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Carolinas HealthCare System
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Title
Carolinas HealthCare System Hospitals Awarded for Environmental Excellence
Date
06/17/2014
Article

"By taking on the challenge of environmental stewardship, we are making our community a healthier place to live, work and heal. What’s more, across Carolinas HealthCare System, we’re helping to enhance care for the patients we serve every day."

Christina Vernon
Assistant Vice President
A Healthy Environment
Carolinas HealthCare System

Four Carolinas HealthCare System facilities have been recognized with national awards for their demonstrated commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability. Carolinas Medical Center, CMC-Mercy, CMC-University and CMC-NorthEast received awards from Practice Greenhealth, a national group that advances environmental stewardship and best practices by organizations in the healthcare community.

CMC-Mercy received Practice Greenhealth’s Partner for Change Award, and Carolinas Medical Center, CMC-University and CMC-NorthEast were honored with Practice Greenhealth’s Emerald Partner for Change Award.

The Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that have implemented a significant number of environmental programs and continuously improve and expand upon these programs on the path to sustainability. A competitive distinction, the Emerald Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that demonstrate well developed sustainability programs and have achieved an advanced level of improvements in their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs.

"A healthier ecosystem supports a healthier community,” said Christina Vernon, assistant vice president for A Healthy Environment at Carolinas HealthCare System. “By taking on the challenge of environmental stewardship, we are making our community a healthier place to live, work and heal. What’s more, across Carolinas HealthCare System, we’re helping to enhance care for the patients we serve every day. We are proud of our hospitals’ commitment and celebrate these well-deserved recognitions."

  • Carolinas Medical Center was cited for environmentally friendly programs such as the use of Charlotte B-cycle bike share program, electric vehicles, using responsibly forested paper, identifying energy efficiency opportunities and mentoring other hospitals through Carolinas Operational Benchmarking team meetings.

  • CMC-NorthEast demonstrated implementation of a number of successful efforts, including participating in initiatives to foster “green ORs” by reprocessing materials, reducing packaging wastes, converting to LED lights, and diverting waste produced in its operating rooms. The hospital also was cited for replacing bottled water with filtered carafe water service at all catering events, recycling specialty metals, procuring locally grown produce and dairy products through its food service vendors, and even using corn-based compostable plastic cups.

  • Many of CMC-University’s recognized efforts centered on its teaching garden, an organic fruit, vegetable and herb garden that highlights the nutritional and environmental benefits of fresh, locally grown produce through interactive and educational programs. The hospital was cited for its efforts in using the garden, which opened in 2012, to educate community groups on sustainable gardening, feed underserved populations, provide wellness programs to school-age students encouraging healthy eating habits, and demonstrate composting techniques and container gardening methods featuring recycled pots and fencing materials.

  • CMC-Mercy was recognized for its use of Green Seal Certified cleaning products, superior waste training programs on proper waste handling and waste stream management, and completion of all requirements necessary to receive its Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Stage 7 Certification for electronic medical records implementation.
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