A person’s health is the starting point to enjoying life to the fullest and achieving one’s goals, both personal and professional. Aramco has long been aware of this basic tenet, as witnessed to by the extensive health care programs it has established for its employees.
Managing a large health care system such as Aramco’s requires planning and foresight and commitment. On this count, the company takes its responsibilities seriously, as evidenced by the Quality Assurance (QA), Quality Improvement (QI), Performance Improvement (PI), and Total Quality Management (TQM) programs it established decades ago to assure the best possible health care services are being delivered to its people. Just ask Barbara Wilder. She knows all about such things from first-hand experience.
Barbara, Badge Number 197216, formally joined the company in 1991 as a QA nurse. Five years earlier—in November 1986—while working for a contractor with the Ministry of Health, she was sent to Midhnab to develop QA, QI, PI, and TQM programs for a series of newly-built 200-to-500 bed hospitals. That previous experience made her the perfect candidate for the job when a position opened up in the Kingdom as a QA nurse in 1991. For the next five years, Barbara lived and worked as a health professional in Abqaiq, Udhailiyah, and Dhahran, putting her expertise to work to the betterment of her fellow Aramcons.
People often think of Quality Assurance, Quality Improvement, Performance Improvement, and Total Quality Management as one and the same thing, but they are in fact significantly different from one another. Once again, just ask Barbara.
In brief, Quality Assurance (QA) is defined under ISO 9000 as “a part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled.”
An integrated system of Quality Improvement (QI), meanwhile, focuses on consistently delivering ever-improving quality products and services.
Performance Improvement (PI), for its part, measures an organization’s current levels of performance, looking for ways to modify organizational behavior and infrastructure in order to achieve even higher quality output.
Total Quality Management (TQM), finally, involves organization-wide efforts to permanently create a climate in which an organization such as Aramco’s health care system can continuously improve its ability to deliver high-quality products and services to its people.
For a memorable five years back in the ’90s, Barbara dedicated her professional life to achieving such goals.
Life in KSA was not all work for Barbara by any measure. She somehow found time while there to enjoy the personal pleasures afforded ExPats living in Arabia. She recalls with special fondness a boat trip she once took out of Jizan to Farasan Island in the Red Sea off the southwestern coast of the Kingdom. There she enjoyed the marine sanctuary created to preserve the island’s astonishing biodiversity. Making Barbara’s trip even more memorable, the prince who served as Governor of Jizan was on the same boat as she, along with his family. Colorful vignettes such as this are an integral part of the Aramco ExPat experience and are key to what makes people’s time in Saudi such an unforgettable part of their lives.
Today a widow, Barbara finds joy in sharing in the lives of her children, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren. How many people are as blessed as she to have a rich, multi-generational family life such as hers to enjoy?
Today Barbara resides in DeLand, Florida with no immediate plans to attend one of the upcoming Aramco reunions.
“I was most thankful,” she wrote AXP recently, “I was able to work for Aramco those five years, as it enabled me to travel all over the world and experience different cultures.”
On behalf of the annuitants who are readers of our newsletter and visitors to our website, AXP would like to say “Thank you!” to Barbara for devoting five years of her life to helping make their lives better. People like Barbara Wilder are the foundation upon which Aramco has been built.