Conway Regional presented governor's award for quality

Gov. Mike Beebe presented the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence to Conway Regional Health System last week during the 20th annual Awards Celebration for the Governor’s Quality Award.

In all, 28 organizations from throughout the state were presented quality awards during the celebration at the Marriott Hotel in Downtown Little Rock on Sept. 15. In addition to the presentation made in Little Rock, Beebe was on hand Thursday at a special ceremony held in Conway.

Conway Regional was the only healthcare organization achieving the Governor’s Award, which is the highest award bestowed by the quality awards program. Conway Regional is also the first organization from its five-county market area (Faulkner, Perry, Van Buren, Cleburne and Conway counties) to achieve this prestigious award. Conway Regional was awarded the Achievement Award, the second highest level, last year in its first year to apply.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to the physicians, employees and volunteers who are the heart and soul of our health system. This tremendous achievement would not be possible without their dedication to quality,” said Jim Lambert, Conway Regional’s president and CEO. “We strive every day to make Conway Regional a quality organization – that is the very heart of our mission – we live it and breathe it. We continually strive to improve how we provide our patients with the best healthcare possible, delivered with sincere compassion and sensitivity.”

Gov. Beebe congratulates Conway Regional on receiving the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence at a ceremony in Conway.

More than 400 business and civic leaders from throughout Arkansas also attended the celebration in Little Rock.

Nearly 150 were in attendance at the ceremony, held in the hospital auditorium, to hear the governor offer his congratulations to Conway Regional on receiving the prestigious quality award. In addition to employees, former and current hospital board members as well as local elected officials were in attendance.

Lambert explained that the hospital had initiated the award application process two or three years ago. He recognized the hospital’s application team for the “hours and hours” they spent on the project. “The journey has been the most important part of the process for this award,” he said, adding that the recognition reflects the organization’s focus on providing quality throughout. “It is a reflection of the hard work that goes on every day.”

Gov. Mike Beebe (from left), Conway Regional Health System President/CEO Jim Lambert and Dr. Mark Enderle, medical center director of Veterans Healthcare Center of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, at last week’s awards presentation in Little Rock.

Beebe said that the quality award is not given every year and is only presented when a business or organization meets rigorous requirements. “To achieve this is pretty monumental.” The governor also echoed Lambert’s comments, adding “It’s the process that is really important.”

The goal of the Governor’s Quality Award Program is to encourage Arkansas organizations to engage in continuous quality improvement, which leads to performance excellence, and to provide significant recognition to those organizations. Created as a not-for-profit organization, the program is dedicated to assist in building a strong infrastructure for Arkansas businesses. That dedication is reflected in the program’s vision to be a catalyst for excellence in organizational performance. The Governor’s Quality Award program partners with the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.

Conway Regional Health System provides complete, compassionate health care services to the growing communities of north Central Arkansas. The 154-bed, not-for-profit medical center serves patients with comprehensive care including the state’s top rated cardiovascular surgery program, as well as cancer diagnosis and treatment, women’s services, and rehabilitation therapy services. Additional components of the Conway Regional Health System include an all-digital outpatient imaging center, an outpatient surgery center, a free-standing rehabilitation hospital, several primary care clinics and one of the largest hospital-owned fitness centers in the nation. Close to 1,800 babies were born last year at Conway Regional and the emergency department is one of the busiest in Arkansas averaging close to 40,000 visits annually.