President Bush Presents Medrad With Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

INDIANOLA, Pa. -- As hundreds of Medrad employees watched live via satellite in Pittsburgh and around the world today, Medrad president and CEO John P. Friel accepted the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) from President George W. Bush and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans today in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Medrad was one of seven organizations to receive the award this year, and the only recipient in the manufacturing category. The MBNQA is the top honor a U.S. company can achieve for quality and business excellence.

"It is a privilege to accept this award on behalf of Medrad's

1,265 employees in Pittsburgh and around the world," said Friel. "I stand here

because of their commitment to delivering excellence every day. This

recognition belongs to them."

The Baldrige criteria examine all aspects of an organization, including

financial performance, customer satisfaction and employee development. Recent

Medrad achievements in these areas include a 15 percent compound annual growth

rate in sales for the past five years, on-time product delivery ratings of

over 98 percent, customer satisfaction ratings over 98 percent, and employee

satisfaction levels that consistently exceed best in class benchmarks.

In his acceptance speech, Friel described Medrad's 15-year journey of

integrating Baldrige criteria into daily operations, beginning with a Total

Quality Management program in 1988. "Performance excellence has since become the blueprint for exceeding the expectations of our customers, shareholders and employees."

He also thanked the Malcolm Baldrige organization by saying, "Living and working in America is a great gift; you have created a framework that enhances the ability of American companies like ours to compete on the world stage, and flourish."

Sixty-eight organizations applied for the award in 2003, including 10 in

the manufacturing category. The award process began in April, when Medrad

completed a self-assessment based on the MBNQA criteria. In May, Medrad

submitted a 55-page application describing its achievements in seven required

business areas: Leadership, Strategic Planning, Customer & Market Focus,

Measurement, Analysis & Knowledge Management, Human Resource Focus, Process

Management and Business Results. Eight examiners conducted a rigorous, on-site

review in October, including interviews with over 300 U.S. and global

employees, and a review of 5,000 pages of documents, in order to confirm the

business practices described in Medrad's application.

Medrad also received site visits in 1999, 2000 and 2002, and implemented

several improvements based, in part, on extensive feedback reports provided by

the examiners: a corporate scorecard that measures company and individual

success across five goals; a corporate ethics policy; customer surveys to

measure satisfaction in all regions of the world; and HR practices designed to

encourage employee growth and satisfaction.

Friel stated, "We are very proud to bring this award back to western

Pennsylvania, a region that has the resources -- and especially the people -- to

build a world-class quality organization."

Named after a former secretary of commerce, the MBNQA was established by

Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. business by

recognizing role model companies for business achievements and successful

performance strategies. Today, it is an internationally recognized award for

excellence in business, health care and other organizations, and serves as the

foundation for quality and performance excellence awards in other parts of the

world. For seven years in a row, a study conducted by MBNQA revealed that

hypothetical stock invested in companies that have earned site visits or won

the MBNQA outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is managed by the National

Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in conjunction with the private

sector. As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's

Technology Administration, NIST develops and promotes measurement, standards

and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade and improve the

quality of life. Other organizations that have received the award include:

Federal Express, Motorola Inc. Commercial, Government and Industrial Solutions

Sector, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, 3M and Boeing.

Medrad, Inc. is a worldwide leading provider of medical devices and

services that enable and enhance imaging procedures of the human body. Used in

diagnostic imaging, Medrad's product offerings include a comprehensive line of

vascular injection systems, magnetic resonance (MR) surface coils and

accessory products, and equipment services. Total 2003 revenues were $294

million.

Source: Medrad, Inc.

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