Hospitals Show a Healthy Return on Environmental Innovations

Hospitals Show a Healthy Return on Environmental Innovations

Hospitals across the country were honored today for outstanding environmental performance at the first annual awards ceremony of Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E), a joint program of the American Hospital Association, American Nurses Association, Health Care Without Harm and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

H2E's premier award, the Environmental Leadership Award, went to three hospitals that are setting the standard for environmental practices in health care: University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers; University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital; and Kaiser Permanente - Northwest Region.

"We commend these hospitals for their exceptional achievements in waste minimization, pollution prevention and mercury elimination," said H2E coordinator Laura Brannen. "These leaders stand as a shining example of what hospitals can achieve by prioritizing environmental programs."

H2E also honored 11 health-related organizations with the "Champions for Change Award" in recognition of their work to promote pollution prevention and to bring new hospitals into the H2E program. "Recruitment of hospitals is vital to the H2E goal of 50 percent waste reduction by 2010 and virtual elimination of mercury by 2005. The Champions for Change award winners are excelling in the effort to bring new partners on board," Brannen said.

H2E also honored 17 hospitals with the "Partners for Change Award" for making significant progress reducing waste and eliminating mercury, and 20 hospitals with the "Making Medicine Mercury Free Award."

All the awards are given annually, beginning this year, to facilities that commit to the H2E waste and toxicity reduction goals. H2E aims to eliminate mercury-containing waste from the health care waste stream, to reduce the volume of all waste generated, and to minimize the production of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) pollutants.

The Environmental Leadership and Champion for Change awards were presented today at the Hilton Washington in Washington, DC. A complete list of winners and downloadable photos of the award ceremony are available at www.h2e-online.org.