FREMONT, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In recognition of successful programs to reduce environmental impact, Washington Hospital Healthcare System has received two prestigious awards from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. These Environmental Excellence Awards are given each year to honor environmental achievements in the health care sector.
“We are very proud of these honors,” said Nancy Farber, chief executive officer of the 341-bed, acute care hospital. “As health care providers, sustainability is at the core of our healing mission and central to protecting the health of our patients, staff and community.”
First, Washington Hospital received a Partner for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth, the seventh time this honor has been presented to the Hospital.
The Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon programs to eliminate mercury, reduce and recycle waste, source products sustainably, and more. Winning facilities must demonstrate that they are recycling at least 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are on track to eliminate mercury, and have developed successful sustainability programs in many areas.
Second, the Hospital has been honored for the first time with a Greening the OR Recognition Award.
The OR Recognition Award acknowledges facilities that demonstrate success in reducing the environmental impact of its surgical suites. Operating rooms are large contributors to a health care facility’s environmental footprint, creating opportunity for significant cost savings and sustainability improvements. The award builds on the Greening the OR® Initiative led by Practice Greenhealth, which in 2015 alone helped participating facilities save $41.7 million while avoiding 2,150 tons of waste and more than 9 million kWhs of energy.
“Washington Hospital has long been a leader in health care sustainability efforts,” said Farber, “and we’re continually launching initiatives that increase environmental awareness and stewardship.”
Hospital improvements that led to the Practice Greenhealth recognition include water reduction efforts through the replacement of older technologies with new ones that use less water, such as sterilizers and chillers.
“In addition to replacing technology, we’ve replaced a lot of landscape with more drought-tolerant landscaping,” said Paul Kelley, director of Biomedical Engineering and leader of Washington Hospital’s Green Team. “One such landscaping project consisted of using river rocks that were dug up during construction of our new Morris Hyman Critical Care Pavilion which will open in 2018. Another example is our continued reduction of paper usage, plus an increase in the recycled content of our copy paper.”
And in the operating rooms?
“We’ve started a single-use reprocessing program that reduces our environmental impact while maintaining patient safety,” explained Kelley, “and continued our OR recycling program, which diverts noncontaminated paper and plastics from surgical cases. We also have new methods to eliminate wasted materials from surgical cases.”
“Our entire staff has a never-ending commitment to programs that have a positive impact on the environment and the communities we serve,” Farber added. “We thank Practice Greenhealth for recognizing these achievements every year, and we share these awards with everyone in our organization.”
The awards were presented at the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards Gala earlier this month in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the conclusion of the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition.
About Washington Township Healthcare District
Washington Township Health Care District is governed by an elected board and includes Washington Hospital Healthcare System. Unlike a municipal or county hospital, Washington Hospital’s operating expenses, research, community programs, and employee salaries are funded by revenues generated through providing patient and other health care services. Opened in 1958, Washington Hospital Healthcare System has grown to include a 341-bed, acute-care hospital; the Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute; The Gamma Knife® Center; Washington Radiation Oncology Center; Washington Outpatient Surgery Center; Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center; Washington Institute for Joint Restoration and Research; Washington Township Medical Foundation; and Washington West, a complex which houses Washington Women’s Center, Outpatient Imaging Center, Sandy Amos RN Infusion Center, Washington Urgent Care and additional outpatient hospital services and administrative facilities. Discover more at whhs.com, and through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Practice Greenhealth
Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading health care community dedicated to transforming health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. To learn more about Practice Greenhealth visit www.practicegreenhealth.org.