WEST POINT, N.Y. — In recognition for its achievement and innovation in health care sustainability, Keller Army Community Hospital received the 2021 Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care.
The Environmental Excellence Award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon programs to eliminate mercury, reduce and recycle waste, source products sustainably, and more. Winning facilities must demonstrate that they are recycling at least 15% of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are on track to eliminate mercury, and have developed successful sustainability programs in many areas.
“In a shifting health care landscape, a focus on sustainability can help build resilience while better protecting the health of patients and the community,” said Gary Cohen, Practice Greenhealth founder. “Keller demonstrates the kind of leadership, innovation, and performance that can drive the entire health sector toward more environmentally responsible practices.”
Keller’s efforts to be more environmentally responsible include:
- The Keller Dining Facility switching to biodegradable containers to replace the Styrofoam containers. Additionally, the Styrofoam cups will soon be replaced with paper cups. Overall, this will produces less waste and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
- A top-down filling water fountain, near the pharmacy, which will encourage people to refill water bottles and reduce the number of plastic water bottles that are purchased.
- A Clean Chemical Dispensing System used by the Housekeeping Department. It’s user-friendly and the housekeeping staff does not have to come in contact with the chemicals.
- Nora Rubber Flooring throughout the hospital. This flooring is made to be cleaned/shined without the use of chemicals. It can be cleaned with steam.
Additionally, the Brian D. Allgood Ambulatory Clinic was built with evidence-based designs and sustainability principles. The building’s plan includes an EPA Energy Star-rated step down transformer and an on-site photovoltaic cell array on the roof. The overall energy model demonstrates 19% less building energy cost than comparable facilities.
“We have made great strides toward reducing our impact on the environment, and we are committed to doing even more,” said Col. Amy L. Jackson, Commander, Keller Army Community Hospital. “The work of the Sustainability Committee has re-enforced our long-term commitment to minimizing and recycling waste, addressing chemicals of concern, lowering energy and water consumption, sourcing food and products sustainably, and establishing environmentally preferable purchasing criteria.”
“I would like to thank Keller’s Sustainability Committee chair, Capt. Emily Hege, for her leadership, and the Sustainability Committee for their incredible efforts to make Keller a sustainability leader in Army Medicine,” added Jackson.
The award is one of Practice Greenhealth’s Environmental Excellence Awards given annually to honor health care’s achievements in sustainability.
Practice Greenhealth is the leading membership and networking organization for sustainable health care, delivering environmental solutions to more than 1,100 U.S. hospitals and health systems. Learn more at https://practicegreenhealth.org.