JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Aug. 17, 2021) -- Brooke Army Medical Center received the 2021 Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence award. The award recognizes superior performance in environmental sustainability, covering a range of different sustainability programs and activities. Winners have also made substantive progress on mercury elimination.
“This achievement means that BAMC has gone above and beyond being a good steward for the environment and has been recognized for its superior performance in environmental sustainability,” said Army Capt. Ryan Wells, BAMC chief of environmental health. “We have set the standard for all medical treatment facilities to follow.”
Over the past year, BAMC has recycled more than 705,000 pounds of waste materials.
“This effort significantly reduced our disposal costs while simultaneously protecting the environment,” Wells said.
BAMC was also able to reach 100 percent use of green cleaning chemicals in five target areas: general purpose cleaners, window/glass cleaners, bathroom/restroom cleaners, carpet cleaners and floor cleaners.
In another initiative, the laboratory at the CPT Jennifer M. Moreno Primary Care Clinic began used heat sensitive labels on the urine collection cups. This initiative allowed the cups to be recycled while protecting the patient’s personal information. This effort reduced the clinic's regulated medical waste costs by 30 percent.
“Biomedical Clinical Engineering collects used circuit boards and recycle them as scrap metal,” Wells said. “This significantly reduces the weight of our solid waste as well as cost. These are just a few examples of how BAMC is working to sustain our environment.”
Future goals include implementing new policies to reduce waste by an additional 10 percent, utilizing procurement to reduce unnecessary purchases, and increasing staff education about sustainability and waste management.
“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. “BAMC demonstrates the kind of leadership, innovation, and performance that can drive the entire health sector toward more environmentally responsible practices.”
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.