HHI and The White House - Greening America's Hospitals
As I prepare to address senior administration officials at the White House tomorrow about Greening America’s Hospitals, I can’t help but think how far we’ve come in this vital movement. And how much further we have yet to go …
- Imagine energy efficient hospitals that save money for critical patient care and model the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as a community health and resilience strategy.
- Imagine hospitals that create healthy food environments and support local sustainable food economies through their purchasing power to help address the epidemic of obesity and diabetes happening in our country. Healthcare can help solve this crisis by hosting farmer’s markets on their grounds, eliminating sugar sweetened beverages from their facilities and teaching their patients and employees how to reduce their junk food intake to prevent food-related diseases.
- Imagine hospitals that lead the society in de-toxing the products we buy and reducing toxic chemical exposures that are contributing to cancer rates of one in two men and one in three women and learning disabilities affecting one in six American children.
- Imagine cancer centers without chemicals linked to cancer and children’s hospitals without chemicals linked to birth defects.
- Imagine hospitals that are reducing their waste, saving money and improving patient care at the same time.
- Imagine a healthcare system that redefines “community benefit” to include improving the living conditions of communities that hospitals serve and focusing on the prevention of disease through environmental health interventions rather than treatment alone.
- Imagine a healthcare system that makes up over 20 percent of the U.S. economy and becomes the driving force for safer products, greener energy, safer chemicals, sustainable agriculture, greener jobs and healthier communities.
This vision is what the Healthier Hospitals Initiative is bringing to reality today and is proud to share with the White House and Administration. We have created a roadmap for hospitals to embed sustainability into their core business model and are providing technical assistance to offer every hospital in America the chance to participate for free. Health Care Without Harm has joined with our sister organization Practice Greenhealth, The Center for Health Design and eleven of the largest hospital systems in America to drive this movement in healthcare for healthier hospitals. We already have the participation of more than 600 hospitals and we aim to recruit 2,000 overall and track the progress of the sector in achieving our goals.
This Initiative is about accelerating the adoption of sustainable practices across the spectrum of American healthcare…and also building a global learning community so hospitals around the world can learn from each other as they travel on the path toward healthier people, healthier communities and a healthier planet.
The event will be live streamed on the White House website Tuesday 7/24 from 9 a.m to noon. To watch the live panel discussion, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live.