Oregon Office of Rural Health

Oregon Rural Quality Excellence Award

Rural Quality Excellence Award

Oregon’s rural hospitals, clinics and community-based organizations often demonstrate outstanding resourcefulness, teamwork and creativity when addressing quality improvement (QI) aims. To recognize the efforts of these organizations that demonstrate remarkable dedication to QI, we invite eligible facilities to apply for the Oregon Office of Rural Health’s (ORH’s) Rural Quality Excellence Award.

Qualified submissions will demonstrate successful implementation of strategies that have produced performance improvement related to an exceptional quality improvement project. Successful applications should outline a project addressing a significant problem, employ a data-driven approach, consider a culture of safety in implementing a solution, and explain what results were achieved. Additionally, they should ideally be scalable for wider adaptation by other rural organizations. 

This may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Improving access to care for vulnerable patients (e.g. patients who are pregnant, parenting, geriatric, those living with behavioral health or substance use disorders);
  • Reducing adverse events (e.g., medication errors, falls, pressure ulcers, infections);
  • Addressing root causes of near miss, adverse or sentinel events (e.g., communication, workflow, human factor innovation, reconfiguration of space);
  • Using multidisciplinary teams to implement new strategies for emerging patient health needs (e.g., sepsis response teams, COVID-19, multi-visit patient readmissions); and
  • Managing population health across the care continuum (e.g., diabetes, complex case management, COPD).

ALL rural Oregon hospitals, rural health clinics (RHCs) and rural community-based organizations (CBOs) are invited and encouraged to participate in this awards program. Up to three awardees will be named: one hospital, one RHC and one CBO. Multiple applications from the same organization are accepted.

Applications are submitted in narrative form by uploading your application via this form. Ensure that all sections specified below are included in the narrative. Only complete applications will be considered for award. Application sections are as follows:

1.     Cover page containing the following information:

  • Hospital, RHC or CBO name and address;
  • Name, title, email address and phone number of contact person;
  • Name, title of executive sponsor; and
  • Title of application.

2.     Executive summary or abstract (limit 200 words)

3.     Background and relevance of the problem being addressed. Include qualitative and quantitative data, if relevant.

4.     Describe the quality improvement project. Include a description of the implementation team, resources used, SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) and any quality improvement methodology used (e.g., rapid cycles, RPIWs, LEAN). Note any challenges encountered and how they were overcome.

5.     Report any results achieved. Will the project be redesigned, sustained or scaled up?

6.     (Optional, not scored) Share lessons learned and any advice for rural peers who may undertake similar efforts. Include any strengths of the team or project that contributed to its success.

7.     Share photos, graphs, charts or documents to share and support your QI journey.

Application Deadline

This award will be given once a year.  Applications must be submitted by uploading your application via this form by Aug. 31 of each year for consideration for the Oregon Rural Quality Excellence Award. 

A panel of experts with demonstrated experience executing QI projects in a hospital, clinic and community-based settings, will review and score each complete application using the following criteria:

  • Significance: How significant is the problem being addressed? For example, does this project improve care for a traditionally underserved or vulnerable population?
  • Data-driven approach: How were data (qualitative and quantitative) used to inform the design and impact of the QI project?
  • Culture of safety: How well does the project demonstrate a culture of safety? For example, does this project engage staff across departments? Improve transparency? Recognize and promote participation in QI projects?
  • Results: What was achieved or learned, and how does this inform next steps?
  • Scalability: Perceived value to other rural hospitals, RHCs or CBOs and likelihood of wider adoption and spread. This includes the potential application of the project’s approach to other clinical areas.

Awardees of the Oregon Rural Quality Excellence Award will be recognized among their peers at the Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference in Central Oregon each fall.


For questions regarding the Oregon Rural Quality Excellence Award, please contact: