The Honorable Bob Livingston
House of Representatives
Committee on Appropriations
H-218 Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20515-6015

Dear Chairman Livingston:

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), representing 11,000 professional laboratory scientists, urges you to support the President’s $5 million FY99 budget request for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, so that it can be expanded to the health care and education sectors. Currently, the awards program is limited to the manufacturing, service and the small business sectors.

In 1988, Congress created the Baldrige Award to improve the quality and competitiveness of American businesses through enhanced customer satisfaction and improved operational performance. AACC and many other associations, companies and efficiency experts view this award as a stunning success—encouraging both innovation and quality improvement. One example of its success is that every state has now developed its own award program and over one million copies of the criteria have been distributed. AACC is also pleased that Baldrige Award winners have shared their success stories with others—more than 30,000 such sessions to date.

However, now that the program is established, it is time to extend this success story to other sectors of the economy. In 1995, successful pilot programs were conducted in the health care and education sectors, resulting in more than 30,000 organizations requesting the criteria developed for the projects. In a follow-up survey, 93 percent of the participants strongly agreed that the criteria used in the pilot projects improved their organization’s performance. Therefore, we urge you to support full funding of the Baldrige Award program, so that new award categories can be created for health care and education.

By way of background, AACC is the principal association of professional laboratory scientists--including MDs, PhDs and medical technologists. AACC’s members develop and use chemical concepts, procedures, techniques and instrumentation in health-related investigations and work in hospitals, independent laboratories and the diagnostics industry nationwide. The AACC's objectives are to further the public interest and educational activities and to help maintain high professional standards.

If you have any questions or we may be of any assistance, please call me at (708) 216-4725 or Vince Stine, AACC’s Government Affairs Director, at (202) 835-8721.




Stephen Kahn, PhD, DABCC


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