“Partner for Change Award – with Distinction” Honors Work Toward Mercury Reduction, Waste Reduction, Pollution Prevention”  

(Hartford, Conn. April 7, 2011) – Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has received a 2011 Partner for Change with Distinction award from Practice Greenhealth, a national membership organization for healthcare facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations. The award is one of seven environmental excellence awards given each year by Practice Greenhealth to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the healthcare sector.

The Partner for Change with Distinction award recognizes healthcare facilities that have achieved improvements in their mercury elimination, waste reduction, and pollution prevention programs. Criteria include at least 15 percent recycling, a more extensive sustainability program, and a demonstration of leadership in the local community and/or healthcare sector.

“The Environmental Excellence Awards recognize success stories,” said Anna Gilmore Hall, 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.”

A key factor in Saint Francis winning the Partner for Change with Distinction award was the “green” nature of the Hospital’s new John T. O’Connell Tower, which was constructed with environmentally friendly materials and systems. In 2010, the Hospital recycled 26 percent of its total waste, which represents 204 tons of waste diverted.

“Saint Francis continues its efforts to be green, and this year we have been recognized with distinction. Our community outreach this past year included a prescription drug take-back event that properly disposed of more than 26,000 tablets and capsules and our participation in a citywide gun buy-back program in which 94 operable weapons were turned in,” said David Crowell, Director of Environmental Services,

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. For more information on Saint Francis, go to