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.
To help promote a cleaner and greener environment,Washington Hospital and the City of Fremont are observing Earth Day by hosting a special community event that will focus on how all of us can help make our community a healthier place. On Saturday, April 20, 2013 members of Washington Hospital’s Green Team, the City of Fremont and other local Tri-City organizations will stage an education expo to raise environmental awareness and share eco-friendly ideas with people in our District. The “Let’s Go Green Together!” event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. inside the Conrad E. Anderson,M.D. Auditorium at 2500 Mowry Ave. (Washington West) in Fremont.
“Washington Hospital is dedicated to developing green ideas and solutions to foster the best possible outcomes for patients while also conserving resources, reducing waste and creating sustainability programs all around the hospital,” says Paul Kelley, director of biomedical engineering and green initiative at Washington Hospital. “Our upcoming event will be a great opportunity for people to learn how to reduce waste at home and learn new ways to go green.”
A few features of the event include:
- Visit our farmers market: A farmers market offering locally grown produce will take place outside the Washington West main entrance.
- Learn gardening tips: Gardening experts will share their expertise and help you prepare for the spring gardening season. Come learn more about Bay Area-friendly gardening, see samples of drought-resistant plants, California natives and plants that attract pollinators.
Drop-off and dispose
Several designated booths inside the Conrad E. Anderson,M.D. Auditorium will be available for those who would like to drop off and recycle the following items:
- Disposal of unused, unwanted medications: Do not dispose of medicines down the drain, where they end up polluting our waters. Instead, bring expired or unwanted medications for drop-off, knowing they will be processed in an environmentally responsible way. The Union Sanitary District booth will accept all of your unused medication.
- Disposal of home-generated sharps: This includes needles and syringes, lances, etc. These sharps must (by state law) be in an approved sharps container. We will have a limited number of sharps containers available free of charge to those who need them. Identification will be required per the County of Alameda.
- Donating eyeglasses: The Lions Club recycles and distributes eyeglasses all over the world to people in need. Bring your old eyeglasses and give someone else the gift of sight!
- Mercury thermometer exchange: Washington Hospital and the Union Sanitary District are working to keep mercury out of our local waterways by reducing its presence in products and devices. If you bring us a mercury thermometer we will swap it out for free with a digital thermometer that contains no mercury.
Learn more at our education booths
- Healthy eating: Washington Hospital clinical registered dietitians will talk about healthy eating, weight control and tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Recycling and reducing household waste: See exhibits, talk to specialists and learn the proper ways to reduce, reuse and recycle at home and at the workplace.
- Eco-friendly gardening and composting
- Learn how to save energy at home at the PG&E booth
Fun activities for the kids
- Kids can participate in “eco-tainment” activities, have their faces painted, create Earth Day art and play other free games.
Local sustainability programs
- Members of the Washington Hospital Green Team, City of Fremont and other local organizations will be on hand to explain how they are implementing eco-friendly programs and to showcase the sustainability practices that are already in place. Learn about becoming more sustainable at home and at work!
See How Our Environmental Efforts Are Being Recognized
In November 2010, Washington Hospital received the 2010 StopWaste Business Efficiency Award for outstanding achievements in waste reduction and environmental performance. The Hospital was singled out with 11 other local companies and organizations by StopWaste.org, which the Alameda County Waste Management Authority.
Washington Hospital Receives 2010 StopWaste Business Efficiency Award
Since the Hospital’s Green Team was formed two years ago, several facility-wide recycling and compostable collection programs have been implemented. Highlights in the last year have included a successful take-back program for the public, allowing people to drop off unwanted or un-used medications for safe disposal. This program collected two tons of medications in 2009.
The hospital also replaced disposable plastic containers for used syringes and other medical sharps with reusable ones throughout the facility. This program alone is expected to eliminate sending 9.1 tons of plastic waste to the landfill each year.
"We recognize the critical link between the health of each individual and the health of the environment," said Paul Kelley, Director of Biomedical Engineering and Green Team Chair. "That’s why we are committed to environmentally responsible practices and are taking the lead to promote a healthier community."
Washington Hospital Receives National Environmental Award
For the second consecutive year, Washington Hospital has earned an Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth, a national organization for healthcare institutions that have made a commitment to environmentally responsible practices. The "Partner for Change Award" was presented in recognition of Washington Hospital’s achievements in developing programs to prevent pollution, reduce and recycle solid waste, eliminate mercury, reduce water and energy consumption and establish "green" purchasing policies.
"We worked very hard to earn this award," says Paul Kelley, Director of Biomedical Engineering and Green Initiative at Washington Hospital. "Practice Greenhealth presented Environmental Excellence Awards to only 245 institutions nationwide, which is a very slim percentage of the many healthcare organizations around the country. Personally, I am most proud of the fact that so many people throughout the hospital are enthusiastic about reducing our environmental impact and offering their suggestions for improvement."
A Certified Biomedical Electronics Technician, Kelley is the Chair of Washington Hospital’s "Green Team" Committee that was created in August 2008. He attended the awards ceremony in Baltimore to accept the award on behalf of the hospital and attend the CleanMed global conference for environmental leaders in healthcare institutions.
"The conference in Baltimore gave me an opportunity to network with people from other hospitals and share ideas for future green initiatives," Kelley says. "For example, there was one session on reducing paper usage that also reduced technology costs. One hospital with about 900 employees previously had 800 single-function machines such as printers, copiers, fax machines and scanners. By converting to multi-function devices, they were able to save approximately $120,000 in repairs, toner, paper and so forth during the first year."