In a momentous achievement, Delta Dental of Arkansas has been recognized with a 2023 Governor’s Quality Award, cementing its status as one of Arkansas’s leading organizations committed to excellence. This coveted accolade was presented at the 29th Annual Awards Celebration, held at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock on September 21, 2023, and was bestowed by Arkansas Secretary of Commerce, Hugh McDonald.
Delta Dental of Arkansas received the Commitment Award, a significant milestone within the four-tier award process. This success follows last year’s attainment of the Challenge Award, marking steady progress in the pursuit of quality and excellence.
Kristin Merlo, President, and CEO of Delta Dental of Arkansas, expressed immense pride in the achievement and gratitude for the dedicated efforts of the company’s employees. She stated, “We are incredibly proud and honored to have our employees recognized with the Governor’s Quality Award. This achievement reflects the dedication, innovation, and unwavering commitment to excellence that our team embodies every day. Their hard work and passion for our mission to improve the oral health of all Arkansans drive our company’s success. This award is a testament to their efforts to make our company better each day.”
The 2023 Governor’s Quality Awards also celebrated other exceptional Arkansas organizations. Among the recipients were Cromwell Architects Engineers of Little Rock and White River Medical Center of Batesville, both receiving the Achievement Award, which stands at the third level. L’Oréal USA of North Little Rock received the Commitment Award at the second level. Additionally, the Challenge Award at the first level was bestowed upon ARORA of Little Rock, MEMS of Little Rock, Manila Healthcare Center of Manila, and Gosnell Rehabilitation of Gosnell.
The Governor’s Quality Award process is instrumental in steering organizations toward the principles of quality. Participating organizations engage in a thorough self-assessment and scrutinize the award-level requirements before determining the appropriate level of application. Each level progressively elevates the expectations placed on applicants, necessitating comprehensive descriptions of systematic processes and results. Beyond the accolade itself, program participants find immense value in the extensive evaluation and written feedback report, which identifies strengths and areas for improvement. It is noteworthy that only 27 Arkansas organizations have achieved the program’s highest level, the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence.
The Governor’s Quality Award program’s overarching objective is to encourage continuous quality improvement among Arkansas organizations, ultimately driving performance excellence. Established as a not-for-profit organization, the program is steadfastly committed to fostering a robust infrastructure for businesses in Arkansas. The award process aligns seamlessly with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and draws upon the Baldrige Excellence Framework.
The Governor’s Quality Award program is diligently administered by the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence, a nonprofit entity affiliated with the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, working tirelessly to advance the culture of excellence in the state.