EAU CLAIRE, Wis., July 17 Many hospitals are taking stepsto be environmentally friendly, but Sacred Heart Hospital (SHH) continues tolead by example to do what is best for the environment. Recently, SHH was oneof only six hospitals nationwide to be awarded the Practice GreenhealthEnvironmental Leadership Award (ELA) for their innovative programs that setindustry standards for waste reduction and pollution prevention.
"Sacred Heart Hospital is at the forefront of the trend toward ahealthcare system that recognizes the fundamental link between healthy peopleand a healthy environment," said Bob Jarboe, Executive Director, PracticeGreenhealth. "Our vision of a truly healthy healthcare system is steadilybecoming a reality, in part because of the remarkable achievements oforganizations like Sacred Heart Hospital."
In addition, the hospital has been recognized by the Governor of Wisconsinfor its green initiatives. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle chose SHH as thelocation to announce "Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin" statewide grants to help localeconomies. The new state-funded program encourages organizations to purchasefood from local farmers and growers. The program's goal is to stimulateWisconsin's agricultural economy by increasing the purchasing of the state'sgrown and produced food by local food buyers while encouraging local economicinvestment.
One of the "Buy Local" grants will be given to River Country ResourceConservation and Development Council, a non-profit organization partneringwith SHH to develop a "buy local" consortium managed by River Country. SHHhas committed 10 percent of its $2 million annual food budget to purchasinglocal food.
"Through an overall policy of reducing, recycling and reusing, SacredHeart Hospital's Green Team initiative seeks to protect the environment,preserve our natural resources and reduce energy consumption in concert withour Franciscan tradition to respect creation, safeguard its people andpractice good stewardship," said Rick Beckler, Director of HospitalityServices and Chair of the hospital's Green Team.
Sacred Heart also participates in the Hospital Sisters Mission OutreachPartners in Recycling Program, a medical surplus recovery and redistributionprogram that addresses the medical needs of people throughout the world.During the past two years, SHH has contributed more than 37,000 pounds ofmedical equipment and related items valued at nearly $215,000. The items havebeen used in hospitals and healthcare facilities in Mongolia, Ukraine, Moroccoand Haiti.
"We have a deep Franciscan commitment to environmental stewardship thatconsistently goes beyond basic state and federal regulatory waste managementrequirements," said Marge McFarlane, Safety Coordinator and Green Team member."It's a win-win. Our application for the Practice Greenhealth awarddemonstrated that being green saves green dollars and helps others in need."
Only six hospitals in the nation were inducted into Practice Greenhealth'sEnvironmental Leadership Circle -- an honor that recognizes hospitals in thevanguard of environmental progress in healthcare. The Environmental LeadershipCircle is an elite group of facilities that have integrated sustainableenvironmental programs into their values. The award demonstrates that SHH isconsidered to be among the best in the country at creating a healthyenvironment for patients, employees, physicians and the community as a whole.
Other hospitals that received the Practice Greenhealth ELA award includethe Northern Michigan Regional Hospital (Petoskey, MI), Providence MilwaukieHospital (Milwaukie, OR), Providence Portland Medical Center (Portland, OR),Providence St. Vincent Medical Center (Portland, OR) and Sequoia Hospital(Redwood City, CA).
About Sacred Heart Hospital
Sacred Heart Hospital is an affiliate of the Hospital Sisters HealthSystem. Since 1