Two Year Pilot Phase

Three communities intend to serve as pilot settings for testing and implementing the Communities of Excellence Framework and additional sites are being examined.  The pilot sites are intended to address the varying sizes and complexities of communities across the country. They will include a large rural and a large urban region, as well as small rural and urban communities within those regions.  During the two year pilot phase, the pilot communities will engage in cross-sector community collaboration to implement the framework in order to collectively establish their community goals and measure performance and progress toward desired outcomes.

Communities of Excellence 2026 will provide needed training, mentoring, skill-building, research, knowledge of best practices, and financial and coaching resources to assist the communities in establishing their baseline of performance, determining assets and challenges, establishing community criteria for quality and community goals, and measuring progress and defining practices for sustainability.  We will partner with existing state Baldrige performance excellence experts during out pilots to drive long-term sustainability of this approach.  At the end of the pilot phase, a refined and fully tested framework will be available to spread to additional communities seeking to improve the health and well-being of their people using a performance excellence approach.

Each pilot community collaboration will be supported by a Community Coach to guide the community collaborative through the framework and their community improvement efforts, ensure broad civic engagement and representation by diverse resident groups, facilitate collaboration across sectors and generations, secure additional needed resources and identify and engage a new generation of leaders in the community.  They will also capture and provide feedback to Communities of Excellence 2026 on the framework and any challenges associated with its implementation. Ultimately, in order to promote community-wide ownership and ensure sustainability of the effort, decisions on strategic priorities, improvement efforts and desirable outcomes will be decided by the community collaborative partners and community members.