September 19, 2011
by Linda Friedel | Reprinted courtesy of KC Nursing News
Carmen Kynard, the chief nursing ofﬁcer for Research Psychiatric Center, knows something about quality. And now her knowledge and interest are being put to good use in a national setting.
Kynard, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, MBA, MEd, CPHRM, joined the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award this year. The Baldrige award, created by public law in 1987, is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that an organization can receive.
Kynard said her new role ﬁts her personal mission as a nurse and administrator. She will serve a one-year term, and most likely more, she said.
“I’ve always gravitated towards performance excellence,” Kynard said.
The Board of Examiners is made up of about 500 experts from industry, profes- sional and trade organizations, education and health care organizations, and nonprofits. As an examiner, Kynard is responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the award.
This spring, Kynard trained at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., on how to apply the Baldrige criteria. Kynard soaked in expertise from working board members she called the best and brightest across the country.
Kynard was assigned to a project shortly after her training. “As part of a team of six other examiners, I have just completed examining a large healthcare organization,” she said. “The process involved many hours of work outside my regular work schedule as well as 10 hours worth of conference calls.”
Kynard said she has embraced her new position on the board and has beneﬁtted from the camaraderie of leaders from across the country.
“I’ve been enjoying it thoroughly,” Kynard said. “It’s been a stimulating experience.”
As a secondary beneﬁt, she plans to apply what she learns to Research Psychiatric Center. She said any knowledge she brings home will strengthen the center’s ability to deliver patient care.
“You’re at a national level,” she said. “I’m really pleased with that privilege.”
Kynard has spent decades in critical care, medical psychiatry, administration and nursing education. She has a passion for working with homeless and under- served populations, she said. Kynard has served on medical mission trips in Russia and Bahamas. Once a month she volunteers to feed homeless people in Kansas City with the Red Cross. With her church she plans and executes monthly meals for reStart, an interfaith ministry for homeless persons.
“I just do what I need to do to serve others,” she said.
Richard Fallia, Research CEO and assistant vice president of behavioral health, HCA Midwest Division, said Kynard is the only HCA employee in the country serving as a Baldrige examiner.
“Carmen is deﬁnitely a leader in nursing for HCA Midwest,” he said. “The fact that she’s been chosen and actually attained the status of a national Baldrige examiner is really a kudo for not only her, but for nursing here at Research Psychiatric Center.”
Fallia noted Kynard will be going out to facilities across the United States that are trying to win the status of being a Malcolm Baldridge provider.
“There are very few people that are selected for this honor,” he said. “…Certainly in representing Research Psychiatric Center, we’re extremely proud of her.”