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News Briefs

CORE CEO Wins National Recognition for Leadership Excellence

Following three consecutive record-breaking years of saving lives through organ donation, CORE's Susan Stuart received the Baldrige Foundation Award recognizing her leadership values and principles.

The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) announced that Susan Stuart, president and CEO, is a recipient of the 2022 Foundation Award for Leadership Excellence from the Baldrige Foundation. Stuart is one of only 11 individuals to receive the national distinction. The award recognizes outstanding leaders who employ “The Baldrige Framework” in their management values and principles. The Baldrige Program is a presidential-level initiative credited with improving the quality of health care and the performance of nonprofits nationwide.

Stuart accepts the Leadership Award for Excellence at the Baldrige Foundation Awards Luncheon on April 5, in National Harbor, MD.
Stuart accepts the Leadership Award for Excellence at the Baldrige Foundation Awards Luncheon on April 5, in National Harbor, MD.

CORE facilitates organ, tissue and cornea donation throughout the region. It has experienced three consecutive record-breaking years under Stuart’s leadership. Most recently in 2021, CORE made possible nearly 700 life-saving organ transplants. It also offered healing and restored sight to more than 99,000 people across its service area.

“I feel so honored to receive the 2022 Baldrige Foundation Award for Leadership Excellence. I credit CORE’s Baldrige journey for empowering us with the ability to save more lives than ever before. That’s the most significant indicator of performance excellence,” Stuart said. “This is not only a proud moment for me, but also for the dedicated staff, board members, hospital partners, volunteers, donors and families who help CORE accomplish our life-saving mission.”

Stuart also led the organization through its journey to becoming a 2019 Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award winner. The Presidential-level honor from the Foundation’s partner organization recognizes exemplary U.S. organizations and businesses that demonstrate an “unceasing drive for radical innovation, thoughtful leadership and administrative improvement.” She has been a vocal advocate and supporter for Baldrige ever since, providing counsel to other business leaders in pursuit of the accolade.

Positive impacts

“Baldrige helps thousands of organizations across the country and around the world, in all sectors of the economy, pursue performance excellence which, in turn, makes a positive difference in people’s lives,” said Al Faber, President and CEO of the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Inc. “The Foundation Awards for Leadership Excellence recognize leaders who provide exceptional support to Baldrige and the Foundation’s mission, helping to sustain Baldrige into the future and promoting the positive impact of Baldrige on organizational and community success.”

Exceptional leadership at CORE

Stuart represented the Nonprofit sector in this year’s class of awardees. She accepted the award at Foundation Awards Luncheon outside Washington, D.C. in April.

Under Stuart’s 18-year tenure as CORE’s president and CEO, she has led the organization to increased donor registrations, transplantations and lives saved than ever before. Yet, the need for registered organ donors remains critical. A new person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes. Nearly 2,600 people are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia alone. Despite this, only half of Pennsylvanians and a third of West Virginians are registered as organ donors.

One person can save the lives of eight by donating organs and heal the lives of 75 through tissue donation. Anyone can sign up to be a donor, regardless of age or medical history. Register as an organ, tissue and cornea donor today at

About CORE

CORE is one of 57 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the US. It serves more than five million people in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, New York. CORE coordinates the recovery and matching of organs, tissues and corneas for transplant within our service region. It works tirelessly to create a culture of donation within the hospitals and communities we serve. CORE’s mission is to save and heal lives through donation. It strives to maintain integrity for the donation process, dignity for the donors and compassion for their families. CORE is a winner of the 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a presidential-level award that recognizes non-profits for their innovation and excellence. For more information, visit or call 1-800-DONORS-7. 

About The Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Inc.

The Baldrige Foundation is the private partner to the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program created in 1988. Its mission is to ensure the long-term financial viability of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and to support organizational performance excellence throughout the United States and the world. The Baldrige Program, located at NIST within the U.S. Department of Commerce, is a separate entity and is solely responsible for managing and administering the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. For more information on the Baldrige Award process please visit:

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