Beaumont receives national ‘green’ award

4/29/2013

Beaumont has received the 2013 "Partner for Change" award from , the nation's leading health care membership community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care. The award is one of the organization's Environmental Excellence awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the health care sector.

The Partner for Change award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this award must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas.

"This award proves that Beaumont is committed to eliminating mercury, reducing waste, recycling and preventing pollution, among other environmentally preferable practices," says Laura Wenger, R.N., executive director, Practice Greenhealth.

As evidenced in a recent Health Care Research Collaborative study, "Can Sustainable Hospitals Help Bend the Health Care Cost Curve?" introducing environmental sustainability measures in hospitals not only results in significant savings, it won't increase operating costs. The implications are clear — given the return on investment, all hospitals should adopt and expand their sustainability programs.

"We take pride in developing programs to improve the health of our patients, staff and community," says Kay Winokur, vice president, Quality and Professional Services, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. We look forward to working with Practice Greenhealth to further our sustainability efforts and lessen our impact on the environment."

Beaumont has made "green" part of its culture with a formal sustainability plan, budget, owners and structure.

Some of Beaumont's sustainability efforts include:

  • Energy - Beaumont has implemented 55 projects that have generated more than $2.1 million in savings.
  • Innovation - Employee teams conduct two-day kaizen, or process-improvement events, every month to seek low-cost solutions to reduce energy and water consumption.
  • Green technology - Beaumont has invested in daylight harvesting systems, EPEAT electronics and computers; and 1,413 LED lighting fixtures.
  • Supply chain - Beaumont has worked with suppliers to reduce excess packaging and materials to achieve less waste. The hospital also works with vendors who offer "green" office supply products; 30 percent of Beaumont's purchases are made from eco-friendly materials.
  • Transportation/commuting - Beaumont offers an employee carpool program and has more than 150 participants. The hospital also encourages bike riding. The campus has clearly marked bike lanes and provides employees bikes to use and covered racks to store bikes.

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented in Boston at CleanMed, the premier national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability.

About Beaumont, Royal Oak
Beaumont's 1,070-bed hospital in Royal Oak is a major academic, research and referral center with Level I trauma designation. It was named Michigan's first Magnet-designated hospital for nursing excellence and is an associate member of the National Children's Hospitals Association. The hospital ranks among the top hospitals in the United States for inpatient admissions and for surgical volume. Beaumont, Royal Oak has been named the "most preferred hospital" in a five-county area for 17 consecutive years in a consumer survey by National Research Corporation. The hospital is also nationally ranked in 10 medical specialties on the U.S. News and World Report "America's Best Hospitals" 2012-13 lists and is recognized as a 2012 Top Ten Quality Leader by the University HealthSystem Consortium. Beaumont is the exclusive clinical teaching site for the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. Visit Beaumont's website at www.beaumont.edu.

About Practice Greenhealth
Practice Greenhealth is the nation's leading membership and networking organization for institutions in the health care community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices. For more information on Practice Greenhealth, visit www.practicegreenhealth.org.

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