Oklahoma City — Four organizations received 2007 Oklahoma Quality Awards during a luncheon ceremony Dec. 5 at the Governor's mansion in Oklahoma City. Moore Norman Technology Center of Norman received the Oklahoma Quality Award for Achievement while Leader Communications, Inc., Oklahoma City, Unity Health Center, Shawnee, and the Valley View Regional Hospital, Ada, received the Oklahoma Quality Award for Commitment.

Oklahoma Quality Awards are given to organizations that demonstrate high standards of excellence worthy of recognition in Oklahoma.

"This is a terrific group of companies and organizations," Gov. Brad Henry said. "They represent the best of Oklahoma and we are proud to recognize them.”

Businesses and organizations must be flexible and innovative if they are to thrive in the highly competitive marketplace of the 21st century. These organizations embody that approach.”

The Moore Norman Technology Center (MNTC), Norman, provides career and technology education to secondary and adult students as well as providing short-term and industry-specific programs and services to promote personal and economic development. The centers' programs serve as an extension of the curriculum for Moore and Norman public schools, and it connects MNTC students with community business and higher education associate degree programs. Identifying students and business clients as “customers” was a strategic decision. Referring to students as customers keeps focus on current and future needs and wants of students, and that focus drives the evaluation and improvement of its current products and drives the identification, deployment and improvement of its new products.

Valley View Regional Hospital, Ada, serves parts of a nine county region in southeastern Oklahoma. The hospital uses various management techniques, including a dashboard of performance measures, to monitor its goals related to its strategic plan and its five pillars of service excellence, people, service, quality, finance and growth.. In addition, the hospital's planning processes includes several forms of data analysis, information obtained through customer focus groups, and input from a variety of stakeholders. This approach, as well as the involvement of key stakeholders, is aligned to the organization's mission, vision and values to ensure all needs are met.

Unity Health Center, Shawnee, has demonstrated visionary leadership through the development and deployment of its Core Purpose of “Positively Impacting Human Life through Exceptional Healthcare” and its six Core Values: Compassionate Care, Clinical Excellence, People First, Resource Stewardship, and Community Outreach. In response to its focus on patients, stakeholders, and physician satisfaction, Unity uses its Service Excellence program as a tool for engaging the entire workforce in providing and sustaining quality patient service. The organization's focus on favorable patient outcomes, clear and visible values, and high performance expectations indicate its commitment toward accomplishing this Core Purpose and journeying toward performance excellence.

Leader Communications, Inc. (LCI), Oklahoma City, is an Information Technology, and Management Services company providing a wide range of services to the United States Government. These services include: System Engineering, Software Engineering, Database Development, Computer Systems Installation Information, and Computer System Security to name a few. Their Statement of Values and Code of Ethics provide the company's direction in their business journey. The delivery of high quality services and products to the Federal Government clients is absolutely essential to their continued success. Continued delivery of the “Best Product” at the “Best Price” discriminates LCI from its competition.

“The most frequently asked question about the award process is, 'Why should we participate?'” said Rocky Flick, chairman of the board of the Foundation and president of Blitz USA, a Miami, Okla.-based firm and previous award winner.

“The Oklahoma Quality Award application process helps us develop strategic improvement initiatives that address the major competitive issues of quality products, services and customer relationships.

"The award and application process provides a means to measure an organization against credible, proven business standards. In going through the process, an organization will see the tremendous growth and improvement potential that is possible for their operation. So, while not every company will receive an award, there are definite benefits for participating in the process.”

This is the 14th year of the Oklahoma Quality Awards administered by the Oklahoma Quality Award Foundation, Inc.

For more information about the award, the presentation event, or the Foundation contact Mike Strong at (405) 815-5295, by fax at (405) 815-5205, or by email at: Mike.Strong@OklahomaQuality.com. Write the Oklahoma Quality Award Foundation at P.O. Box 26980, Oklahoma City, OK 73126-0980.