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Hospitals win national awards for environmental achievement

Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals have been honored with 2012 Awards from Practice Greenhealth, the national membership organization for health care facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations.  United Hospital was honored with two Awards, “Partner for Change” and “Making Medicine Mercury Free.” Kelsey Hospital received a “Partner Recognition” Award. These Awards are Practice Greenhealth’s Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the health care sector.

United Hospital was honored with the “Partner for Change” Award, which recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand on their mercury elimination, waste reduction, and source reduction programs. This award honors the efforts made to improve the environmental footprint. In addition, United Hospital received the “Making Medicine Mercury Free” Award which designates that proven policies have been put in place to rid the facility of the harmful chemical mercury and to prevent it from re-entering the facility.

Kelsey Hospital was honored with a “Partner Recognition” Award, the introductory award that recognizes organizations for protecting patient health and environmental stewardship.

Leading the sustainability charge for the hospitals is Corey Ballmer, Supply Chain Management Supervisor. Corey is dedicated to helping employees, medical staff, patients and visitors understand the importance of being environmentally minded in the health care setting.

“At United and Kelsey Hospitals, we recognize the link between the health of each individual and the health of the environment,” said Ballmer, Supply Chain Management Supervisor for United and Kelsey hospitals and Green Team chair. “That’s why we are committed to environmentally responsible practices and are taking the lead to promote a healthier community.”

Some of the recent green initiatives that both United and Kelsey Hospitals have employed include:

Single stream recycling

Light bulb recycling

Alkaline battery recycling

Scrap metal recycling

Electronics recycling

Formal “Green Team” with representatives from various departments to develop and implement earth friendly tactics

Additionally, in the last year, United Hospital has hosted several onsite Farmers Markets, drawing in local vendors and promoting the events to employees and the surrounding neighborhoods. United has also developed and implemented a process for sharps container recycling.

“We are pleased to be recognized for these significant achievements,” said Tina Freese-Decker, Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals President. “We are proud to be a model of how health facilities develop and implement programs to improve the health of our patients, staff and community.”

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented in Denver, CO, at CleanMed, the premier national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability.

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