FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR, WELLMONT EARNS STATE QUALITY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

KINGSPORT – For the third consecutive year, Wellmont Health System has been recognized as a Quality Achievement Award winner by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. Wellmont is the only healthcare provider in the state to have earned the advanced honor – previously known as the Tennessee Quality Award – for three straight years.

“To receive this award not just once but three times speaks to our health system’s unwavering commitment to continually demonstrate the high standards of excellence our patients deserve,” said Wayne Kirk, chairman of the Wellmont board of directors. “This award is an honor to all our employees, physicians, board members and volunteers who have made Wellmont Health System a national model of excellence for the provision of healthcare and wellness services.”

The Performance Excellence Award is a statewide program that annually recognizes organizations that exemplify the highest standards of excellence through their practices and achievements. The program uses the “Criteria for Performance Excellence” established by the Baldridge National Quality Program as an evaluation tool.

Quality Achievement is the third level of achievement in the four-tiered Performance Excellence program. Only the Quality Excellence Award represents a higher accomplishment. The 2003 Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence awards will be presented in Nashville in February.

“The real winners today are the patients who depend on our hospitals for medical care,” said Eddie George, Wellmont’s president and CEO. “The people of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia can take comfort in knowing that their community hospitals are growing stronger and better with each passing year.”

To qualify for the Quality Achievement Award, Wellmont participated in a rigorous examination process. During an intensive, two-day site visit this fall, examiners carefully evaluated the health system’s leadership structure, strategic planning processes, customer and market focus, information processes, staff focus, process management and organizational performance results.

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