2008 C. Jackson Grayson Distinguished Quality Pioneer Medal Winners

Don Berwick, Blanton Godfrey, Al Gore, Jerry Weast

Inaugural Award Recognizes Quality Pioneers in Government, Healthcare and Education

(Milwaukee, WI and Houston, TX - May 6, 2008) - APQC, a nonprofit benchmarking and best practices organization, presented the inaugural C. Jackson Grayson Distinguished Quality Pioneer Medals (www.apqc.org/graysonmedal) today in Houston at the American Society for Quality's (ASQ) 2008 World Conference on Quality and Improvement (wcqi.asq.org). The award recognizes the contributions of individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the application of quality philosophy, methods and tools in education, healthcare, public service and not-for-profit organizations.

The C. Jackson Grayson Medal celebrates the professional philosophy expressed throughout his life by Dr. C. Jackson Grayson. Grayson is Founder and Chairman of APQC (www.apqc.org ). He has spent his entire career applying quality thinking and methods to improve organizations and society.

The 2008 C. Jackson Grayson Distinguished Quality Pioneer Medal winners include a U.S. Vice President, a healthcare leader, a university dean, and a school superintendent. They are:

  • Dr. Don M. Berwick, President and CEO, Institute for Health Improvement (IHI), for his pioneering work in healthcare quality that has saved thousands of lives.
  • Dr. A. Blanton Godfrey, Dean and Joseph D. Moore Professor of Textile & Apparel Technology & Management, College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, for his leadership in blending quality and innovation in product development, strategy and higher education.
  • Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Prize winner, for his inspiring leadership of the Reinventing Government Initiative and his tireless work on climate change.
  • Dr. Jerry Weast, Superintendent, Montgomery County Schools, for launching quality applications in K-12 education programs and inspiring others to build a world-class educational system.

"These Medals recognize the ground-breaking efforts of these four quality pioneers and their extraordinary achievements in fields outside of the traditional sectors that have embraced the quality philosophy and methodology, which makes their accomplishments all the more impressive," said Grayson. "This year's winners are exceptional role models who have used quality principles to find solutions to serious societal problems, raise the alarm when others haven't, and worked persistently against high odds and great resistance."
The 2008 winners of the C. Jackson Grayson Distinguished Quality Pioneer Medal were nominated by the panel of judges for their extraordinary contributions to furthering the cause of quality in their organization or sector.  They have used management processes, measurement activities and collaborative teamwork to achieve productivity and other enhancements to their organizations' performance and mission as well as society as a whole. For more information about the award, the achievements of the 2008 Grayson Medal winners and the selection methodology visit www.apqc.org/graysonmedal.

Grayson himself was also honored with a commemorative medal at ASQ's World Conference. He has a long-standing legacy and relationship with ASQ that dates back to the mid-1980s when ASQ and APQC (then named the American Productivity Council) jointly administered the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.  Grayson is an ASQ Fellow and a prior recipient of the ASQ Distinguished Service Medal.  As a leader at the first White House Conference on Productivity, Grayson actively fostered a national dialogue regarding quality. In 1993 he and his staff created the APQC International Benchmarking Clearinghouse to help organizations identify and learn from best practices. In 1996 Grayson led an APQC education improvement initiative to help education institutions restructure academic and administrative processes.

"ASQ is made up of people who lead the charge to instill a quality mindset in organizations and individuals throughout the world. That's exactly what this award is about," Grayson added.

PHOTOS AVAILABLE: APQC can provide photos of the Grayson Medal, Dr. Jack Grayson and each of the 2008 winners upon request. Contact Paige Dawson (paige@mpdventures.com).

About APQC

A global resource for process and performance improvement, APQC discovers improvement methods, identifies benchmarks and best practices, disseminates findings and connects individuals.  APQC's employees conduct benchmarking and best practices research, offer training, and publish reports on productivity, quality, benchmarking, knowledge management, and other areas.  Founded in 1977, the member-based nonprofit serves more than 500 organizations. For information, visit www.apqc.org or call 800.776.9676 or +1.713.681.4020.

About ASQ

The American Society for Quality (www.asq.org) has been the world's leading authority on quality for 60 years. With more than 93,000 individual and organizational members, the professional association advances learning, quality improvement and knowledge exchange to improve business results, and to create better workplaces and communities worldwide. ASQ has been the sole administrator of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award since 1991. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., ASQ is a founding partner of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a prominent quarterly economic indicator, and also produces the Quarterly Quality Report.