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December 21, 2009

Local hospitals honored for environmental efforts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has honored six Maryland hospitals for what they call their environmental leadership and commitment to pollution prevention efforts.

The Trailblazer Award recognizes hospitals across the region -- Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington -- that have stepped up their sustainable practices.

“These hospitals are successfully demonstrating leadership and innovation in reducing their environmental footprint,” said Virginia Thompson, sustainable healthcare sector manager for the mid-Atlantic region of EPA, in a statement. “They have undertaken a challenging task and have produced measurable results in many cases, demonstrating what can be accomplished when hospitals take advantage both of senior executive support and grounds-up initiative from across the hospitals’ many departments.”

Local honorees (in EPA's words):

--Franklin Square Hospital Center in White Marsh, which developed holistic, sustainable policies that will serve as a foundation for the entire MedStar Healthcare System.

--Baltimore-based LifeBridge Health, which adopted a corporate-wide set of waste management policies, instituted environmentally preferable purchasing practices, and implemented a food waste reduction and composting program.

--The University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, which established a university farmers’ market and is reducing greenhouse gases by providing opportunities for patients, staff, and the community to purchase locally grown food.

--The VA Maryland Health Care System in Baltimore and Perry Point, which has an environmental management system and is using it to guide environmentally preferable purchasing decisions, reduce energy and water use, purchase local foods, and develop written procedures for minimizing the purchase and use of hazardous chemicals. 

EPA also honored Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (MD H2E), which officials said has gotten hospitals in Maryland to up their sustainability and reduce their environmental footprint.  The Maryland Department of the Environment has supported MD H2E with grants for mercury and PVC audits at seven hospitals and is now helping fund energy audits at two Maryland hospitals.
For more information on Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, click here. And for info on EPA Sustainable Healthcare, go here.

Other honorees are:

--Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, which implemented performance contracting, resulting in energy and water conservation, and publicized the program both internally and externally.

--Montgomery General Hospital in Olney, which has reclaimed wetlands to reduce stormwater runoff, and which has a hospital representative serving on the county solid waste advisory committee.

Posted by Meredith Cohn at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: News roundup

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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