COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The 2008 award recipients were announced at the 2009 MPEA Conference and Awards Ceremony by the University of Maryland and U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin.

    These awards honor role-model organizations that successfully implement systematic processes for continuous improvement and achieving outstanding results. Award recipients are evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, which measure an organization in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results.

Award recipients include:

MPEA Conference·       Maryland Quality Award—Gold: Headquartered in Harford County, Custom Direct is a market leader in direct-to-consumer personalized printed products, security and fraud protection, financial documents, fulfillment items, phone support and direct marketing services.  With a vision to become a world class organization with $250 million in revenue with less than 50 percent from checks, the organization has adopted the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and LEAN principles to create a culture of excellence for its 460+ associates, located in Maryland and Arkansas. Custom Direct was established in 1993 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Edgestone Capital Fund III. 

MPEA Conference·       Maryland Quality Award—Gold: Upper Chesapeake Health, a community-based, two-hospital, not-for-profit health system located in Harford County, has served more than three generations of patients with high quality health care since 1912.  It owns and operates Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and Harford Memorial Hospital, both which are accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). With its core values of excellence, compassion, integrity, respect, responsibility and trust, Upper Chesapeake operates in a Culture of Excellence model.  Nearly 3000 staff and 800 volunteers work as a team to serve the healthcare needs of the residents of this northeastern Maryland community.  

MPEA Conference·       Maryland Quality Award—Gold: The Veteran Affairs Capitol Health Care Network (VISN 5) serves over 200,000 enrolled veterans in Maryland, the District of Columbia and portions of Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Its mission is “to honor America’s veterans as heroes by providing the highest quality health care.” With a team of 7025 employees and 2500 volunteers, the network facilities include hospitals, community living centers, rehabilitation centers, research centers and community based outpatient clinics. The network utilizes the most widely distributed, integrated computerized medical record system in the United States.  With its values of trust, respect, excellence, compassion and commitment, the network monitors it progress through external peer review, clinical service champions, monthly clinical committee meetings, and quarterly medical center reviews. 

MPEA Conference·       Maryland Quality Award—Silver: Since its founding in 1958, the College of Southern Maryland has evolved into a comprehensive community college dedicated to serving the residents of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties.  It serves 21,000 students through a broad range of high-quality associate degree and certificate programs, as well as short-term training, workforce development, cultural enrichment and continuing education offerings.  The college serves to improve the quality of life for residents in the community by providing a wealth of educational services and uses a Quality Improvement Process for continuous improvement throughout its three campuses.

MPEA Conference·       Maryland Quality Award—Bronze: The Internal Revenue Service Office of Procurement of one of six divisions in IRS Agency-Wide Shared Services and is headquartered in Oxon Hill, with area offices located in New York, Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco.  It provides lifecycle acquisition management services to its customers including IRS organizations and employees and the Departments of the Treasury and Homeland Security.  With a workforce of nearly 500, the organization focuses its work on its core values of service, teamwork, ethics, quality of life, innovation and professionalism.  Using a performance improvement system that includes the GAO Framework Assessment, Baldrige framework self-assessments, and a Balanced Scorecard, this public agency’s vision is to be the best acquisition organization in the federal government—best people, best practices, and best performance.

·       MPEA Certificate of Recognition: A privately held company headquartered in Frederick, Integrated Communication Solutions provides IT services to the federal government with its core business areas of Information Security, Network Services and Managed Services.  Founded in 1989 with a vision to be a leading small business with a national presence, the company has four sites across the country and 109 employees serving its customers.  The organization follows the simple formula of listening to its customers, standing by its commitments and delivering effective solutions on time and on budget.  ICS’s continuous improvement program centers around its FADE approach, a four-step variation of the PDCA model.

Since 1983, Maryland’s U.S. Senators and the University of Maryland have joined together to help Maryland organizations achieve excellence and world-class results using the Maryland Performance Excellence Awards process to inspire, coach and recognize role model organizations for their successful implementation of systematic processes and achievement of outstanding results. The awards program provides an opportunity for organizations to improve their performance through self-assessment, writing an application, receiving an external analysis, participating in workshops and conferences, benchmarking with other high-performing organizations and sharing best practices.

Nearly 200 professionals gathered at the University of Maryland on March 23, 2009 to celebrate performance excellence with a day of sharing of best practices by national and state award recipients, networking with other professionals with an interest in organizational excellence and presentation of the 2008 Maryland Performance Excellence Awards.