MedStar Health Baltimore Hospitals Recognized for Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Union Memorial, MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Harbor Hospitals have been honored with the 2015 “Partner for Change” award.

May 15, 2015

Baltimore—(May 15, 2015)—In recognition of their leadership in environmental sustainability, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals have been honored with the 2015 “Partner for Change” award. Granted by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization for facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations, the award is given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the health care sector.

The “Partner for Change” award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this award must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas.

Part of MedStar Health, a founding sponsor of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, MedStar Franklin Square, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial have converted their environmental challenges into sustainability goals and objectives across the system. Their efforts have aimed to aggressively reduce regulated medical waste generation and uniquely engage the community in their mission to reduce their environmental footprint.

As a system, efforts include various initiatives such as sustainability in food services; comprehensive waste segregation; integrated pest management; and the reformulation, reprocessing and reuse of surgical devices in the operating rooms.

Individually, each hospital participates in an array of engagement activities and innovative programs essential to establishing and maintaining best management practices. Notable achievements recognized by Practice Greenhealth in 2014 include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • MedStar Franklin Square expanded its efforts by implementing new strategies hospital wide to increase the practice of more efficient and healthier cleaning. The use of green-certified cleaners; the adoption of green cleaning methods; and the use of new technology, including the Xenex robotic disinfection system; have helped to reduce  waste, water and energy, improving air quality for the hospitals patients, visitors and associates.
  • MedStar Good Samaritan was recognized regionally for its garden initiatives. The “Grow…for Good Garden” at MedStar Good Samaritan was named the third “Best Community Garden in Baltimore City” by Charm City Farm and Garden Tour. The hospital makes a strong effort to include not only associates, but also the community in its garden project. In 2014, a diversified group, including local students and senior citizens, joined the team to help operate the on-site garden, growing a rotating crop of plants and vegetables throughout the year. The hospital also partners local organizations, including the food bank at Govens Community Center and Our Daily Bread, to donate fresh local produce to those in need in the community.
  • MedStar Harbor continued to see a downward trend in regulated medical waste and an upward trend in recycling. Through a partnership with Reduction In Motion, a sustainability and waste consultant, MedStar Harbor cut its regulated medical waste by more than 1,800,000 pounds annually
  • MedStar Union Memorial continues to increase sustainability awareness throughout its hospital by upgrading the initiatives that built its programs strong foundation. In addition to an array of engagement activities, a solid set of support services have driven a cultural change throughout the organization. Progressive programs in waste management, including the New2U office furniture and supply recycling program, has resulted in a reduce, reuse, reprocess and recycling rate of 32 percent, collectively. Additionally, the food services department has an 11-prong sustainability program and the environmental services department has adopted green certified cleaners and innovative sterilization technology.

In addition to the “Partner for Change” award, MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Harbor received added recognition from Practice Greenhealth.

MedStar Good Samaritan was also honored with a “Circles of Excellence” award for its outstanding performance in health care sustainability in the area of chemicals. The award recognizes MedStar Good Samaritan as a top facility in eliminating toxic chemicals by not only increasing its compliance with chemical regulations and guidelines, but by also going beyond those regulations to develop a framework for choosing safer chemicals whenever and wherever possible.

MedStar Harbor received additional recognition for its commitment to becoming mercury free. The “Making Medicine Mercury-Free” award recognizes facilities that have virtually eliminated one of the most hazardous chemicals—mercury—from the products it uses and have demonstrated a commitment to prevent it from re-entering the facility.

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were announced at CleanMed, an annual national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability held on May 14 in Portland, OR.  

To learn more about the Practice Greenhealth awards, click here.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

About Practice Greenhealth

Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge. To learn more about Practice Greenhealth visit practicegreenhealth.org.

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