Delta Dental of Arkansas Wins Governor’s Quality Award

Delta Dental of Arkansas


Delta Dental of Arkansas is one of only eight companies in Arkansas that received the 2023 Governor’s Quality Awards. These organizations were honored at the 29th Annual Awards Celebration held at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock on September 21. The awards were presented by Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Hugh McDonald.

delta dental of Arkansas

Delta Dental of Arkansas was presented with the Commitment Award, which is the second-level award in a four-tier award process. The company had previously won the first-level award, the Challenge Award, the previous year.

“We are incredibly proud and honored to have our employees recognized with the Governor’s Quality Award,” said Kristin Merlo, Delta Dental of Arkansas President and CEO. “This achievement reflects the dedication, innovation and unwavering commitment to excellence that our team embodies every day. Their hard work and passion for our mission to improve the oral health of all Arkansans drive our company’s success. This award is a testament to their efforts to make our company better each day.”

The companies that received the 2023 Governor’s Quality Awards are as follows: Cromwell Architects Engineers of Little Rock and White River Medical Center of Batesville (Achievement Award, 3rd level); L’Oréal USA of North Little Rock (Commitment Award, 2nd level); and ARORA of Little Rock, MEMS of Little Rock, Manila Healthcare Center of Manila, and Gosnell Rehabilitation of Gosnell (Challenge Award, 1st level).

The Governor’s Quality Award process guides organizations towards embracing quality principles. Organizations conduct self-assessments and carefully review the award-level requirements before determining which level to apply for. Each level entails increased requirements for the applicant to outline systematic processes and results. Alongside the award recognition, the program’s participants derive the most value from the comprehensive evaluation and written feedback report, which highlights strengths and areas for improvement. To date, only 27 Arkansas organizations have achieved the highest level, the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence.

The program’s objective is to foster continuous quality improvement within Arkansas organizations, ultimately leading to performance excellence. Established as a non-profit entity, the program is dedicated to aiding the development of a robust infrastructure for Arkansas businesses. The award process adheres to the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria and employs the Baldrige Excellence Framework.

The Governor’s Quality Award program is administered by the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.

About Delta Dental of Arkansas

Delta Dental of Arkansas stands as the largest dental benefits provider in the state, safeguarding the oral health of over 800,000 Arkansans through commercial and Medicaid coverage. As a non-profit entity, Delta Dental is devoted to enhancing the oral health of Arkansans through the philanthropic endeavors of its Foundation, which has contributed over $3 million to support oral health education initiatives in the last three years.

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