U.S. Commerce Secretary Bruce Andrews presented 2014 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards to Hill Country Memorial in Fredericksburg, Texas, and St. David’s HealthCare in Austin, Texas, at a ceremony last week in Baltimore. Top photo from left are: Willie May, the Commerce Department’s undersecretary for standards and technology; Baldrige foundation chairman George Benson; Hill Country Memorial CEO Jayne Pope; Debbie Dooley, the hospital’s executive director of business intelligence; and Andrews. Bottom photo from left are May, Benson, St. David’s HealthCare CEO David Huffstutler; David Thomsen, St. David’s vice president for quality; and Andrews. The Baldrige award has gone to 99 organizations, since Congress established the program in 1987 to recognize quality and performance excellence throughout various industries. Health care institutions became eligible for the competition in 1999. To date, 19 hospitals have received the award. The AHA sponsors the Baldrige award’s 2015-2016 Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence. At the Baltimore ceremony, the AHA received an award acknowledging its sponsorship of the health care framework. In this podcast, Gene O’Dell, the AHA’s vice president for strategic planning and performance excellence, explains why the association believes Baldrige can help hospitals get better faster. Listen here.