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Program offers community chance to prove our quality
The McCook Chamber of Commerce’s goal to make our town a great place to “live, work and play,” and that’s definitely a worthwhile goal. Without a way to measure progress, however, that goal is only a matter of opinion, and too often, the squeaky wheel gets the grease while other equally important parts of the wagon are neglected.
Community Hospital has been recognized for its accomplishments by participation in a program to provide just such guidance to achieve needed goals. The Baldrige Performance Excellence program has been applied to manufacturing, service, small business, healthcare, education and nonprofit organizations.
Two former healthcare CEOs who successfully won Baldwin awards for their organizations saw the advantages the framework could offer to communities and created COE2026 with the goal of adding “community” to the list of categories.
Because of its experience with the Baldrige program, Community Hospital decided to serve as the “backbone” organization for McCook’s effort. Members of the COE2026 core group include Tricia Wagner, Troy Bruntz, Karen Kliment Thompson, Brad Hays, all of Community Hospital; Andy Long of McCook Economic Development Corp., and Ben Dutton, University of Nebraska Extension Educator. The group has already met with a small group of community leaders and plans more.
The Baldrige Excellence Framework starts out with three parts: criteria for performance excellence, core values and concepts and scoring guidelines. Those are designed to help organizations assess their improvement efforts, diagnose their overall performance management system and identify strengths and opportunities for improvement.
“Performance excellence” is based on core values of: systems perspective, visionary leadership, customer-focused excellence, valuing people, organizational learning and agility, focus on success, managing for innovation, “management by fact,” societal responsibility, ethics and transparency, and delivering value and results. COE2026 appears to be a great opportunity for the McCook area to take a look at what we have, where we are and where we want to go.