CleanMed Marks its Twelfth Conference

Jeffrey Brown, Executive Director
Practice Greenhealth

This month Practice Greenhealth and HCWH brought almost one thousand health care professionals, suppliers to health care, educators, and others interested in the sector, to Portland, Oregon for CleanMed 2015.

We know there are strong and definitive connections between human health, environmental health, and financial health. The organizations leading the transformation of health care toward a more sustainable model were at CleanMed and inspired and equipped us all with knowledge and practical approaches to get measurable results in all three of these priority areas.

I hope you were there and had the opportunity to discuss health care’s most pressing sustainability challenges: reducing energy and water use; environmentally preferred purchasing of products, services and food, reducing toxics and chemicals of concern in health care facilities, waste reduction and management, and organizational leadership. Many of the educational sessions focused on how sustainability can help drive hospital and health care company efforts to meet the “Triple Aim” of improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care. Major successes among leading hospitals and systems working with Practice Greenhealth and HCWH this year include reductions in energy use and waste, continuing to drive cost savings, removing "chemicals of concern" from facilities, and serving more local and sustainable food. Specific gains in these areas can be seen in the 2014 Milestone Report and the Sustainability Benchmark Report.

CleanMed wrapped up with the annual Environmental Excellence Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner. A record 438 awards were given for leadership in sustainability at the individual facility and the health system levels. We were also proud to honor Jeffrey Thompson, CEO of Gunderson Health System with the first-ever Visionary Leader Award for helping Gunderson achieve broad sustainability excellence.

As always, conference goers were wowed with the latest health care products and service in the exhibition hall. Major sponsors of CleanMed 2015 included host sponsor Philips, leadership sponsor Johnson & Johnson and green sponsor Kaiser Permanente.

Planning is already underway for CleanMed 2016 May 17-19 next year at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Be sure to save the date. Information will be available soon at www.CleanMed.org.