Washington Hospital recognizes the critical link between the health of
each individual and the health of the environment. As the Hospital reaffirms
its commitment to promoting a healthier community, it’s taking a
leading role in environmental awareness.
Washington Hospital Healthcare System Receives Two National Awards for
Achievements in Sustainability
Practice Greenhealth Awards for 2017 honor superior performance in standard-setting
innovation and environmental stewardship
May 2017 (Fremont, California)—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
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 Practice Greenhealth:
Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading health care community
that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental
stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best
practices and knowledge. To learn more about Practice Greenhealth visit