Sister Mary Jean Ryan Of SSM Health Care In St. Louis Receives Baldrige Foundation’s 2014 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award

April 9, 2014

ST. LOUIS, April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Malcolm Baldrige Foundation announced today that Sister Mary Jean Ryan, Board Chair of SSM Health Care (SSMHC), in St. Louis, received the 2014 Harry H. Hertz Leadership Award. The award recognizes leaders who inspire their organizations to achieve performance excellence.

Dr. P. George Benson, Board Chair of the Baldrige Foundation, said the prestigious award personifies Sister Mary Jean’s core values and leadership capabilities. “During her 25 year tenure at SSMHC, Sister Mary Jean has demonstrated visionary leadership that has propelled the health care system to be one of the finest in the nation,” Benson said. “This honor is well deserved.”

The award was presented at a ceremony this morning at Baldrige’s 26(th) Quest for Excellence Conference in Baltimore, MD.

Under Sister Mary Jean’s leadership, SSMHC received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2002, the first health care facility to earn the award. Sister Mary Jean previously served as President and CEO of SSMHC. The private, not-for-profit health care system provides primary, secondary and tertiary health care services through its 18 acute care hospitals and two care centers.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award from the Baldrige Foundation,” Sister Mary Jean said. “The Baldrige program has been a tremendous asset to SSM. It has been a major contributor to helping us provide outstanding service to our patients and creating a nurturing environment for our employees.”

Specifically, Sister Mary Jean said that Baldrige asked SSMHC to define “exceptional” in terms of patient, employee and physician satisfaction as well as clinical outcomes and financial performance. “We then set goals around each, based on the highest performing organizations inside and outside of health care,” she said.

As the Baldrige Criteria was implemented, stunning performance improvements ensued from 1999 to 2002. A clinical collaborative program to improve patient outcomes grew from four to 85 teams; a physician automated information system increased from 3,200 to 7,288; for four consecutive years, SSMHC maintained an “AA” investment rating, a status held by less than one percent of U.S. hospitals; SSMHC’s share of the St. Louis market grew to 18 percent, while three major competitors lost market share.

Sister Mary Jean is internationally known as an inspirational speaker and a leader in the healthcare quality movement. Modern Healthcare magazine for the past eight years has named her one of the most powerful people in health care. She has received numerous awards, including the Missouri Governor’s Quality Leadership Award and the Missouri Hospital Association’s 2010 Distinguished Service Award.

The Harry H. Hertz Leadership Award is given annually to the person who best demonstrates leadership behaviors consistent with the Baldrige Criteria for Performance excellence. These include: visionary leadership, customer-focused excellence, organizational and personal learning, valuing workforce members and partners, agility, managing for innovation, management by fact, societal responsibility, focus on results and creating value and systems perspective.

The award is named for Harry H. Hertz, who is Director Emeritus of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program at National Institute of Standards and Technology. Hertz has been a visionary leader of the Baldrige program, which he served as program director from 1995 until last June.

To schedule an interview with Sister Mary Jean, please contact Dottie Kyranos at 781-605-9263, dot_kyranos@hotmail.com or Michael K. Frisby, 202-625-4328, Mike@frisbyassociates.com. For more information on the award, please see the Baldrige Foundation website: www.baldrigefoundation.org

Dottie Kyranos

SOURCE Baldrige Foundation

Source: PR Newswire

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