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CSP News: Robert W. Carey Organizational Excellence Awards Announced

November 16, 2004

From the September / October 2004 issue of VA VAnguard magazine

Applicants for this year's Robert W. Carey Organizational Excellence Awards presented a serious challenge for judges trying to select the most quality-oriented organization in VA-the competition was too close to call.

In the end, judges announced a tie for the department's top quality award, the Carey Trophy. The award is based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award used by organizations around the world to improve efficiency and performance.

Sharing the trophy are the VA Clinical Research Pharmacy Center in Albuquerque, N.M., and the White River Junction, Vt., VA Medical Center. Both organizations were honored Sept. 30 during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The clinical pharmacy center has a staff of 80 who manufacture, package and distribute pharmaceuticals. They have dominated the Carey award health care category in the past, winning in 2001, 2002 and 2003. This year they grabbed the top award by relying on a proven system that emphasizes quality products, employee development, teamwork and safety.

The White River Junction, Vt., VA Medical Center is a 60-bed facility with active research and education programs. The center provides inpatient and outpatient care to approximately 23,000 veterans in Vermont and four bordering counties in New Hampshire.

Like the clinical pharmacy center, the White River Junction VAMC has a record of excellence in the Carey award program. The center won Carey achievement awards in 2002 and 2003. The experience helped lay the groundwork for reaching the top award. The medical center follows four strategic themes for success: excellence in clinical care and scholarship; maximizing financial resources; community stewardship; and promoting a healthy workforce and work environment.

The Carey program also recognizes category and achievement award winners. The Amarillo, Texas, VA Health Care System was this year's category winner. Achievement awards were presented to the Durham, N.C., VA Medical Center, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, and the Riverside, Calif., National Cemetery.

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