Assisted living communities totaling 114 were among the 521 long-term and post-acute care operators across 50 states and the District of Columbia that have earned 2018 Bronze – Commitment to Quality Awards from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, it was announced Thursday.

The Bronze Award is the first of three distinctions possible through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award program, which is based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.

“The Bronze Award exemplifies a dedication to positively impacting quality,” AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson said. “I am proud to spotlight our members for their relentless drive to advance our nation’s skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities.”

AHCA/NCAL implemented the National Quality Award Program in 1996. Providers begin the process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with fundamental performance elements, such as vision and mission statements and key strengths and challenges. Bronze applicants also must demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. Trained examiners review each application to determine whether the operator has met the demands of the criteria. Recipients then advance in the process..

The award program also has Silver, and Gold levels, winners of which will be announced later. Recipient organizations will be honored during AHCA/NCAL’s 69th Annual Convention and Exposition Oct. 7 to 10 in San Diego.