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Special Tree Wins MIPex Award

The Michigan Performance Excellence Council (MiPex) has awarded Special Tree with the 2020 Michigan Performance Excellence Award, the state’s highest honor for organizations that have demonstrated outstanding performance, leadership, and operational excellence.

“This award really highlights that we are a high-quality organization,” says Mark Mac Aleese, Special Tree Chief Quality Officer. “It demonstrates our superior clinical and business outcomes and that we continually strive for agility, adaptability and overall best practices in every realm.”  He credits several factors in moving Special Tree to the level of quality to win the award including technological advancements such as adding the Zero G system and a new internal lab. 

The MIPex award program is modeled after the National Baldrige Performance Excellence program.  Both programs have a robust framework for improving the operations and performance of organizations of all kinds.  To win the MIPex award, Special Tree completed a rigorous evaluation process that included a site visit by MIPex examiners to demonstrate continuous quality improvements to every area of the company.     

“Special Tree has exhibited systematic, well-deployed processes that answer the questions of the criteria,” says Geri Markley, MIPex Executive Director.  “They also have demonstrated a systematic evaluation and improvement of those processes, so its not just one and done.  They demonstrate results, address patient expectations, and workforce engagement.”

The last time any organization won the MIPex award was in 2012, confirms Markely.  Every year, organizations do apply, and some advance in the examination process, but no organization has reached the level of award recipient until now.   Past honors from MIPEx for Special Tree include earning the Navigator Award in 2008, the Honor Roll in 2009, and the Top Tier Excellence Award in 2010.  Award recipients are eligible to apply again only after five full years have passed since receiving the Top Tier Excellence award.

Special Tree’s “Quest for Quality Excellence” began in 2008 when we adopted the Baldrige Performance Excellence Criteria to create a structured approach to improving quality and excellence says CEO Joe Richert.  “We wanted to give our patients the best-in-class rehabilitation and care they deserve and the Baldrige Criteria provided a valuable framework to reach that goal.  Today, that criteria helps us to make continuous improvements so we can deliver fabulous everyday care every day to our patients.”

After achieving the MIPex Award, Special Tree is taking their “Quest” to a national level says Mac Aleese.  “Winning a Baldrige-based performance excellence award at the state or regional level qualifies Special Tree to apply for the National Baldrige Award so we’re excited to begin the application process.”