National Quality Award Program


 ‭(Hidden)‬ PORTAL

Thank you for submitting your 2023 National Quality Award application. The Portal has now closed. If you need assistance or have questions, pleas​e contact us at qualityaward@ahca.​org

 What You Should Know

​​The deadline to submit a 2023 National Quality Award is now closed.
  • ​Learn about becoming an Examiner or joining the Quality Award Board.​



Quality – When in Doubt, Check it Out!–-When-in-Doubt,-Check-it-Out!.aspxQuality – When in Doubt, Check it Out!3/2/2023 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div>Quality is something we know we should be doing, but sometimes it isn’t always clear about how to go about doing it. Quality improvement leads to better resident and staff outcomes. Yet, improvement can be challenging if you don’t have the right systems and processes set up. Quality improvement means having a dedicated plan for working through areas of weakness and opportunities. This includes having a formalized quality improvement and process improvement (QAPI) plan in place that also includes performance improvement projects (PIPs) and how to execute them. It means that you must have outcome measures and evaluation processes complete with who is being held accountable for the QAPI/PIP processes.  </div><div> </div><div>For those who struggle with how to implement quality improvement, the<a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/default.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank"> AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program</a> can help. The program can help your organization evaluate your strengths as well as your opportunities for improvement, identify the critical areas where improvement is needed, and implement a plan to help your facility be more resilient, stronger, and successful than ever before. The Quality Award program is a three-level program that evaluates your organization against the Baldrige Excellence Framework, a nationally recognized standard for performance excellence: The Bronze Quality Award provides you with a foundation for quality improvement. The Silver Quality Award builds on that foundation and helps you set up your quality improvement efforts. The Gold Quality Award extends those quality improvement efforts into striving for performance excellence in quality. It is never too early, or too late, to start your quality journey. You can learn more about the value of the program <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Documents/QA_brochure.pdf.pdf?csf=1&amp%3be=DB0fDO" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">here</a>.  </div><div> </div><div>While achieving the Quality Award is a great honor, the award itself is not what the program is about. Instead, it is about the ongoing, day-to-day steps towards performance excellence. Why would an organization settle for merely meeting the minimum standards required by regulation when that organization can rise above, provide the best care and services, and improve outcomes to their residents and staff by following the principles outlined in the Quality Award program? Quality improvement is not going away and we need to get in front of regulatory requirements. For your organization to succeed, you must look at quality and the data that supports the quality care and services you provide. Data is a key component of quality improvement and AHCA/NCAL has the resources you need to help you track data through LTC Trend Tracker. You can learn more about LTC Trend Tracker measures, turnover and retention, and CoreQ data <a href="/Data-and-Research/LTC-Trend-Tracker/Pages/default.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">here</a>. Quality – when in doubt, check it out!  <br></div><div> </div><div>Read more about the value of the National Quality Award Program in the March 2023 issue of Provider magazine: </div><div><br></div><div><ul><li><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">The Ripple Effect of Benefits, Opportunities That Come from Quality Awards</a> </li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;"><a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">National Quality Award Program Lays the Groundwork for QAPI </a></span></li></ul></div><div><br></div><div> <span style="font-size:11pt;">The AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program is proudly sponsored by Pinnacle, PharMerica and HealthCap.​</span></div>Quality is something we know we should be doing, but sometimes it isn’t always clear about how to go about doing it.
AHCA/NCAL Announce New Board Chair, Members of The National Quality Award Program,-Members-of-The-National-Quality-Award-Program.aspxAHCA/NCAL Announce New Board Chair, Members of The National Quality Award Program2/28/2023 5:00:00 AM<div><strong>​​WASHINGTON, D.C. –</strong> The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) announced today three quality improvement leaders have been elected as new members of the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Board, and Cathy Bergland, principal at CB Leadership Group, as Board Chair, for three-year terms effective January 2023. </div><div><br></div><div>“We are fortunate to have these incredible leaders provide their time and expertise to the Quality Award program,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “The work that they are committed to is instrumental in advancing high quality care. We are grateful for their service to improve the lives of the individuals who live and work in long term care.” </div><div><br></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><strong><img src="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/PublishingImages/heather.png" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:106px;height:106px;" /><br></strong></span></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><strong>H</strong></span><span style="font-size:11pt;"><strong>eather Herlyn, MS, RN, CPHQ</strong>, <strong>Director of Quality and Safety at the Good Samaritan Society</strong> based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was elected to serve as a member of the Quality Award Board through 2026. Herylyn began her career as a nurse at Sanford Health in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). Since that time, she has held positions in clinical and operational leadership roles in the public and private sector.  </span></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><strong><img src="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/PublishingImages/megan.png" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:106px;height:106px;" /><br></strong></div><div><strong>Megan Corcoran, NHA, QCP, Regional Director of Operations at Health Dimensions Group</strong>, was elected to serve as a member of the Quality Award Board through 2026. Corcoran is certified in Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) and is a licensed nursing home administrator in Minnesota and Wisconsin. She was selected as a 2022 Future Leader by Skilled Nursing News. Corcoran also serves as a Silver Examiner for the Quality Award Program. </div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><strong><img src="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/PublishingImages/paul.png" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:108px;height:108px;" /><br></strong></div><div><strong>Paul Grizzell, President of Core Value Partners</strong>, was elected to serve as a member of the Quality Award Board through 2026. Based in Woodbury, Minneapolis, Grizzell brings more than 20 years of experience as a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiner and other global performance excellence programs. He has served as a Quality Award Judge since 2013 and is an Examiner Trainer and a Judge. </div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><strong><img src="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/PublishingImages/cathy.png" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:110px;height:110px;" /><br></strong></div><div><strong>Cathy Bergland, MBA, LNHA, Principal CB Leadership Group</strong>, was elected to serve as Quality Award Board Chair. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bergland has held various roles in long term care since 1986. She has been a part of the Quality Award program since 2012 as an Examiner, Examiner Trainer, and Judge. </div><div><br></div><div>​​<br></div><div>The National Quality Award program uses the Baldrige Performance Framework to help long term care organizations improve outcomes through a focus on system-wide performance excellence. By working through three progressive levels, providers meet rigorous program standards to become the best in long term care. The Quality Award Board provides integral oversight and strategic development of the program. ​<br></div><div><br></div><div>The AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program is sponsored by Pinnacle, PharMerica and HealthCap.<br></div><div><br></div><div>Learn more about the program and its Board at <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/default.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank"></a>. <br></div><p>​</p>AHCA/NCAL announced today three new members of the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Board, and Cathy Bergland, principal at CB Leadership Group, as Board Chair.
LAST CHANCE to Apply for a 2023 National Quality Award CHANCE to Apply for a 2023 National Quality Award1/23/2023 5:00:00 AM<p>​<br></p><p>If you have not applied to become a 2023 National Quality Award recipient, there is still a little time left. But the deadline is coming up fast, so do not wait. All Bronze, Silver, and Gold level applications must be finalized and submitted by 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 26, 2023. If you need assistance or have questions, please ​contact us at <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]">qualityaward@ahca. org</a>.<br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/default.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]"><span class="ms-rteFontSize-5">Login and submit your application today!</span></a></p><p><strong>The Journey is worth it. </strong>The beginning of a New Year is the perfect opportunity for your organization to invest in quality improvement efforts that bring teams together, build resiliency, drive innovation and improve lives. Receiving a National Quality Award is a symbol of the hard work and commitment facilities have invested in to be even better than they are now. As teams work through each application level, habits are formed that lead to the development of effective processes and eventually performance success. <a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/default.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]">Learn more</a>.<br></p><p><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/LAST-CHANCE-to-Apply-for-a-2023-National-Quality-Award/LaShuan%20Quote%20Card.png" alt="LaShuan Quote Card.png" style="margin:5px;" /><img src="file:///C:/Users/atodd/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.png" alt="" style="font-size:11pt;width:1px;margin:5px;" /><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/LAST-CHANCE-to-Apply-for-a-2023-National-Quality-Award/Mark%20Quote%20Card.png" alt="Mark Quote Card.png" style="margin:5px;" /><img src="file:///C:/Users/atodd/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image004.png" alt="" style="font-size:11pt;width:1px;margin:5px;" /> </p><p><strong>Did You Know?</strong><br><strong> </strong>You do NOT have to submit an Intent to Apply to successfully complete a Quality Award application! For more information about submitting an award application or to learn more about the program, visit the Quality Award website at <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]"></a>.</p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>​Proudly sponsored by:</strong></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/LAST-CHANCE-to-Apply-for-a-2023-National-Quality-Award/PQI%20-%20horizontal%20logo%201200%20x%20289%20PNG.png" alt="PQI - horizontal logo 1200 x 289 PNG.png" style="margin:5px;width:321px;height:91px;" /><br></strong></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/LAST-CHANCE-to-Apply-for-a-2023-National-Quality-Award/PharMerica%20Logo%20transparent.png" alt="PharMerica Logo transparent.png" style="margin:5px;width:321px;height:66px;" /></strong><span style="font-size:11pt;">​</span></p>
2023 National Quality Award Application Deadline Next Week National Quality Award Application Deadline Next Week1/17/2023 5:00:00 AM<p><br><br></p><p>Have you finalized and submitted your 2023 National Quality Award application? If not, be sure to do so before the deadline at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 26, 2023 to avoid any delays.</p><p>If you have questions, contact the Quality Award team at <a href="" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank"></a><br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><a href="/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/default.aspx?cm_ven=ExactTarget&cm_cat=REMINDER+Application+Deadline&cm_pla=Marks+Memos+2022+List&cm_ite=https%3a//" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank"><strong class="ms-rteFontSize-4">SUMBIT TODAY</strong></a></p><p style="text-align:center;"><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br></span></p><p style="text-align:center;"><span style="font-size:11pt;">​</span><br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Thank you to our 2023 s​ponsors!</strong><br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/2023-National-Quality-Award-Application-Deadline-Next-Week/PQI%20-%20horizontal%20logo%201200%20x%20289%20PNG.png" alt="PQI - horizontal logo 1200 x 289 PNG.png" style="margin:5px;width:206px;height:51px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/2023-National-Quality-Award-Application-Deadline-Next-Week/PharMerica%20Logo%20transparent%20(002).png" alt="PharMerica Logo transparent (002).png" style="margin:0px;width:216px;height:45px;" /><br></p>

