Saint Francis Ministries has earned a 2018 Kansas Quality Award for business excellence from Midwest Excellence Institute (MEI), the Missouri and Kansas state-level partner of the National Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The Baldrige Program was established by President Ronald Reagan and Congress in 1987 and honors those recognized as industry role models, setting a standard of best practices for employee engagement, efficiency and high customer satisfaction ratings.
In receiving the award, Saint Francis Ministries President and COO Tom Blythe said, “We come to work each day to make a positive change in the lives of those in need, to provide healing and hope to children and families. But the work to deliver this mission is extremely delicate, nuanced and complex. For us, the Baldrige Framework has helped us navigate the multifaceted and dynamic nature of child and social welfare services and provide better, more impactful results.
“It has also helped us learn that in order to be consistently effective at improving the lives of those we serve, we have to focus on improving our own systems, practices and behaviors, as well,” Blythe said.
Saint Francis won the award at The Baldrige Program’s Tier 2 level, based on its submission of a 50-page application written to the basic requirements of the Criteria for Performance Excellence and completion of a site visit with a team of trained examiners. Organizations are recognized at this level for committing to the continuous improvement journey.
Saint Francis has been actively participating in the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program for more than two years, as part of a long-term, strategic path aimed at continually improving and retooling the organization’s culture, processes, and service delivery.
Cost- and time-saving efficiencies resulting from the program thus far have included centralization of the organization’s transportation function and major upgrades to technology and videoconferencing infrastructure.
“Using the Baldrige Framework as our barometer, we are learning about ourselves and measuring ourselves against nationally recognized organizations,” Blythe said. “We had great exposure to the culture and quality methods of other organizations and have built a larger, nationwide network for partnership in social services as a result.”
Photo courtesy St. Francis Ministries: L-R: Sherry Marshall, Chief Executive Officer, Midwest Excellence Institute; Tom Blythe, President and COO, Saint Francis Ministries; Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.