Three Organizations Honored with Governor’s Sterling and Georgia Oglethorpe Awards


~ Florida Sterling Council Honors Three Diverse Role Model Organizations~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –The Florida Sterling Council today announced the Florida Department of Health in Collier County, Florida and WellStar Paulding Hospital in Hiram, Georgia are recipients of the prestigious Governor’s Sterling and Georgia Oglethorpe Award for 2019. In addition, the Orange County Public Schools Human Resources Division was awarded the Governor’s Sterling Sustained Excellence Award.

The coveted awards will be bestowed at the 2019 Governor’s Sterling Award Banquet at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes on Friday, May 31, 2019.

2019 Governor’s Sterling Award and 2019 Georgia Oglethorpe Award


Combined, the two state award processes have recognized excellence for 50 years, honoring organizations and businesses that have successfully achieved performance excellence within their management and operations. Last year, the Florida Sterling Council partnered with the Georgia Oglethorpe Award to administer its processes.


Florida Department of Health in Collier County

The Florida Department of Health in Collier County (DOH-Collier) is headquartered in Naples, Florida. DOH-Collier has 200 employees who provide services from five locations, including the Immokalee Clinic. Collier County has a full-time population of about 358,000 that increases by 20% from October to May with seasonal residents and migrant farm workers. The county is also host to 1.78 million annual visitors. DOH-Collier is the lead agency providing core public health services within the county. These services include statutorily mandated services and other federal, state, and locally funded programs, including clinical and nutritional services, WIC, community health planning and statistics, emergency preparedness and response, environmental health, infectious disease services, and vital statistics. Hurricane Irma made landfall in Collier County on September 10, 2017. At the county’s only special needs shelter, 120 employees cared for over 700 people with special medical needs around-the-clock.


  • Overall Health Outcomes has remained at number two among Florida’s 67 counties for each of the past five years, while Overall Health Factors has improved from number eight in 2014 to number three in 2018.
  • For the fourth straight year, the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida, metro area had the highest wellbeing across 156 U.S. communities, based on data collected in 2017 and 2018 as part of the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index and just 8 years ago, in 2011, it ranked 73rdin the nation.
  • DOH-Collier is among the United States top performers, as identified by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings, in the categories of adult smokers, adult obesity, and premature death.


  • The HIV program increased the number of cases linked to care within 90 days from 82% in 2017 to 85% in 2018, and more importantly by implementing a new test and treat protocol, the program reduced the average number of days to link a person to care from 13 to less than 5.


The Department builds and maintains its relationship with community partners through a robust system of service and leadership on many community coalitions, taskforces and committees to achieve its Values of ICARE – Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Responsiveness and Excellence.


The Florida Dept. of Health in Collier County is a first-time recipient of the Governor’s Sterling Award. It is the fifth Florida Department of Health county organization to be recognized.


WellStar Paulding Hospital

WellStar Paulding Hospitalis a part of the nationally recognized WellStar Health System, a non-profit health system, which includes 11 hospitals, 15 urgent care centers, 19 imaging centers, three health parks and more than 2,600 physicians throughout Georgia.

Established in 1957, the hospital functioned independently as a 25-bed facility before joining WellStar Health System in 1994. In 2014, WellStar Paulding Hospital relocated to a state-of-the-art, 295,000 square foot facility and later expanded in 2016 to 112 beds. The hospital’s service area consists of Paulding, Douglas and Cobb counties.

Inpatient services include general medicine, surgery, critical care, telemetry and more. Outpatient services include imaging, non-invasive cardiology, infusion, rehab, GI lab, surgery, oncology and adult and pediatric emergency services. WellStar Health System is recognized nationally as an Employer of Choice and is featured on FORTUNE 100’s “Best Companies to Work For” list and Working Mother Magazine’s Best Companies list due to its innovative employee benefits.

