Last night, ten Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers in Southern California received environmental excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth in recognition of their efforts to reduce waste and prevent pollution.
Kaiser Permanente Southern California was presented four Partner for Change Awards and sixPartner Recognition Awards at the 2013 CleanMed conference, an annual premier national environmental gathering for leaders in health care sustainability. Practice Greenhealth is a national membership organization for hospitals and health systems committed to environmentally responsible operations and care.
Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente received a total of 29 environmental excellence awards including the Practice Greenhealth’s System for Change Award which recognizes health systems that are working to gather data, set system goals, benchmark and share successes in environmental performance. This is the fourth time the health care organization has received the System for Change award.
“For decades, Kaiser Permanente has recognized that the health of our environment influences our personal health,” said Benjamin Chu, MD, MPH, MACP, group president for Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. “These awards are a testament to our long-term commitment to sustainable practices that minimize our impact on the environment, and most importantly, help our members, our employees and the communities we serve achieve total health.”
Kaiser Permanente is a health care leader in saving energy, purchasing safer materials, sourcing sustainable food, and reducing waste. For example, the organization has committed to aggressive targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through on-site renewable energy use and energy conservation measures; providing sustainable food for patient meals; safe recycling of single-use medical devices to eliminate waste; and eliminating toxins such as DEHP and PVC from many of its medical supplies.
“At Kaiser Permanente, implementing the ‘Three R Strategy’ – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – has been fundamental to our practices and a driver to meet our environmental stewardship goals,” said Scott Wendling, regional executive of support services and chief energy officer for the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region. “Last year in Southern California alone, we diverted 1.1 million pounds of recycled material and 168,000 pounds of reprocessed medical devices that would have otherwise ended up in landfills. We are continuously looking for opportunities to maximize the total health of our community and of our environment because it is both our responsibility and the right thing to do.”
The 10 Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Centers recipients of the two environmental awards include:
Partner for Change Award
- Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center
- Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center
- Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center
- Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center
Partner Recognition Award
- Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center
- Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center
- Kaiser Permanente Ontario Medical Center
- Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center
- Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center
- Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center
Since the inception of Practice Greenhealth’s Environmental Excellence Awards program in 2002, Kaiser Permanente Southern California has been consistently recognized for excellence in environmental stewardship.