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MedStar Health Takes Part to Speed Greening in Healthcare
Columbia, MD, May 17, 2010 – MedStar Health has announced a partnership with five other leading national health systems to form the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, in an effort to speed the health care sector toward environmental sustainability and improved patient care.
Joining MedStar Health in this initiative are Advocate Health Care, Catholic Healthcare West, Hospital Corporation of America, Kaiser Permanente and Partners Healthcare. Together, these systems have developed an agenda that outlines specific activities hospitals can take to reduce their environmental footprint and improve health outcomes.
“Hospitals are among the most energy-intensive buildings in the U.S.,” says Frank Weinberg, MedStar’s corporate assistant vice president of facilities. “This initiative puts MedStar at the forefront of advancing health care into better environmental stewardship while reducing the energy costs of health care delivery and protecting our patients, associates and the community.”
The six systems have agreed on the following tenets of a “Healthier Hospitals” agenda:
Improve environmental health and patient safety. Engage in environmentally sound purchasing, reduce chemical use, employ green building practices and purchase and serve healthy food and foods made in sustainable ways;
Reduce the use of natural resources and generate less waste. Lower energy consumption by engaging in robust inventory management, waste management and recycling programs, and transition toward renewable energy sources;
Institutionalize sustainability and safety. Integrate environmental sustainability into all areas of operation through leadership, education and accountability, to incorporate green principles as an essential element of the culture of patient care.
Hospitals nationwide are being encouraged to support this groundbreaking initiative by becoming a sponsoring organization, signing a pledge of endorsement, and implementing the Healthier Hospitals agenda at their institutions. Moving forward, member hospitals will engage in the sharing of best practices, and publish outcomes in the field.
Three partner organizations – Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth, and The Center for Health Design – will provide expertise and technical assistance and develop training programs to help member hospitals carry out agenda recommendations. Research conducted through the Healthier Hospitals Initiative will be overseen by the Health Care Without Harm Collaborative, which is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.