MSHA to receive top honor from Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) has earned the prestigious Excellence Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee recognition program administered by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE). TNCPE is Tennessee’s only state-wide quality program patterned on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the national standard for recognizing organizational excellence.

MSHA is the only recipient of the Excellence Award for 2013. Once an organization has achieved recognition at the Excellence level, it is eligible to apply again in four years. MSHA first received the Excellence Award in 2005, then again in 2009. Today, MSHA is the first organization of any kind to receive the TNCPE Excellence Award three times.

TNCPE will officially present MSHA with the award at the 21st annual Excellence in Tennessee Awards Banquet on February 19, 2014. 

“I am exceedingly proud of our team members for not only reaching the Excellence level, but sustaining that level of quality for many years,” said Dennis Vonderfecht, MSHA’s President and CEO. “Our team members deserve the credit, but the real winners are our patients, who benefit from the quality processes put in place to ensure that they have the best health outcomes and the best patient experience at the lowest possible cost. When an organization like MSHA is truly committed to quality, the entire region benefits.”

Mountain States Health Alliance, a not-for-profit health care organization based in Johnson City, Tenn., operates a family of 14 hospitals serving a 29-county, four-state region (Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina). MSHA offers a large tertiary hospital, several community hospitals, two critical access hospitals, rehabilitation, a children’s hospital, a behavioral health hospital, two long-term care facilities, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, a comprehensive medical management corporation, and the region’s only provider-owned health insurance company. Its 13,500 team members, associated physicians and volunteers are committed to its mission of bringing loving care to health care.

Through an annual evaluation and assessment process, TNCPE recognizes high-performance organizations that exhibit continuous improvement and best practice processes.  This year, TNCPE has named 26 organizations as 2013 Award winners. They represent outstanding achievement in the following industry sectors: health care, manufacturing, service, education, government and nonprofit. 

“Mountain States Health Alliance’s integrated approach to continuous improvement and unwavering commitment to patient-centered healthcare has helped the organization thrive, and I want to congratulate them on this recognition,” said Governor Bill Haslam.

Organizations like MSHA apply to the TNCPE program at one of four levels. As the levels increase, so does the depth and complexity of the application, which is based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Since the program was founded in 1993, only 22 organizations have attained the Excellence designation. Mountain States Health Alliance will receive the Excellence Award this year; six organizations will be honored with the Achievement Award; 18 will receive the Commitment Award; and one will receive the Interest Recognition.

“This program helps organizations look at the big picture. But it’s not easy—if it were, every organization in the state would be participating,” said TNCPE President Katie Rawls. “Organizations like MSHA are truly passionate about performance excellence and have chosen TNCPE and the Baldrige framework to help them become the best-run organization they can be.”

A full list of winners can be found on the TNCPE website

Established in 1993 as a public-private partnership, the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence strives to promote economic development and drive organizational excellence by helping companies and organizations grow more competitive in today’s global marketplace through affordable, in-depth assessments. A statewide nonprofit, TNCPE is grounded in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence—a holistic framework used by organizations across multiple industries to improve their performance and achieve sustainable results. More than 1,200 organizations have participated in and benefited from the TNCPE program. Four Tennessee businesses—Caterpillar Financial Services, Pal’s Sudden Service, Eastman Chemical Company, and Federal Express—have received both the prestigious Baldrige National Quality Award and the TNCPE Excellence Award.

For more information about the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence, contact Kelsey Alexander, Marketing & Communications Manager, at

For more information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, visit .

For more information on Mountain States Health Alliance, contact Teresa Hicks, MSHA Communications Manager, at

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