The hospital has consistently demonstrated sustained high levels of performance that exceed relevant comparisons in measures of its core competencies: patient safety and workforce engagement; and financial and market performance.

  • Patient safety: The mortality rate decreased from 0.53 in fiscal year 2017 to 0.43 in fiscal years 2018 and 2019, with year-to-date exceeding the Truven top decile rate of 0.7.
  • Patient safety: The percent of patients with an ischemic stroke, or a hemorrhagic stroke, or stroke not otherwise specified who receive VTE Prophylaxis the day of, or the day after admission, sustained high performance of 100% in fiscal year 2016, 97% in fiscal year 2017, and 100% in fiscal year 2018, exceeding the American Hospital Association top decile performance of 98%.
  • Workforce engagement: Key measures and engagement drivers demonstrate high performance in responses to survey questions, with performance meeting or exceeding top 100 places to work benchmarks including responses by staff to being treated fairly regardless of gender, race, or age, and executives fully embody the best characteristics of our company.
  • Financial and market performance: Financial measures continue to exceed the 2016 Moody’s Aa rated hospitals year over year. General medicine and general surgery market share have increased from 32% in fiscal year 2016 to 40% in fiscal year 2017 demonstrating the ability to meet the needs of their neighbors.

WellStar Paulding Hospital is a first-time recipient of the Florida Sterling Georgia Oglethorpe Award.



2019 Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award


Orange County Public Schools, Human Resources Division

The Orange County Public Schools, Human Resources Division, and its 91 team members, provides three key workforce services to the school district, including planning, securing capacity and capability, and developing and retaining staff. Orange County Schools is the ninth largest school system in the United States and the fourth largest in Florida, serving over 211,000 students attending approximately 200 locations. The District has 25,145 employees. The Division demonstrates visionary leadership by focusing on sustainability of the organization through communicating the District’s values. It fulfills its mission by aligning division strategic planning with the district’s goals, in daily operations at the departmental level, growth and development of employees, continuous improvement and innovation, and with stellar customer service.


  • Customer focused services and process efficiency show positive levels, trends, and comparisons to the Society of Human Resources (SHRM) median. For example, the average number of days to fill instructional positions has been reduced from 12.8 days in 2014 to 11.33 days in 2018.
  • The division’s high level of performance is confirmed by the satisfaction ratings (91 percent) of its two key customer groups, District employees and District hiring authorities and their support personnel, as well as the division’s workforce satisfaction (91.0 percent).
  • For administrative/technical employee team member satisfaction, high performance has been sustained each of the past five years at 98% or better, above the SHRM comparison of 77%.
  • In the areas of fiscal accountability, legal, regulatory, and ethical behavior, the Division has sustained performance of 100% each of the past five years.


The Orange County Public Schools, Human Resources Division, was the first Florida public school human resources division to receive the Governor’s Sterling Award in 2015. The Division is now a first-time recipient of the Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award.

Other Awards

Also on Friday, May 31, the Florida Sterling Council will recognize two organizations for their best practices. The Lee County Tax Collectoris being recognized for Workforce Retention and Development. TheSchool District of Palm Beach County Human Resources Divisionis being recognized for Customer Focused Excellence. Both organizations completed rigorous assessments which culminated in these Best Practice recognitions.


About the Governor’s Sterling Award

Established in 1992, the Florida Sterling Council is a public/private not-for-profit corporation supported by the Executive Office of the Governor. The Council oversees the Governor’s Sterling Award for Performance Excellence and administers the Georgia Oglethorpe Award.  The Awards are presented annually by the Governor to high performing, role-model organizations, both private and public, who demonstrate superior management approaches and role model results.  The Awards are presented at the culmination of the annual Sterling Conference that teaches participants how to elevate performance and increase productivity. Nearly 700 executives and professionals gather at this event each year for a one-stop source for education, information and inspiration. The conference concludes with the recognition of best practices and the Team Showcase Champion. For more information, contact Dione Geiger at (850) 922-5316 or visit