​The Award Levels

 Bronze Award

About the Bronze Award

The first step in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program is the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award.

The Bronze Award level provides applicants with the tools and resources they need for continuous im​provement in quality care. Through the Bronze criteria, based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework, applicants will assess their organization’s mission, vision, and key factors that lead to success. At this award level, utilizing the criteria questions applicants develop an organizational profile for their center. Applying for the AHCA/NCAL Bronze National Quality Award gives your organization a strong foundation for the second step—the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award​ level.  

Questions about the contents of this program may be directed to

 Bronze Application & Resources

Essential Resources

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2021 Bronze Key Dates

June 3, 2021

 Silver Award

About the Silver Award

The second step in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program is the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award. 

At the Silver Award level, applicants continue to learn and develop effective approaches that help improve performance and health care outcomes. The Silver criteria, based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework, provide applicants with a thorough assessment of how their organization works, its effectiveness, and tools for improvement in their approaches. The Silver level gives a clear pathway for recipients moving to the highest honor of recognition, the Gold – Excellence in Quality Award. 

Applicants must receive a Bronze – Commitment to Quality​ Award before applying at the Silver level. 

Questions about the contents of this program may be directed to

 Silver Application & Resources

Essential Resources
Supporting Documents
Supporting Documents for Assisted Living

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2021 Silver Key Dates

June 24, 2021

 Gold Award

About the Gold Award

The final step in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program is the Gold – Excellence in Quality Award. Recipients of the Gold Award are considered the best of the best in the profession.

​At the Gold Award level, applicants must show superior performance in areas of the criteria including leadership, strategic planning, and customer and staff satisfaction. By completing the Gold level criteria, organizations take their quality journey to a higher level through the valuable feedback received in the application process and thereby reaching organizational goals. Gold applicants address the Baldrige Excellence Framework in its entirety.

Applicants are required to receive the Bronze – Commitment to Quality and Silver – Achievement in Quality​ Awards before applying at the Gold level. 

Questions about the contents of this program may be directed to

​Gold Award Spotlight



 Gold Application & Resources

Essential Resources
Supporting Documents
Supporting Documents for Assisted Living

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2021 Gold Key Dates

 About The Program

​The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program helps you to evaluate your organization’s strengths and opportunities, identify critical areas for improvement, and implement a plan to be stronger, more resilient, and suc​c​essful than ever before. ​​​​​​​​​​​​The ​​three-level program evaluates long term care organizations capabilities against nationally recognized standards for excellence, making it one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective performance assessments available to providers. Each progressive award levels— Bronze – Commitment to Quality, ​​Silver - Achievement in Quality, and Gold – Excellence in Quality, requires a more detailed demonstration of superior performance. Learn more​​​​​ about the value of the program.​