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The University of Alabama

2009 Alabama Quality Award Winners Announced; Presentations Dec. 3 at UA

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Alabama Productivity Center at The University of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network today announced nine organizations as recipients of the 2009 Alabama Quality Award, the state’s highest honor for quality and performance excellence.

In addition, five organizations are recipients of the Team Showcase, the state’s honor for teams that demonstrate quality, performance excellence and efforts to educate other organizations throughout the state on the potential benefits of empowered teams.

2009 Alabama Quality Award

The highest level of recognition, Level 3- Alabama Excellence Award, was awarded to Mayer Electric Supply Co. Inc., Birmingham, for the service sector; Talladega Healthcare Center, Talladega, and UAB University Hospital, Birmingham for the health care sector.

The Level 2 Award- Progress Toward Excellence was awarded to Brookshire Healthcare, Huntsville; Marshall Medical Center, Guntersville; and The University of Alabama Student Health Center, Tuscaloosa for the health care sector; and Hancock Holding Company, Gulfport, Miss., for the service sector.

The Level 1- Commitment to Excellence was awarded to Lynwood Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Mobile, and Windsor House Nursing Home, Huntsville, for the health care sector.

In addition to the three levels of recognition, the Alabama Productivity Center administers the Award of Excellence for Continuous Productivity and Quality Improvement for previous winners of the Alabama Quality Award. This year’s recipient is DCH Health System, Tuscaloosa.

2009 Team Showcase

This year Huntsville Hospital’s Anticoagulant Safety Team won a Gold Level award for its efforts in the health care category. The Silver Level award went to The University of Alabama Student Health Center, Cycle Time Kaizen Team; Huntsville Hospital, Medication Reconciliation Team; Shelton State Community College, Strategic Planning Team; and Huntsville Hospital, Rapid Molecular Techniques Team. Bronze Level winners were Infirmary Health System, IHS Hand Hygiene Quality Initiative and Shelton State Community College, System Improvement Team V.

The awards will be presented at the Alabama Quality Award Conference and Ceremony Dec. 3 at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa. In addition to the presentation of awards, winners of the Alabama Quality Award will share their best practices, and Team Showcase winners will present their innovative and creative approaches to the continuous quality improvement process.

The AQA is modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The AQA recognizes and honors organizations that use effective productivity and quality improvement strategies, techniques or practices which can be shared with other organizations to help contribute to the overall economic well-being in the state of Alabama.

The award is based on performance criteria that include: excellence in leadership, strategic planning, attention to customers and other stakeholders, market focus, process management, and analysis of organizational performance. Companies use the criteria as a self assessment tool to determine at which level of the AQA they should apply.

“For most organizations, the most valuable aspect of going through the award process is the feedback that an organization receives, both external and internal,” said Dr. David Miller, director of the Alabama Productivity Center. “Externally, the award process provides an audit of whether the organization is doing the right things the right way. Internally, the process forces an organization to do a self assessment by going through the steps of preparing an application.

“The conference itself is an effective benchmarking and learning opportunity,” Miller said. “Organizations share their best practices, teams showcase their approaches to problem solving, and national award winners describe their quality-based strategies and tactics.”

The Alabama Quality Award is administered by the Alabama Productivity Center, an Alabama Technology Network center and a nonprofit organization established in 1986 by The University of Alabama and Alabama Power Company. The Center’s purpose is to find ways to use University research and educational resources to stimulate economic development within the state.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Linda Vincent, Alabama Productivity Center, 205/348-8994,; Bill Gerdes, UA media relations, 205/3348-8318