Vanguard Health Systems

Headquarters: Nashville, TN

Vanguard Health Systems owns and operates 28 acute care and specialty hospitals and complementary facilities and services in metropolitan Chicago, Illinois; metropolitan Detroit, Michigan; metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona; San Antonio, Texas; Harlingen and Brownsville, Texas; and Worcester and metropolitan Boston, Massachusetts. Our strategy is to develop locally branded, comprehensive healthcare delivery networks in urban markets.

Bradley A. Perkins, M.D.
EVP for Strategy and Innovation, and Chief Transformation Officer
Vanguard Health Systems

Leadership Talks

The mission of Vanguard Health Systems is to help people achieve health for life.  We are pursuing this by fundamentally re-designing the ways health and health care are delivered in the communities we serve.   To fully commit to health, Vanguard is using specific measurable objectives to improve employee, patient, community and environmental health. By using this construct we are calling out environmental sustainability as a critical component of health.  Through all of our efforts we are committed to the use of science and the best available evidence as a basis for our choices and standards, in our hospitals, other facilities, business processes and culture.   

Leadership Walks

  • Dr. Perkins is the former Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and in this position broadly promoted the link between health and our environment, and hired CDC’s first Chief Sustainability Officer.
  • From 2007-2010, Dr. Perkins served on Wal-Mart’s Health Insights Panel, and during that time worked with Adam Werbach, former Sierra Club President, on Wal-Mart’s Personal Sustainability Program, an effort to empower Wal-Mart Associates on health and environmental issues.
  • In 2009, Dr. Perkins came from CDC to Vanguard Health Systems, and helped to re-develop Vanguard’s strategic direction and operations.  In 2010, he hired Dr. Amy Collins to serve as the sustainability coordinator.  Prior to taking a system-wide role, Dr. Collins had led numerous successful sustainability efforts at Vanguard’s MetroWest Medical Center in Massachusetts.  She also appeared in the video “Leading the Healthcare Sector to Sustainability,” which was an HHI-lead project to help hospital administrators understand the need to engage in a sustainability effort
  • Vanguard joined Practice Greenhealth
  • Established inter-disciplinary green teams and designated sustainability coordinators in hospitals system wide
  • Performed waste audit and established recycling programs in all Markets
  • Currently working with an EPA national prime contractor on Sustainability Value Creation (SVC) Program to diagnose and create a comprehensive plan for energy savings at all Vanguard Hospitals. 
  • Vanguard made a commitment that all new facilities will be designed utilizing evidence-based design principles and that either LEED guidelines or the Green Guide for Healthcare will be followed for all renovations and construction of new facilities.
    • Mission Trail Baptist Hospital in San Antonio achieved LEED gold certification from the U.S Green Building Council. Mission Trail Baptist is the first hospital in Texas to achieve LEED Gold Certification and one of eight hospitals in the United States to receive such honor
    • Opened the West Olive Family Medical Center in Glendale, AZ which was the first medical clinic in the area to achieve LEED certification
  • In 2011 Vanguard implemented a system wide program to improve single use device reprocessing with targeted annual savings of over $3 million dollars.  We formed a cross-functional program team with clinical and operational leadership from across the company. The program team then executed on a charter with identified metrics and reporting system.
  • Committed to the goal of establishing healthy, sustainable food and beverage programs in all facilities, including system wide elimination of sale of sugar sweetened beverages by January 2013.

Leadership Envisions

We are working to make Vanguard Health Systems a prototype for a next generation health and health care company that focuses on creating life-long relationships with individuals and families by supporting them in their pursuit of health and well-being, and providing exceptional health care when it’s needed.   We’ve fully incorporated environmental sustainability into our definition of health.  The Healthier Hospital Initiative (HHI) is a great fit for our efforts at Vanguard, and we look forward to sharing our experience with other hospitals and health systems, and learning from their efforts.  We are pursuing a variety of efforts within the HHI framework but we plan to highlight our efforts providing healthy sustainable food and eliminating the sales of sugar sweetened beverages in our hospitals and other facilities.

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