Hospital earns “green” award

Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital has won a Partner for Change Award from practice Greenhealth. Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge.

The Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that have implemented a significant number of environmental programs, and continuously improve and expand upon those programs on the path to sustainability.

Among other environmentally friendly initiatives, the Hospital regularly recycles used sterile blue wrap, using volunteers to sew it into carryall bags or aprons; offers used coffee grounds and filters to associates for use in compost bins or gardens; donating food scraps to a local pig farmer (about 3,200 pounds per month); and donating usable leftover food to two local charities, one of which provides daily suppers for those in need, and the other that stocks a food pantry. Since implementing those programs, about 250 pounds per week, or 13,033 pounds per year are not wasted.

To earn the award, the hospital, at a minimum, has to:

• Recycle 15 percent or more of total waste stream
• Have a mercury elimination program in place with a plan for total elimination.
• Demonstrate breadth of program. While some facilities have done outstanding work on one area, this Award rewards facilities with broad sustainability programs when evaluated across all topic categories.

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