OAKLAND, Calif., April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente has received a record 29 environmental excellence awards this year from Practice Greenhealth, the national membership organization for hospitals and health systems committed to environmentally responsible operations and care.
Among this year's awards, Kaiser Permanente again received 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 will be the fourth time the health care organization has received the award. In addition, Kaiser Permanente's Roseville (Calif.) Medical Center has received the highest possible hospital award, becoming a member of Practice Greenhealth's Environmental Leadership Circle for exemplary work in addressing its environmental impact and implementing long-term sustainability features into its facilities.
"Kaiser Permanente understands that the health of the environment is inextricably linked to human health and the overall health of communities," said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. "This award recognizes the tremendous efforts by Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians who work tirelessly to assure that our medical facilities and services are delivering health care in a manner that benefits our members, our communities and the environment."
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 its 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."We are thrilled to be receiving so many awards this year, and we are inspired by the growing network of hospitals and health care systems working to make progress in environmental stewardship," said Kathy Gerwig, Kaiser Permanente's vice president for workplace safety and environmental stewardship officer. "Only by working together toward common commitments, sharing best practices and driving for results can we truly move the health care sector toward full environmental sustainability." "The wealth of awards that Kaiser Permanente is receiving this year demonstrates its strong commitment to the communities it serves to protect public health and preserve the environment," said Laura Wenger, RN, executive director of Practice Greenhealth. "The organization has worked diligently and consistently to support sustainable practices in health care and has become a model for many other hospitals and health care systems seeking to do the same." Several Kaiser Permanente facilities and regions across the country received additional awards in recognition of their efforts to reduce waste and prevent pollution. The entire awards list is: