Laxton Named to Panel of Judges for Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

September 10, 2019

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced that Christopher E. Laxton, CAE, executive director of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine in Columbia, MD, has been named by the secretary of commerce to serve a three-year term on the Panel of Judges for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence.

All applicants for the Baldrige Award are evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce; operations; and results. Based on these assessments, the highest-ranking applicants are chosen for an on-site visit by a team of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in their applications. As one of 12 judges on the panel, Laxton will be responsible for selecting which applicants receive site visits, and ultimately, which applicants are recommended to the secretary of commerce as Baldrige Award recipients.

Laxton is a career health care association professional with more than 35 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, governance, and operations. In addition to his role at AMDA, he serves as chair of the Board of Directors of the Advancing Excellence in Long-Term Care Coalition and as board treasurer of the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living. He also represents AMDA on several national coalitions, including the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations and the Dementia Friendly America National Council. Laxton has served as a national Baldrige examiner since 2008.

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th secretary of commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987. Awards may be given annually to organizations in each of six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care, and nonprofit. The award promotes innovation and excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. Since the first group was recognized in 1988, 124 awards have been presented to 115 organizations (including eight repeat recipients). The 2018 winners are Integrated Project Management Company, Inc., Burr Ridge, IL (small business); Donor Alliance, Denver, CO (nonprofit); Alamo Colleges District, San Antonio, TX (education); Tri County Tech, Bartlesville, OK (education); and Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center, Jasper, IN (health care).

NIST manages the Baldrige Award in close conjunction with the private sector.

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program also offers the 2019–2020 Baldrige Excellence Framework: Proven Leadership and Management Practices for High Performance, which includes the world-emulated Criteria for Performance Excellence; Baldrige Excellence Builder; Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder; nationally ranked leadership training; and the Baldrige Collaborative Assessment and other assessment tools. For information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Baldrige Award application process, call 301-975-2036, send an e-mail to, or visit

Media with questions, needing background, or wishing to arrange interviews with Baldrige Program officials should contact Alison Gillespie in the NIST Public Affairs Office; she can be reached at 301-975-2316 or




About the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit for more information.