News Updates

HH News and Top Stories
  • May
    15
    2012

    Healthy Interiors: If These Walls Could Talk

    By: Janet Brown
    by Janet Brown, Contributing Editor
    Published May 15, 2012
    Healthcare Design

    If you close your eyes and think of an interior where you felt relaxed and at peace, what comes to mind?

    Jean Hansen, FIIDA, CID, AAHID, EDAC, LEED AP BD+C, sustainable interiors manager, senior professional associate, HDR Architecture, Inc.; Michelle Halle Stern, AIA, PE, MSPH, LEED Fellow, director, sustainable design services, HDR; and I pondered “healthy interiors” on a January 2012 conference call.

    We talked about view; daylight; open space; quiet, pleasant colors; artwork; a...

  • May
    11
    2012

    California hospital group sets the pace for sustainability programs

    By: Colleen Funkhouser
    By Doug Smock
    Published: May 11th, 2012
    Plastics Today

    In 2005, California-based Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) became one of the first, if not the first, hospital group in the United States to stop using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for intravenous (IV) bags, solutions, and tubing.

    Today known as Dignity Health, the healthcare organization is a founding sponsor of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative and is leading in other sustainability efforts, including several involving plastics.

    Last month. Dignity Health announced it will be the first health care system in the...

  • May
    8
    2012

    Gundersen Lutheran – Onalaska Campus becomes first known energy independent medical campus in the country

    By: Colleen Funkhouser

    Tuesday, May 08, 2012

    Gundersen Health System and La Crosse County recently accomplished something no one else in the nation has been known to achieve. Their unique landfill gas-to-energy partnership allowed the Gundersen Lutheran – Onalaska Campus to become the first known energy independent medical campus in the country.

    “The landfill gas-to-energy project is a model for other communities across the country, and even more important, is a great thing for our patients and the people in the communities we serve. Projects like this one that can lead to a healthier environment...

  • May
    1
    2012

    Greener ORs: Keys to making the business case

    By: Brian Youngblood

     

    Perioperative staff and managers face a variety of pressures: improving processes, enhancing patient outcomes, documenting savings, meeting regulations, and more, all in a time of tighter budgets. With so much to balance, it can be difficult to consider (much less sell to upper management) the idea of greening the operating room. That’s especially true because of perceptions that green programs and products cost more. But there is evidence that environmental best practices in the OR can reduce costs, protect staff safety, and even enhance patient and staff health.

    Bottom-...

  • Apr
    27
    2012

    Sour on sugary drinks: Vanguard Health Chicago to phase out sales of sweetened beverages

    By: Colleen Funkhouser

    By Monica Eng | Chicago Tribune reporter

    Salad bars stocked with fruits, grains and heart-healthy veggies. Meat produced without antibiotics. And farmers markets right outside the building.

    In recent years, hospitals have been cleaning up their food choices, adding healthier fare for patients, visitors and employees. Now, Vanguard Health Chicago, which operates four hospitals in Cook County, is taking the next step, one that few others have taken: a phasing out of all “sugar-loaded beverages,’’ including soda and sports and energy drinks, starting now.

    Over the course...

  • Apr
    25
    2012

    Study Finds Heath Care Sustainability Has Tangible Financial and Job Growth Benefits

    By: Eileen Secrest

    (Washington, DC)  Embracing sustainability has tangible financial rewards and creates jobs, according to a new report  by the  Health Care Research Collaborative. The report, “Creating a Culture of Sustainability:  Leadership, Coordination and Performance Measurement Systems in Healthcare", was conducted by the Health Care Research Collaborative, a collaboration of Health Care Without Harm and the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Report author Tonya Boone, PhD, found three elements that are key to a successful program:  1) there must be...

  • Apr
    25
    2012

    HCWH President Gary Cohen and Regional Director Bill Ravanesi Accept EPA New England Region Environmental Merit Awards

    By: Eileen Secrest

    (Boston, MA)  Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) President Gary Cohen, of Jamaica Plain, MA, and Bill Ravanesi, HCWH Boston Regional Director, of Longmeadow, MA, today accepted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) New England Region Environmental Merit Award for their work in the region on behalf of Health Care Without Harm.  The awards, which are the highest awards bestowed by the EPA in the New England Region, were presented for “extraordinary accomplishments to protect New England's environment” in the Environmental, Community, Academia & Nonprofit category.

    In its...

  • Apr
    23
    2012

    Listen to HHI Recorded Introductory Webinar 24/7 to learn more about HHI and the six challenges! Are you up for the challenge?

    video
    By: HHI Admin

    Over 200 individuals registered for the April 17 HHI Webinar! If you were unable to attend or would like to view again, the complete recording is now available for online viewing.

    Are you ready to learn more about the Healthier Hospitals Initiative?  Join the HHI Co-Directors Seema Wadhwa and Janet Brown as they introduce the three-year campaign, geared to help hospitals use their collective sustainability experience, purchasing power and industry representation to speed the process of greening the health care sector and measure the environmental and financial benefits.  Learn how...

  • Apr
    20
    2012

    Shift out of PVC relies on proprietary welding process

    By: Colleen Funkhouser
    by Doug Smock
    Published: April 20th, 2012
    Plastics Today

    At the heart of a potentially large-scale shift away from PVC in medical applications is a highly proprietary technology that makes it possible to inexpensively weld very thin gauge polyolefin elastomers.

    Genesis Plastics Welding (Fortville, IN) showed the latest versions of its ecoGenesis radio frequency (RF) welding technology at NPE2012 (Orlando, FL; April 1-5), but the underlying technology is not new; it was invented in the 1980s by Robert C. Smith, who is the current board chairman of Genesis.

    Until...

  • Apr
    12
    2012

    Partners plans PVC cutback in Healthier Hospitals Initiative

    By: Colleen Funkhouser
    By Doug Smock
    Published: April 12th, 2012
    Plastics Today

    More than 500 hospitals across the United States with more than $20 billion in purchasing power are joining forces in a project called the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) in an effort to reduce energy costs, reduce waste, boost recycling and buy "environmentally preferable" materials.

    In an interview with Plastics Today, John Messervy, chairman of the HHI, described the consortium as a place where best practices are exchanged. Each member is pursuing its own strategies. Cost reduction is one of the major...

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