Tuesday, June 2, 2015

 Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (MD H2E) honored four Maryland hospitals/ health systems as environmental “Trailblazers,” for their recent innovative achievements. Additionally, MD H2E honored two healthcare professionals for their dedication to environmental health and sustainability. All winners serve as models for those seeking to reduce their environmental footprint and raise the bar on improved results. 
Joan Plisko, Director of MD H2E, presented the awards at the Maryland Hospital Association annual meeting, June 1st, at the Four Seasons Baltimore. The winners are:
Adventist Healthcare (AHC) established a $3 million efficiency investment fund to be managed as a stand-alone, return-based financing mechanism. The fund directed investments into sustainability projects such as LED parking garage retrofits and water conservation measures, with a payback of just over two years. AHC reduced the 2015 budgets for electricity, gas and water by 10 percent, 9 percent and 3 percent, respectively. AHC saved 4.7 million kWh of electricity, 4,500 therms of gas, and over 3 million gallons of water. These savings kept an equivalent amount of emissions out of the air as the carbon sequestered by 4,000 acres of United States forests in a year, the energy used by 500 homes for a year and the burning of 6 million pounds of coal.
Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) diverted over 7,000 tons of deconstruction debris from a planned demolition on campus. GBMC razed the outdated North Chapman building to accommodate additional valet parking amenities. A total of 97 percent of the material was re-used or recycled, and crushable material was processed onsite and used as backfill for the new project’s foundation. GBMC provided a portion of the construction and crushed materials to Baltimore’s Waverly Elementary School and to local reclamation businesses, putting resources into the local economy.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) bio-decontaminated over $90,000 worth of supplies from 18 isolation patient rooms using vaporized hydrogen peroxide during a 2014 pilot project. Previously, supplies from these rooms, when not used, were discarded after patient discharge. The JHH materials management team collected, decontaminated and used these supplies. The team captured and returned to inventory and circulation over 4,000 pounds of materials otherwise destined for the landfill.
Lifebridge Health (LBH) instituted a greening the operating room program by creating sustainability champions as part of surgical teams. LBH focused on waste reduction efforts by empowering employees and making them an integral part of the greening process. As a result of this systemic culture change, LBH reduced medical waste in the operating rooms by 35 percent at Sinai and Northwest hospitals.  Both hospitals continue to generate only 10 percent of their overall waste as regulated medical waste, which is considered low among hospitals.
Physician for a Healthy Environment: Dr. Lauren Berkow, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, is a leader in educating and empowering physicians to become more engaged in sustainability efforts. Dr. Berkow has played an active role in sustainability efforts at JHH to green the operating room and speaks internationally on the role of physicians and anesthesiologists in reducing waste, costs and greenhouse gasses.
Environmental Health in Nursing: Justin Graves, RN, University of Maryland Medical Center, is a nationally recognized sustainability manager, skilled in collaboration and sharing best management practices. Justin chairs the hospital green team, spearheaded programs in waste reduction and healthy foods, and has identified opportunities to change hospital purchasing programs that save money and reduce environmental impact.

The winners will be sharing their success stories and lessons learned at the MD H2E Trailblazer Event, scheduled for October 23rd, 2015 at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

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