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COE 2026 and Covid-19

How the COE Framework has helped communities in the Covid-19 Crisis

Testimonials from COE community leaders

"The networks, communication channels, and relationships established through our COE work over the 2 ½ years are proving extremely beneficial to community leaders during this time.  As we move into recovery, these same channels will be used to coordinate a long-term response and recovery effort.  We have a common strategic planning process that can be replicated to develop a community-wide response.  Our shared processes or network would not exist without the work we've put in because of COE.  The systems approach provided in the COE framework is an asset to communities anytime, but especially in times of crisis and instability."

Kim Halfhill, Community Coach, COE Learning Collaborative Cohort 1 – Excelsior Springs, Missouri

"Our experience using Communities of Excellence and Baldrige-based principles in the community positioned us to naturally approach the COVID-19 pandemic through a collaborative and inclusive lens. Work Groups for all sectors in the community were quickly formed and now communicate weekly through well-attend robust digital sessions, ensuring all stakeholders are current on the latest developments and can get their questions answered.  We swiftly and collaboratively moved to protect vulnerable populations, taking steps that have been recognized by the state governor during his daily news conferences. We worked side by side with all our healthcare community to creatively expand medical capacity well in advance of the expected surge. Our experience with COE and Baldrige has allowed us to collectively and collaboratively ensure our community remains healthy, safe, and thriving."

Nick Macchione, Director, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, COE Learning Collaborative Cohort 1 - San Diego South Region and Cohort 2 - San Diego North Regions, California

"West Kendall was chosen to participate in the inaugural cohort of Community of Excellence. During the last three years we have developed a deep understanding of our community through the lens of Community of Excellence. Learning to adapt the categories of the Baldrige framework to a community setting prepared us to better handle the current crises.  Having established a strong leadership team inclusive and diverse of community members, understanding our internal and external customers and collaboratively setting strategy with an intent focus on results. This positioned us to quickly activate and unite our leaders and community members to respond to the needs of our residents.  We will emerge from this challenge in a position of strength and ready to resume our goals of elevating our community."

Michelle Mejia, AVP Health Promotion and Strategic Partnerships, West Kendall Baptist Hospital, COE Learning Collaborative Cohort 1 – West Kendall, Florida

"Communities of Excellence is a top priority.  This is when working together has legs, in a crisis like this…This isn't just something you do when you have time, this is how you solve problems."

Quentin Wilson, Director, St Louis County Department of Revenue, COE Learning Collaborative Cohort 3 - St Louis County, Missouri

"Right after the Covid-19 crisis began, the Chair of our Community Success Panel, which coordinates our Communities of Excellence efforts, called a meeting to bring together City leaders, County leaders, our health system, and pretty much all the major players in our community.  We formed a Coalition that really came out of Communities of Excellence, that meets twice a week to strategize and work together across the community around this crisis.  Communities of Excellence provided a great way for us to get started with this coalition, which is now doing some excellent work."

Sharon Mortensen, President and CEO, Midland Area Community Foundation, COE Learning Collaborative Cohort 3 - Midland County, Michigan