National Quality Award Examiners


 ‭(Hidden)‬ Apply to serve as a 2024 Silver or Gold Examiner

​The 2024 Silver and Gold Examiner applications are n​ow available! Submit your application in the Quality Award Portal​ by Thursday, November 9 at 5 PM ET.  Selection notifications will be s​ent out Thursday, November 30. For assistance with the Portal, please visit our Help Center​


About the Examiner Program
The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program recognizes lon​g term and post-acute care centers across the nation that strive for improved quality care. The program, based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria, sets high standards for quality and encourages centers to commit to excelling in quality performance. Each year, AHCA/NCAL selects Gold and Silver Examiners to review applications at the Silver and Gold levels, respectively. Recruitment is not open for Bronze Examiners. Participating Examiners are offered the following benefits: 
  • ​​Networking in the long term care profession 
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Education in Baldrige criteria from content experts
  • Playing a role in positively impacting long term care performance nationally
  • Earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • Attend AHCA/NCAL’s annual Quality Summit or Convention at a discounted rate  ​​​​

2025 Program Dates
If you are interested in serving as an Examiner, please leave your information h​ere. Program Staff will email you late summer 2024 with more details.
  • September 26, 2024: Application available.
  • ​November 7, 2024: Application submission deadline. 
  • December 5, 2024: Selection notification emails. 
  • Early January- February 2025: Virtual training. 
  • February-May 2025: Examiner Review Period.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Testimonials

"Participation in the Quality Award Program, both as an applicant and Examiner has been of immeasurable benefit to me personally and professionally.  Not only have I been able to develop a marketable skillset, but I have created a knowledge base, a peer network, and a best practice resource that has been of great value to me as an individual and to what I contribute to my own organization.  Serving as a Master [now know as Gold]​ Examiner has been one of the most significant accomplishments of my career and one that I am proudest of.  In terms of importance and pride, the knowledge and benefit that I have gained as a result of participation in the Quality Award Program is second only to the differences I may have made at the bedside." - Alana Moore, Director of Quality and Performance Excellence, Sunrise Senior Care

"My contribution as an AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Examiner has led me from the role of a CNA, speech pathologist, and licensed nursing home administrator to that of the Chair of the AHCA Quality Improvement Committee, member of the AHCA/NCAL Quality Cabinet, member of the NCAL Quality committee, contributing faculty member for ahcancalED and more importantly to the role of Quality Professional.  I have met colleagues that have furthered my ability to impact positive change through the implementation of the Baldrige criteria and QAPI within a corporate multi-facility management structure. The contacts that I have made as an Examiner have changed the path of my life and my career, and my service has allowed me to impact centers across the country." -
Stacey Merritt Hord, Vice President of Quality, Golden Living

“As I enter my third year as a judge, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to serve AHCA.  Bringing the Baldrige Framework to organizations that serve our seniors and those in need of skilled nursing care is critically important, and I’m proud to be at least a small part of improving life for those individuals.  The staff at AHCA is dedicated to that same mission as well as to their volunteers – they value and appreciate all that we do and we appreciate them back!” - Casey Mackert , Client Coach and the Director of Baldrige Services for Six Disciplines Consulting Services

"I encourage alumni examiners to volunteer as I have to help the AHCA program.  AHCA’s initiative provides me an extraordinary and immediate opportunity to impact the quality and sustainability of skilled nursing and assisted living across the nation.   I am experiencing the passion commitment and innovation of examiners, judges and an association that is making a difference in the lives of Americans." - Kevin Deats, Owner, Spire Quality Consulting

“As an Examiner for the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award, you will have the opportunity to help drive performance excellence in the long-term care industry.  These organizations are very mission-focused, and your work will help them learn how to more effectively meet the needs of the residents/patients that they serve.  In my opinion, the AHCA/NCAL program is a role model performance excellence recognition program.  Over 1000 long-term care facilities per year apply at three different levels of recognition.  Applicant organizations demonstrate a high level of retention as these organizations progress through the Award levels.  As an Examiner, you will receive world-class training, then work with a small team to assess and provide feedback to these organizations. Most of us know someone who is currently receiving or has received long-term care. 
Our work makes a difference!” - P
aul Grizzell, President, Core Values Partners, Inc

 Alana Wolfe

AMW Profile Picture.jpgServing as an Examiner in the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program has been of immeasurable benefit to me, both personally and professionally. Not only have I been able to develop a more marketable skillset, but it has created a knowledge base, a peer network, and a best practice resource that has been of great value to me as an individual and to what I am able to contribute to my own organization. I encourage everyone to consider becoming an Examiner for the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program!

- Alana M. Wolfe, National Director of Performance Excellence, Sunrise Senior Living

 Jim Toney

Jtoney.jpgThought about being an AHCA Quality Award Examiner, but haven’t taken the plunge? Now is a good time to do so for several reasons. First, the training is superior. You get the best training available in the Baldrige-based quality award business. Second, you contribute to better lives for patients and residents in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. Third, you learn new skills that are immediately usable in your facility - and in any industry. And finally, you will contribute to the success of the largest quality award program in the United States. Yes, being an Examiner takes time, but the investment is rewarding and like many of us, you may find yourself coming back for years. Who doesn’t want to do good?  

 - Jim Toney, Gold ​Examiner