the cap gives judges freedom to acknowledge more than three qualified applicants in any one of the six categories—education, healthcare, manufacturing, nonprofit, service and small business. Still, the total number of awards across all six categories may not exceed 18 annually.

This adjustment to the award process was included in the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science (COMPETES) Act, signed by President Bush a few months ago.

Renaming the Baldrige award had also been strongly considered in recent months, but that initiative has been dropped.

For more than one year, NIST had been studying the Baldrige brand and conducting surveys on possibly changing the name to reflect the program’s sharpened focus toward overall organizational excellence.

The proposed new name was the Malcolm Baldrige Innovation, Quality, and Performance Excellence Award.

Including this name change in the America COMPETES Act had been an option, but it did not make it into the bill’s final version.

Who’s Who in Q

Name: Jeff Lytle

Residence: Akron, OH

Education: Bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Malone College in Canton, OH.

First job in/related to quality: In the mid-1990s, I worked for a small automotive component supplier. I provided extensive support for the quality control department and supported all departments in achieving QS 9000 certification as a requirement to continue supplying the automotive market. I completed Green Belt certification in fall 1999 with GenCorp Inc. (Omnova’s former parent company). This was my first introduction to many of the statistical analysis tools that can help drive quality.

Current job: Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at Omnova Solutions Inc.

Previous job: My first assignment at Omnova’s lean Six Sigma organization was serving as the primary Black Belt manager in a major change initiative at the company’s specialty chemicals facility.

Published works: I’ve had articles published by Smart Business Magazine in Cleveland, as well as the International Latex Council.

Recent honor: In June 2007, I became the first person to complete Lean Gold Certification through the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Assn. of Manufacturing Excellence and the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing.

Quality quote: The true measure of an organization’s quality is its ability to meet or exceed customer expectations in the total solution that is being provided through the partnership, including, but not limited to, products, services, technical capabilities and problem resolution.


Lean Six Sigma Conference Details Set

Plans are wrapping up for the eighth annual ASQ Lean Six Sigma Conference, set for Feb. 11-12 in Phoenix. Keynote speakers will be:

  • Leslie A. Behnke, vice president of Six Sigma business excellence, CIGNA Healthcare
  • Mike Adams, vice president of quality, Allegheny Energy Inc.

The conference will feature sessions on different Six Sigma related topics. Black Belt and Green Belt certification exams, and product and service displays by exhibitors are also in the works.

Visit www.asq.org/conferences/six-sigma for more information. Rates are discounted for those who register before Jan. 5.


CD-ROM Features Standards Articles

Nearly 500 articles on worldwide developments relating to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and other global business standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) are now available in English, Spanish and French on CD-ROM.

The second edition of the ISO Management Systems Magazine Database includes the complete collection of 494 articles that have appeared in the magazine’s 32 issues published between 2001 and 2006.

The CD-ROM is available from ISO national member institutes, including the American National Standards Institute at www.ansi.org.

Short Runs

Healthcare costs and access to adequate medical treatment continue to challenge local healthcare markets. That’s according to findings from site visits that the Center for Studying Health Systems Change (HSC) made at 12 metro areas in the United States this year. The study, Health Care Cost and Access Challenges Persist: Initial Findings from HSC’s 2007 Site Visits, is available to download at www.hschange.org/CONTENT/947/ (case sensitive)

The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) recently acquired an accreditation body that specializes in inspecting test and calibration laboratories. ANAB’s purchase of Assured Calibration and Laboratory Accreditation Select Services (ACLASS), based in Arlington, VA, allows ANAB to expand its offerings beyond quality and environmental management systems. ANAB, with its headquarters in Milwaukee, plans to keep ACLASS’s principals, staff and assessors.


Survey: Adults Skeptical of Student Learning

Young students aren’t learning the right skills they need to compete and succeed in life, according to a recent survey sponsored by ASQ.

Ninety-six percent of adults surveyed said they feel K-12 students in the United States need better skills in organization, communication, problem solving and reasoning, creativity, teamwork, and science and technology.

Of the adults surveyed who were skeptical about the students’ skills, 64% blamed parents for not being involved enough and U.S. school systems for not making it a priority to teach these skills, the Harris Interactive survey revealed. Another 47% pointed to the students’ lack of motivation to succeed, and 35% said state and local governments weren’t holding schools accountable.

“It’s evident that many Americans believe our schools must better prepare students to function and contribute in a highly competitive, 21st century world,” said Jay Marino, chair of ASQ’s K-12 Education Committee.

“While No Child Left Behind has been striving to improve test scores, the survey suggests that what adults really support are efforts to improve skills like problem solving and creativity, which are not tracked on these tests,” Marino said.

