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University of Colorado Health in northern Colorado receives Peak Award

For immediate release: Oct. 10, 2012

Gary Kimsey, 970.495.7427,

RMPEx executive director: Kim Griffiths, 303.916.5696,

University of Colorado Health in northern Colorado receives Peak Award

Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence announced today that Poudre Valley Health System was one of two health-care organizations in the state to receive the 2012 Peak Award, the highest regional recognition for performance excellence. Denver Health was the other recipient.

Poudre Valley Health System now makes up the northern region of University of Colorado Health. Services include Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins; Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland; and Colorado Health Medical Group, which has locations across northern Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. Poudre Valley Health System and University of Colorado Hospital in January signed a joint operating agreement that created University of Colorado Health.

RMPEx also announced that Donor Alliance, Littleton Adventist Hospital, Sky Ridge Medical Center, and RTD FasTracks received 2012 awards at varying levels below the Peak Award status.

Award recipients will be honored Oct. 26 at the annual Quest for Excellence conference in Loveland.

As part of the process of identifying possible Peak Award recipients, RMPEx conducted an extensive review this summer of applicants, including a site visit, for health-care organization, where examiners interviewed patients, employees, physicians, and volunteers.

RMPEx criteria for judging performance excellence are similar to those used by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program. The Baldrige criteria is designed to help organization’s achieve and sustain the highest national levels of patient safety and loyalty; patient outcomes; physician and staff satisfaction; revenue and market share; and community services.


Rulon Stacey, UC Health president, said that receiving the annual award—the third time since 2004—shows “a remarkable level of commitment for achieving high outcomes.”

“Our physicians, employees and volunteers have vigorously woven quality and process improvement into the fabric of our organization,” he said.

Kim Griffiths, executive director of Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence, also know as RMPEx, said UC Health’s northern Colorado services received the award based on outcomes of patient care; effectiveness of strategic planning; engagement of staff members in their work and quality improvements; success of business operations; and the way results are measured, analyzed and used to make ongoing  improvements.

The UC Health services rank in the national top 10 percent of health-care organizations in areas related to clinical quality, patient satisfaction, employee and physician engagement, and financial performance.

“Health care organizations around the country are looking for ways to improve safety and outcomes while reducing costs,” Griffiths said.  “There is increasing pressure in the U.S. to overhaul our health care system. Peak Award recipients are at the forefront of the national effort to create a new and better way for the health-care industry.”

The UC Health services are formerly part of Poudre Valley Health System, which had a name change to University of Colorado Health earlier this year when PVHS and University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora created the UC Health system.

RMPEx is the regional equivalent of the national Malcom Baldrige National Quality Program, which was created by congress in 1987 to improve the competitiveness and performance of U.S. organizations. PVHS received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2008, one of only 15 healthcare organizations to ever receive the honor. Meanwhile, University of Colorado Hospital was recently named, for the second year in a row, by the University Health System Consortium as the nation’s highest-performing academic hospital for delivery quality health care.

“The fact that our new organization—University of Colorado Health—has a Peak Award and Baldrige Award recipient, as well as the nation’s foremost academic medical center, speaks volumes for the high quality of care offered to patients,” Stacey said.

PVHS was the first organization to receive the Peak Award after it was created in 2004. The health system again received the award in 2008. An award recipient is eligible to apply again every four years. 




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