Saline Memorial recognized with quality award

Randy Fortner, SMH President and CEO (center) accepted the Governor’s Quality Award (GQA) for Saline Memorial Hospital (SMH) at the Annual Awards Celebration for the GQA Program on November 15, at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock. This is the fourth year in a row SMH has been recognized by the respected GQA program that promotes performance excellence. Presenting was Maria Haley (left), Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Kenny Lloyd (right) with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Camden-a 2006 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence.BENTON — Saline Memorial Hospital (SMH) in Benton, was recently recognized by the Governor’s Quality Award Program (GQA) for the fourth year in a row. SMH accepted the award at the 16th annual[more] Awards Celebration for the GQA Program on Monday evening, Nov. 15, at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock.

“We’re honored and excited to once again be recognized by the GQA program,” said Randy Fortner, SMH President and CEO. “Achieving such a respected award four years in a row doesn’t happen by accident. Our talented group of co-workers, physicians and Board members deserve the credit. It’s their commitment to constant improvement and performance excellence that drives our organization and I’m blessed to work with such an amazing team.”

The awards ceremony includes four award levels of Performance Excellence (in descending order of qualifications): the Governor’s Award, the Achievement Award, the Commitment Award and the Challenge Award.

SMH received the Achievement Award which is intended for organizations that have demonstrated systematic and notable processes through their commitment and practice of quality principles to achieve performance excellence.

Organizations who apply to the GQA program answer questions within the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria to produce an application. These criteria cover seven areas of doing business: 1) Leadership; 2) Strategic Planning; 3) Customer and Market Focus; 4) Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management; 5) Human Resource Focus; 6) Process Management; and 7) Results.

Volunteer professionals from organizations across the state are trained as examiners who assess the application, conduct site visits and produce a feedback report. The feedback report tells an organization their strengths and opportunities for improvement using the Criteria as a benchmark.

“This was our first year to apply for and receive the Achievement Level Award,” said Fortner. “This level requires a day site visit conducted by the GQA examiners. This was a valuable learning experience for our team.”

After the site visit, the GQA examiners make recommendations to the independent Panel of Judges who then decide which level to award the applicants. Not every applicant receives an award.

“SMH has taken great steps in the past year to maintain the highest quality of patient care and patient satisfaction,” said Fortner. “Receiving the Achievement Award is a great honor, but it is also a challenge. We must continue our commitment to serve Saline County residents with the highest quality of personalized care.”

For more information about services offered at Saline Memorial, visit or call (501) 776-6764.

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