Performance Excellence Network Recognizes River’s Edge Hospital

ST. PAUL, Minn., September 30, 2021 – The Performance Excellence Network (PEN) honored River’s Edge Hospital and three other organization with the 2020 Performance Excellence Award. The Award is based on the Baldrige Framework and is the culmination of a rigorous evaluation of an organization’s management and performance system.  The evaluation criteria consider leadership, strategic planning, customer-related processes, measurement and knowledge management, workforce, and operations, and recognize organizations that are systematically improving results.

“It is a privilege to be recognized by PEN.  Our Mission is to provide world class care to the patients that we serve.  Our partnership with PEN assists us in achieving that Mission.  Based on the feedback from the evaluators, we focus on our strengths, but even more so on the opportunities for improvement.  We consider the feedback an opportunity to continue to raise the bar an in effect provide a higher quality of care for our patients, a great work environment for our staff, and a hospital that our community can be proud of,”  Paula Meskan, CEO at River’s Edge Hospital said.

“I would like to recognize each member of the River’s Edge team.  All of our employees are vitally important to the success of the organization.   I am extremely proud of the work that these people do every single day.  This past year has been challenging to say the least, but they show up, they provide quality care, and they make each patient visit the best experience possible.”

The organizations receiving the Award are: River’s Edge Hospital (St. Peter, Achievement Level); South Dakota Department of Transportation (Pierre, Achievement Level); Apple Autos (Apple Valley, Commitment Level); and Central Minnesota Community of Excellence (St. Cloud, Commitment Level).  There have been 150 organizations recognized since 1991 by this program.

Said Brian Lassiter, president/CEO of the Performance Excellence Network: “As we continue to navigate significant challenges, these four Award recipients have demonstrated a commitment to improving their approaches, aligning their strategies, and optimizing their resources to serve their customers, their workforce, and other stakeholders.  They are deserving of recognition in any year, but even more so, given the circumstances.  I imagine they will also more successfully navigate the challenges and creating a better future because of their efforts.”

Steve Grove, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development joined the celebration, adding: “There’s never been a more important time to invest in our people and in how to get results.  I’m glad you gathered together to share ideas and celebrate your successes and momentum.”

The conference featured more than 25 local, regional, and national speakers from all types of organizations, each sharing best practices and methods to improve leadership, customer focus, workforce engagement and capability, and operational effectiveness.  Of those speakers, five were from Baldrige Award recipient organizations, the nation’s highest performing organizations: Gerry Agnes, CEO, Elevations Credit Union (CO); John Chessare, president & CEO, GBMC Healthcare System (MD); Scott Frisch, EVP & COO, AARP (DC); John Kueven, SVP & President, Wellstar Paulding Hospital (GA); and Kelsey May, CEO, MESA Products (OK).

The other three keynotes each shared methods for building winning teams, navigating change and making innovation systematic, and envisioning and responding to future opportunities: Joe Nayquonabe, CEO Corporate Ventures & Commissioner of Corporate Affairs, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; Deb Reuben, Founder/CEO, TomorrowZone; and Ross Bernstein, Speaker & Author.

 About Performance Excellence Network

The Performance Excellence Network was founded in 1987 by the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Rudy Perpich, and was spun off into a private 501(c)3 nonprofit two years later. PEN advances improvement and performance excellence within organizations, individuals and communities. It helps leaders identify strengths and improvement opportunities, and it builds networks that bring information, resources, knowledge and best practices to organizations desiring to improve. PEN serves over 200 members and organizations in Minnesota and the Dakotas. The Performance Excellence Award is given in four levels: Commitment, Advancement, Achievement, and Excellence. For more information, go to

About River’s Edge Hospital

River’s Edge is a Critical Access Hospital that provides a range of in- and outpatient services, specializing in orthopedics.  With about 200 employees, River’s Edge has 25 beds.  For more information:

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