By Tamy Ford, MEDCOM Sustainability CoordinatorMay 9, 2012
Practice Greenhealth (PGH), the nations' leading organization for healthcare institutions that have made a commitment to sustainable practices and environmental excellence has recognized six MEDCOM military treatment facilities for their commitment to sustainable practices and environmental improvement. Madigan and Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Centers and Blanchfield, Evans, Moncrief and Winn Army Community Hospitals were presented with PGH Environmental Excellence Awards during the CleanMed 2012 conference on May 2.
Madigan is the first MTF to be inducted into the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Leadership Circle. This award recognizes healthcare facilities that exemplify environmental excellence and set the highest standards for environmental practices and sustainability in healthcare.
Established in 2005, Madigan's multi-disciplinary sustainability team has earned multiple PGH awards over the years, culminating in the distinguished ELC award. Mike Kyser, Green Team Co-Chairman and Sustainability Coordinator, notes Madigan's major success as a $70K cost savings through the diversion of 590 tons of waste from the local landfill using strategies such as recycling laboratory solvents, cardboard, mixed paper, scrap metal and medical blue wrap.
Evans earned the Making Medicine Mercury-Free award and the Partner for Change award saluting their continuous improvement and expansion of their mercury elimination, waste reduction, and pollution prevention programs.
Maj. David Zajac, Chief Logistics Division and Sustainability Team Chairman said, "Winning these awards validates our progressive sustainable practices at Evans and gives evidence to the important causal link between effective healthcare delivery and sustainable practices."
Evans' eco-friendly housekeeping products and services resulted in an annual savings of $384,000 and in just six months, Evans expanded their recycling program to achieve a 31% recycling rate for the facility.
Ongoing sustainability improvements earned Moncrief the Partner for Change award in 2012. The Moncrief "Green Team" was established in January 2010 and is co-chaired by Maj. David Glad, Chief Logistics, and Gilbert Crowell, Chief, Environmental Services. Moncrief has achieved a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (RRR) rate of 45% of the total waste stream for the facility.
According to Crowell, "Our recycling programs are the foundation of our sustainability program; it starts with staff education; leads to a change in mindset for everyone involved in the process, and results in a culture of excellence with a commitment."
Darnall received the 2012 Partner for Change award, just months after establishing their Green Team in December 2011.
Dorothy Smith, Chief Environmental Services and Green Team Leader said, "Recycling and turning off the lights are so easy, we should want to do this; it's no more than what we would do at home."
Darnall currently recycles over 35% of their total waste stream through a partnership with the Fort Hood recycling program. Another notable achievement; Darnall's single-use device collection and reprocessing program resulted in savings of $291,500 from diverted waste and repurchasing costs in 2011.
Both Blanchfield and Winn received Partner for Recognition awards.
Over the past year, Winn has installed $2.4 M of solar modules in an effort to reduce its energy consumption. Winn has also installed automatic light sensors in all conference rooms within its facility and 75% of all administrative offices. It has also converted all latrines to energy efficient latrines which include automatic lights, toilets, sinks, and paper dispensers.