In recognition for groundbreaking achievement and innovation in health care sustainability, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (CRDAMC) received the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation's leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. The award is one of the Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor environmental achievements in the health care sector.

CRDAMC is the second Army facility to achieve a Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award in the past five years, which officials say, is a "beautiful complement to its LEED Gold certification for its nearly million square foot replacement hospital."

"This award is significant because it shows that we are an organization that cares about not only the people who make up CRDAMC, but the people we serve through our access to care at CRDAMC," said Col. David R. Gibson, CRDAMC commander, who was presented the award May 9 in San Diego during Practice Greenhealth's CleanMed 2018 award gala.

According to Capt. Kandice Reyes, chief, Environmental Health, more than 330 applicants competed for the top 25 spots.

"The Circle of Excellence Awards honor hospitals who have not only earned an award for all around sustainability achievement, but who have been identified as the TOP scoring programs for each category of sustainability" she said. "This speaks volumes as to the significance of this award that we received as a military treatment facility from a civilian organization.

Water conservation is a major focus for the Texas facility, which attained an 18.1 percent reduction in water use from its 2016 baseline. At 26 gallons per square foot, CRDAMC is performing better than nearly 90 percent of Practice Greenhealth award-winning facilities, according to organizational officials.

Helping CRDAMC with water conservation is its landscaping that consists of native trees, shrubs and grass, along with a drainage system that reduces runoff from rain and irrigation systems. The facility also has an innovative water reuse program featuring a 20,000-gallon tank for the reuse of processed chiller water and a 5,000-gallon steam collection tank--both used for landscape irrigation.

Energy efficiency, which achieved more than a 30% reduction in energy use beyond ASHRAE 90.1. was a priority for the replacement hospital, which opened April 2016. Fort Hood--where the medical center is located-- is also home to the Army's first and largest hybrid renewable solar and wind energy project, with more than 40 percent of its annual power coming from renewable energy. The organization is on track to achieve a 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its 2008 baseline by 2025

"All this was made possible because of leadership buy-in," said Reyes. "Every year, competition for the top spots increases as hospitals across the country continue to innovate, so this award demonstrates how CRDAMC is setting the highest standards for environmental practices in health care."

Practice Greenhealth is the nation's leading health care community dedicated to transforming health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice.