( HARTFORD, Conn.) - Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has been honored with a Partner for Change Award by Practice Greenhealth, a national membership organization for healthcare facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations. The award is one of the organization's seven Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the healthcare sector.
The Partner for Change Award recognizes healthcare facilities that continuously improve and expand upon mercury elimination, waste reduction and pollution prevention programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this award must recycle 10 percent of their total waste, have a mercury elimination program in place 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. "Saint Francis is a successful model of how healthcare facilities can develop and implement pollution prevention programs to greatly improve the health of their patients, staff and community."
"Improving environmental performance is essential for hospitals if we are to create a sustainable future," said Christopher M. Dadlez, the Hospital's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Saint Francis is honored that our efforts to create a healthy, healing environment have been recognized by Practice Greenhealth as exemplary."
Saint Francis exceeded a 25 percent benchmark by recycling 742 tons out of a total of 2,909 tons of waste in 2008. This included recycling 251 tons of white paper, 368 tons of mixed paper and 47 tons of shrink wrap. Thirty-nine tons of kitchen grease was recovered and 22 tons of linens were reused for rags.
"We also recycled 53 tons of debris from ongoing construction projects," said David Crowell, Director of Environmental Services.
The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented in conjunction with CleanMed 2009, a global conference for environmental leaders in healthcare. Practice Greenhealth will sponsor the planting of 100 trees in Haiti for each award presented.
Practice Greenhealth is the nation's leading membership and networking organization for institutions in the healthcare community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices. Members include hospitals, healthcare systems, businesses and other stakeholders engaged in the greening of healthcare to improve the health of patients, staff and the environment.
Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets. It is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.