St. Joseph's Medical Center received this year's "Partner for Change Award" and the "Greening the OR Recognition Award" from Practice Greenhealth, the nation's leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. The awards are two of the Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor environmental achievements in the health care sector.
"We are extremely proud of the award-winning environmental program we've been able to establish here at St. Joseph's," said John Kendle, Senior Service Area Director of Operations and Support Services. "We truly believe that being good stewards of our environment is just another way that we can express kindness to our patients and our community."
The Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon programs to eliminate mercury, reduce and recycle waste, source products sustainably, and more. Winning facilities must demonstrate that they are recycling at least 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are on track to eliminate mercury, and have developed successful sustainability programs in many areas.
The Greening the OR Recognition Award recognizes facilities demonstrating success in reducing the environmental impact of their surgical suites. Operating rooms are large contributors to a health care facility's environmental footprint, creating opportunity for significant cost savings and sustainability improvements.
St. Joseph's has a long legacy of environmental stewardship. Since 2008, St. Joseph's has recycled more than 16 million pounds of waste, ranking the hospital as the second highest facility in the Dignity Health system for percentage of waste stream recycled.
St. Joseph's ecology program focuses on waste reduction and includes an on-site laundry for reusable medical garments, which has diverted more than 7 million pounds of landfill waste. The hospital also has a 33,000 square-foot garden that contributes an average of 200 pounds of produce per week that is donated to local shelters.
In addition to being a Practice Greenhealth award recipient, St. Joseph's was also the first hospital in the state to be recognized as a Certified Green Business, and recently received the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, which is the state's highest environmental honor. Additionally, St. Joseph's has a partnership with MedShare, which acts as a recycling and distribution center for surplus medical supplies and equipment.