03260752 Baldrige Award

C. Todd Sherman

John Heer and Bruce Ridgway, reflected in the glass, admire the Baldrige National Quality Award trophy in its case inside North Mississippi Medical Center on Monday.

03260753 Baldrige Award

C. Todd Sherman

North Mississippi Medical Center employees admire the Baldrige National Quality Award trophy after it was carefully placed inside its case at the hospital Monday.

03260754 Baldrige Award

C. Todd Sherman

Bruce Ridgway, a NMMC vice president and designer of the trophy case, prepares to lower the Baldrige National Quality award trophy into place at the hospital Monday.

03260755 Baldrige Award

C. Todd Sherman

Chuck Stokes, reflected in the glass, admires the Baldrige National Quality award trophy after it was lowered into its case at the hospital Monday.

03260756 Baldrige Award

C. Todd Sherman

Chuck Stokes, reflected in the glass, admires the Baldrige National Quality award trophy after it was lowered into its case at the hospital Monday.

03260757 Baldrige Award

C. Todd Sherman

Chuck Stokes holds the Baldrige National Quality Award trophy Monday.

03260758 Baldrige Award

C. Todd Sherman

Bruce Ridgway is photographed and video-recorded as he lowers the Baldrige National Quality Award trophy into the case he designed and built.

Hed: Baldrige trophy installed at NMMC

Read-in: Tupelo hospital formally received prestigious business quality award earlier this month.

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

TUPELO - The Baldrige has officially entered the building at North Mississippi Medical Center.

In an informal ceremony Monday, hospital leaders, staff and board members gathered to watch as the tangible symbol of the National Quality Award program was installed in a case just off one of the hospital's busiest corridors close to the Food Court.

"Isn't it pretty?" said Betty Rogers of food and nutrition, who dropped by to check out the solid crystal trophy.

NMMC was one of three U.S. companies to receive the prestigious, highly competitive award, often described as the Nobel Prize for business, in a Washington, D.C., ceremony earlier this month.

"When people walk past here, we want them to say, This is what's possible when we focus on a goal," said NMMC President Chuck Stokes. "It's also a reminder that the work is never done."

Getting the trophy into place was tricky. As if performing a magic act, NMMC vice president Bruce Ridgway wrapped the heavy crystal trophy in a white cloth and delicately lowered the 19-pound object into place.

"Security is the No. 1 concern," said Ridgway, who spent 60 hours building the wood and glass case, which is wired with alarms.

The Steuben crystal trophy is worth more than $12,000 and represents many hours of work by NMMC employees and physicians, Ridgway said.

For the employees who made the trip to Washington to watch the award ceremony, seeing the trophy installed was a sweet conclusion.

"I'm so incredibly proud," said Karen Koch, NMMC clinical researcher, Baldrige committee coordinator and application writer.

"I'm so glad it's in a hallway where everyone can see it," added Jan Englert, clinical outcomes manager, who also served as a Baldrige committee coordinator.

Contact Daily Journal health reporter Michaela Morris at 678-1599 or michaela.morris@djournal.com

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