Bellin Health wins environmental achievement honors

06/15/2010

Awards honor mercury and waste reduction and pollution prevention

GREEN BAY — Bellin Health was recently honored with a “Partner for Change Award” and a “Making Medicine Mercury Free” award from Practice Greenhealth, a national membership organization for health care facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations.

The awards are part of the organization’s seven Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in health care sector.

The Partner for Change and Making Medicine Mercury Free awards recognize health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, and pollution prevention programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for these awards must be recycling 10 percent of their total waste (Bellin recycled 33 percent of its total waste in 2009), have a mercury elimination program in place with a plan for total elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs.

“The Environmental Excellence Awards recognize success stories,” said Bob Jarboe, executive director of Practice Greenhealth. “Bellin Health is a successful model of how health facilities can develop and implement pollution prevention programs to greatly improve the health of their patients, staff and community.”

The awards reiterate the health system’s dedication to green practices, said Mark Hinch, team leader, Housekeeping and a champion for green practices at Bellin.

“We are proud to have our accomplishments recognized at a national level,” Hinch said. “At Bellin Health, we’re committed to reducing our environmental impact and we are continually monitoring our progress to improve our performance. Some of our main initiatives over the last year were the implementation of a pharmaceutical waste program, healthy dining, battery recycling and increasing our surgical recycling rate. Receiving this award is confirmation that we are on the right track with all of these initiatives.”

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented during a formal awards ceremony this spring in Baltimore, Md., in conjunction with CleanMed 2010, a global conference for environmental leaders in health care.