PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, Resource Conservation Manager Scott Dorough and PeaceHealth caregivers are being honored today with the Northwest Clean Air Agency
(NWCAA) “Partners for Clean Air” Platinum Award.
According to NWCAA, PeaceHealth St. Joseph was selected from a field of 42 applicants throughout Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties to receive its top honor.
Paul Glasser, regional director of facilities for PeaceHealth, said the award acknowledges a concerted and intentional effort by PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical caregivers [employees] to be good environmental stewards.
“This is truly a collaborative effort,” said Glasser. “The true recipients of this award are caregivers who work in Environmental Services, Facilities, Materials Management, Pharmacy, PeaceHealth Laboratories, Food Services, Sterile Processing, Human Resources, Operating Room nursing staff and the Hazardous Materials Committee.”
Among the measureable results of those efforts:
- Energy efficiency – active participation in the Puget Sound Energy Resource Conservation Management program including variable control water pumps and cooling, reduced fan horsepower in unoccupied spaces, and lighting control, adding up to an energy reduction of more than 7,000 MMBTU per year.
- Air emission reductions – changed surgical tools sterilization to environmentally friendly vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide process.
- Transportation – actively promotes caregiver participation in Whatcom Smart Trips offering free bus passes and incentives to use alternatives to driving alone to work.
- Sector specific practices – eliminated use of mercury; utilize a certified recycler to ensure key waste materials are disposed of in the most environmentally acceptable manner; eliminating use of hazardous housekeeping chemicals and disinfectants; utilize cleaning solutions that have been scrutinized for environmental impact as defined by the Infection Control Risk Assessment process; working with suppliers to reduce packaging; purchase food service paper products that contain recycled and chlorine-free processed content; reduce landscape maintenance and water use via installed native garden (to reduce mowing surface), allow more time between grass mowing, and increased use of organic fertilizer.
Dorough, who leads the conservation work at PeaceHealth St. Joseph, said the PeaceHealth core value of stewardship is demonstrated in many small ways, as well as large ones.
“The little things – such as turning off unused lights and equipment – really do add up,” said Dorough. As those practices become habit, Dorough said it impacts the facility’s environmental footprint.
“We have good folks wanting to do good work, who have taken the message of stewardship to heart, and are working to make health care more environmentally friendly day-by-day.”