Harris Interactive surveyed 2,818 adults in the United States between Oct. 19 and Oct. 23.


Lesson Plan for L.A. Schools: Six Sigma

This month, the second largest school district in the country will complete the first of several Six Sigma projects related to improving the way its HR activities operate.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which employs nearly 80,000 people, deployed Six Sigma in March as a way to meet three of its HR-related strategic goals:

  1. Improve the recruitment, qualification and placement of teachers and administrators.
  2. Increase employee satisfaction by improving HR processes and services.
  3. Enhance staff effectiveness and leadership at all levels.

The LAUSD has contracted with the Juran Institute to provide training and support for this unique Six Sigma deployment. As part of the initiative, the institute has trained 15 LAUSD staff members as Green Belts.

Depending on the successes and wins within HR, it is possible that Six Sigma might be used to improve other operations of the school district, Juran Institute officials said.

The LAUSD is composed of eight local districts that educate more than 700,000 students. Operating under a $6.2 billion budget, the LAUSD is second only to New York City’s Department of Education in size. There are more than 1 million students in the NYC public school system.


Exam Dates Scheduled

Jan. 11 is the application deadline for various ASQ certification exams to be held around the globe March 1.

Exams are being planned by all ASQ sections and at another 100 international sites. The exams will cover certifications for quality technicians, reliability engineers, quality inspectors, hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) auditors, biomedical auditors, Six Sigma Black Belts (BB) and managers of quality/organizational excellence.

Meanwhile, Jan. 4 is the deadline to apply for the Jan. 31 certification exams for Six Sigma Green Belt (GB), Six Sigma BB and reliability engineer. These exams have been scheduled during the Reliability and Mantainability Symposium in Las Vegas. For more information on the conference, visit www.rams.org.

Certified Six Sigma GB and BB exams also will be offered Feb. 10 during ASQ’s Lean Six Sigma Conference in Phoenix. The deadline to apply for these exams is Jan. 4.

If your ASQ certification expires Dec. 31, submit the proper paperwork to your section’s recertification chair. If you are not an ASQ member, send it directly to ASQ headquarters for processing.

For more information about times, dates, locations, fees and preparing for the exams, visit www.asq.org/certification/.

ASQ News

LEAN SIX SIGMA IN GOVERNMENT Leaders of government service organizations will discuss the challenges of applying lean Six Sigma during the ASQ Government Division’s fifth leadership dialogue series. The event will be May 8 in Houston, the day after the ASQ World Conference for Quality and Improvement ends. For more information about the series, contact Dale Weeks at weeksd@dor.state.fl.us or 850-414-7855.

TECHNICAL PAPERS WANTED Organizers of next year’s annual Fall Technical Conference are looking for papers to be presented at the symposium. The deadline for submitting proposed papers is Feb. 22. The conference, to be held Oct. 9–10 in Phoenix and Mesa, AZ, is sponsored by ASQ’s Chemical and Process Industries Division and Statistics Division, and the American Statistical Assn.’s Physical and Engineering Section and Quality and Productivity Section. For more information, visit www.asq.org/cpi/.

NASA, ASQ HOST PROBABILISTIC TECHNOLOGY FORUM NASA and the U.S. Army’s use of probabilistic technology was one of the topics at the first Probabilistic Technology Community of Practice meeting this fall. Nearly 50 members of NASA, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force attended the various presentations and workshops, held at the Marshall Space Center in Huntsville, AL. For more information about the probabilistic technology group, visit www.asq.org/communities/probabilistic-technology/index.html.

NEW BLACK BELT TRAINING OFFERED ASQ has unveiled a new lean Six Sigma Black Belt training course geared toward professionals working in a healthcare environment. The five-month course will combine classroom instruction, virtual sessions led by instructors and web based training. Training begins Jan. 7 and runs through May 19. For more information or to register for the course, visit www.asq.org/courses/details/blended-lean-six-sigma-black-belt-healthcare.html.

IDEAS TO ACTION ACTIVITY More than 160 ASQ member leaders met recently to explore ways ASQ headquarters and member units can enhance the experiences and value members can gain from belonging to the society. Mike Nichols, ASQ president, and Paul Borawski, ASQ executive director and chief strategic officer, led the three days of activities in Milwaukee. For more information about the gathering, visit http://asqgroups.asq.org/itag/.

MEMBERS RECOGNIZED Two ASQ members recently received awards for leadership in promoting quality and organizing activities around quality improvement efforts: David Levy received the R. Shaw Goldthwait Award from the North East Quality Council; and H. James Harrington received the Simon Collier Award from the Los Angeles Section.

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