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H. Edward Hanway, CIGNA chairman and chief executive officer, was presented on April 26 with the Lean Six Sigma CEO of the Year Award at WCBF's Lean Six Sigma Summit in
“CIGNA's implementation of Lean Six Sigma principles has helped the organization become an effective advocate for lasting change in the health care system, most notably, in reducing health care costs, enhancing clinical quality and improving the health and productivity of American workers – and, therefore, the health of the American economy," said Raje. "Ed was certainly among the first – if not the first – in the industry to recognize Lean Six Sigma's potential as a force for positive change in the American healthcare system."
Hanway was part of a short-list of three finalist CEOs. All of the finalist entries were judged by a panel of leading Six Sigma practitioners from across all industries and Hanway was selected as the outright winner for demonstrating the most outstanding vision, leadership and organizational accomplishments in Lean Six Sigma.
For example, CIGNA has completed 163 projects to date that have provided a financial impact of $188 million per year. More than 150 projects are in the pipeline with a target of $100 million in additional benefit. CIGNA currently has 165 black belts and all 27,000 employees worldwide have ready access to Six Sigma training. Projects, best practices, benefits and financial results are managed and tracked in the Instantis EnterpriseTrack project portfolio management system.
"In a field where people's lives are literally in our hands, we should be striving for zero defects as a moral principle," said Hanway. "But doing things right the first time and adhering to proven clinical standards – health care's equivalent of 'best practices' – also has a business benefit. It eliminates the need to take corrective action, with all the associated redundancies, wasted time and do-overs. With Lean Six Sigma, you get better quality outcomes in less time, which reduces costs."