The power of the Baldrige framework is examined with special guest and former healthcare industry CEO Lowell Kruse.
Lowell Kruse/Chair of Communities of Excellence
Lowell C. Kruse is the former CEO of Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Missouri. He retired in July 2009 after serving Heartland for 25 years as their CEO. Kruse came to St. Joseph in 1984 when the two existing community hospital boards had decided to come together and form Heartland Health to better serve the needs of the community and the broader region surrounding St. Joseph. He describes the vision of the organization as, “Heartland Health and its service area will be the best and safest place in America to receive healthcare and live a healthy and productive life.” As evidence of the organization’s progress toward that vision, they were the 2009 recipient of both the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. During his 45 year career, Lowell served on numerous boards, committees, commissions and in leadership capacities in professional and civic organizations including State and National Jaycee Organizations, state hospital associations, American Hospital Association, Chamber of Commerce, United Way, State Commissions, health planning agencies, and similar organizations. He has been the recipient of a variety of personal and professional awards and recognitions during his career. Lowell currently serves as Co-Founder and Chair of Communities of Excellence 2026, the Board of Directors for the Baldrige Foundation and the Missouri Family and Community Trust.
About SOAR Vision Group
The SOAR Vision Group mission is to: Align People with Purpose to Achieve Exceptional Results. SOAR provides best practice strategy execution, business process optimization services, and a structured organizational development approach for organizations to effectively implement the Baldrige Performance Excellence framework. For more information, contact SOAR Vision Group at (888) 294-3303 or visit soarvisiongroup.com.
About the Baldrige Foundation
The mission of the Baldrige Foundation is to ensure the long-term financial growth and viability of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, and to support organizational performance excellence in the United States and throughout the world. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is presented annually by the United States President to organizations that demonstrate quality and performance excellence. For more information, contact the Baldrige Foundation at (202) 559-9195 or visit baldrigefoundation.org.