Baldrige Performance Excellence Program


The Baldrige Program was developed in 1987 by the U.S. government in response to a crisis in U.S. businesses’ ability to compete most effectively.  Foreign manufacturers’ superior management systems had enabled them to seriously challenge inferior U.S. Quality and overall Performance standards, or to risk further significant losses.  The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, presented by the President of the U.S., was created to encourage American companies to improve their core business practices, benchmark against the best, and to continuously adapt to become more effective, efficient and responsive to their customers using objective evidence to guide critical decision making.

Since then, the Baldrige program has proven to be so extraordinarily powerful and transformative across multiple business sectors that, now, it is viewed as a competitive necessity by the healthcare industry.  In fact,

  • Over 50% (12 of the 22) organizations that applied for the Baldrige Award at the national level in 2014 were hospitals or health systems (data found at
  • The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) has projected that by 2018, 65% of all hospitals across the U.S. will be on the Malcolm Baldrige journey, according to FutureScan 2013: Healthcare Trends and Implications 2013-2018 (download the PDF).

Clearly, just as the healthcare industry has adopted evidence-based approaches to providing clinical services that achieve the “Triple Aim”, healthcare has responded to the evidence about Baldrige’s incomparable value.

The Synergy Organization’s Baldrige Journey

Ever since its founding in 1989, The Synergy Organization has been committed to providing world class services and results for its healthcare clients.  It accomplishes these by helping them to recruit, select, develop and retain the right leaders most effectively, the first time, through the use of science and industry best practices. Like many of its health system clients, Synergy was an early adopter.  Given the firm’s demonstrated commitment to Quality, Science and objective Metrics, some of their clients who were national Baldrige Award recipients encouraged them to join them on the Journey.

Synergy viewed Baldrige as the most viable means to most effectively integrate everything that they did, achieve world-class results for their clients and much less importantly, to become independently recognized as the industry leader.  Synergy recognized that it always costs less to do things right the first time, and built its business to do just that…to help healthcare clients hire the right leaders the first time.

Creating Cost-Effective, Value-Added Solutions in Response to Clients’ Requests

Synergy began by deconstructing many of the standard practices utilized by traditional search firms.  It created and implemented multiple innovative, value-added services and deliverables to replace those that directly improved client hospitals’ leadership, workforce, and results.  Many of these Best Practices were developed in direct response to the Founder’s experiences, expertise and concerns as an organizational psychologist, as well as the firm’s formal research studies.

Examples include:

  • the creation of the Synergy Screening System®, and
  • coining of industry phrases Evidence Based Executive Search, Evidence Based Executive Assessments and Evidence Based Succession Planning.

By listening carefully to their health care clients’ unique needs, Synergy grew organically and developed proven, customized solutions to these common, yet critical, operational challenges.

The Synergy Organization supports the Baldrige Program and healthcare

Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award presentation
Kenneth R Cohen, PhD The Synergy Organization Founder & CEO, presenting Harry S. Hertz, PhD the inaugural Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award.

Synergy recognizes that the critical components of any extraordinary organization are the quality as well as the continuity of the leaders.  Synergy demonstrated its own longstanding commitment to “giving back” to the healthcare industry and to identifying and recognizing the best leaders by creating the Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award in collaboration with the Baldrige Foundation.  This prestigious award also seeks to ensure the long-term success of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.




More Evidence About The Synergy Organization’s Quality and Results

The Synergy Organization has been recognized twice by the Keystone Alliance for Performance Excellence (KAPE).

 Effective January 1, 2016, Synergy will be donating a portion of the company’s revenues to the Baldrige Program.

Synergy will continue to make information and other supportive resources available at

Synergy never sought to be the biggest firm in the world, just the best.  Synergy believes that it is well on its way to achieving this.  But, it is committed to getting even better.

2011 KAPE Award Kenneth R Cohen PhD
Presentation of the 2011 Keystone Alliance for Performance Excellence (KAPE) Award to Kenneth R. Cohen, PhD, Founder & CEO, The Synergy Organization. From left: Robert Bitner, Executive Director, KAPE; Dr. Cohen; Harry S. Hertz, PhD, Director, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.
Dr. Harry S. Hertz, PhD, receives the first annual Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award
Dr. Harry S. Hertz, PhD receives the first annual Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award from George Benson, PhD, Baldrige Foundation’s Chair, and Kenneth R. Cohen, PhD, Founder and CEO of The Synergy Organization.
Sister Mary Jean Ryan HSHLA 2nd Recipient 500x375
In 2014, Sister Mary Jean Ryan, FSM, Board Chair, SSM Health Care, was the second recipient of the Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award.
Harry Hertz Leadership Award Gottlieb
Dr. Katherine Gottlieb, President & CEO of the Southcentral Foundation, an Alaska Native Healthcare Organization, was the 2015 recipient of the Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award.
Harry Hertz Leadership Award John Heer
The recipient of the 2016 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award was John R. Heer, Jr. Former President & CEO of North Mississippi Health Services, Tupelo, MS. Mr. Heer is the only leader to serve as CEO of three recipient organizations of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Harry Hertz Leadership Award
Congratulations to Mary Searcy Bixby, Founder, President & CEO of The Charter School of San Diego (CSSD), winner of the 2017 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award.