CORE Wins 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

Organ procurement organization earns the Presidential-level honor, cementing legacy marked by pioneering.

PITTSBURGH, PA, Nov. 14, 2019 – The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), the federally designated nonprofit organization that facilitates organ, tissue and cornea donation in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, New York, was named today a 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. A Presidential-level honor, the award recognizes exemplary U.S. organizations and businesses that demonstrate an “unceasing drive for innovative solutions to complex challenges, visionary leadership and operational excellence.”

The Baldrige Award is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive. Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses. CORE is one of only five Pennsylvania and two West Virginia organizations ever to achieve the Baldrige Award in its more than 30-year history.

“With an emphasis on efficiency and best practices, the Baldrige public-private partnership generates $1 billion per year in economic impact for the U.S. economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The Baldrige Award embodies the competitive spirit and commitment to excellence that fuels our economic resurgence and drives our country forward.”

For CORE, the award is the result of a near decade-long performance excellence journey focused on the satisfaction of four key groups: donor families, transplant centers, corneal transplant surgeons, and tissue processors. With a mission to Save and Heal lives through donation, CORE has maintained performance among the top 10% of the nation’s organ procurement organizations (OPOs) from 2014 through 2019; directly translating to more lives saved and healed through transplantation. Also, as the result of managing the costs, efficiency and effectiveness of operations, including two on-site operating rooms and research laboratories, CORE achieved cost savings of over $300,000 in 2014, over $600,000 in 2018 and over $2.6 million to date.

“This award is a testament to CORE’s dedication to our mission to Save and Heal lives through donation,” said Susan Stuart, CORE President & CEO. “It’s a showcase of our values, and of our relentless drive to innovate and integrate programs and best practices. It’s proof that, in the improvements we make and the excellence toward which we strive, CORE is changing the lives of grieving donor families, courageous transplant recipients and those holding out hope for a life-saving transplant.”

CORE becomes the third federally designated organ procurement organization to earn Baldrige recognition, following St. Louis-based Mid-America Transplant (2015) and Donor Alliance in Colorado (2018).

Only six U.S. organizations were named 2019 winners following review by an independent panel of judges and evaluation by a board of examiners. This year’s Baldrige Award recipients were selected from a field of 26 finalist applicants, each of whom had prequalified by winning a Baldrige-based performance excellence award at the state or regional level.

The 2019 Baldrige Awards will be presented at a ceremony on March 24, 2020, during the Baldrige Program’s 32nd annual Quest for Excellence® conference, which will be held in National Harbor, Maryland.


About the Baldrige Program

The Baldrige Program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economies; provides organizational assessments, training, tools and criteria; educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations and government and nonprofit organizations; shares the best practices of national role models; and recognizes those role models with the Baldrige Award. The Baldrige Program is a public-private partnership managed by NIST and funded in part through user fees and support from the Baldrige Foundation. The Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 and is not given for specific products or services. Since the first group was recognized in 1988, 129 awards have been presented to 121 organizations (including eight repeat winners). For more information, visit the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program website.


About CORE

The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States, serving more than five million people in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, NY. CORE coordinates the recovery and matching of organs, tissues and corneas for transplant within our service region and works tirelessly to create a culture of donation within the hospitals and communities we serve. CORE’s mission is to save and heal lives through donation, ultimately ending the deaths of those on the transplant waiting list, while maintaining integrity for the donation process, dignity for the donors, and compassion for their families. For more information, visit or call 1-800-DONORS-7.



Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap