Baltimore—(May 20, 2016)—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 2016 “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 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 2016 include, but are not limited to, the following:
- MedStar Franklin Square expanded its efforts by introducing a new waste separation and recycling program into its operating rooms. As a result, regulated waste generate in the operating rooms was reduced from 78 percent to only 10 percent. Following the lead of sister hospitals MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Union Memorial, MedStar Franklin Square joined their partnership with The Arc Baltimore, sending electronics to be repaired or recycled by adults with disabilities. Repaired electronics are then offered for sale at a low rate to the people and families they support. In its first year, MedStar Franklin Square collected an estimated 5,947 pounds of electronics for The Arc.
- MedStar Good Samaritan focused on the conservation of water and energy. By upgrading to a more efficient sterilizer, the hospital was able to cut the cycle time by more than half, using less overall electricity and reducing the water used per cycle from 111 gallons to 33 gallons. In addition, the hospital donated 6,656 pounds of electronics, including monitors, PCs, laptops, printers, scanners and WOW carts. Furthermore, MedStar Good Samaritan renovated its endoscopy area by including LED lights, sensor lighting, hands-free sinks, wireless monitors, energy efficient monitors, and removing nitrous oxide canisters.
- MedStar Harbor Hospital focused on the reduction of Styrofoam use and decreased use of regulated medical waste bags. By eliminating Styrofoam coffee cups throughout the hospital, and replacing Styrofoam to-go containers in the cafeteria with a wrapping station, the hospital was able to achieve a 35% reduction in Styrofoam use. In 2015, MedStar Harbor reached its lowest amount of regulated medical waste yet, continuing to maintain the best-in-class rate achieved the previous year. The success is attributed to education and re-education on the proper disposal of waste to associates, particularly those who serve in the operating rooms and on the environmental services team.
- MedStar Union Memorial continued their award-winning recycling partnerships, donating 9,089 pounds of electronics including monitors, PCs, laptops, printers and scanners. In addition, the hospital donated a total of 855 pounds of medical supplies to the Globus Relief and shoes for Project Sole. MedStar Union Memorial also focused efforts on greening its operating rooms, diverting 4,502 pounds of material from landfill or reduced medical waste processing. Due to its operating room reprocessing programs, MedStar Union Memorial saved $23,111 by purchasing back reprocessed items.
The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were announced at CleanMed, an annual national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability held on May 19 in Dallas, Texas.
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.