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EPA Funds Program to Help Area Hospitals Create a Healthier Environment
Release Date: 09/21/2006
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543
PHILADELPHIA -- Today EPA awarded a $78,500 grant to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to team up with two local healthcare organizations in helping Philadelphia-area hospitals prevent environmental pollution. The funds will enable DEP, the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council’s Health Care Improvement Foundation and the Women’s Health and Environmental Network to work with area hospitals.
“These funds will support a partnership that provides real, on-the-ground assistance to hospitals to reduce negative impacts on the environment,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “They’re also spreading the understanding that having hospitals with healthy environments goes hand-in-hand with protecting people’s health.”
Together these organizations will help participating hospitals reduce their waste, increase their recycling, and make positive changes to reduce the use of toxic materials in medical care and cleaning products. During the next two years, four workshops will train hospitals about reducing waste and the use of priority chemicals and toxics, increasing recycling and green purchasing, and improving facilities management.
The workshops will be open to all area hospitals. Sixteen local hospitals have already joined the national partnership, Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E). It is a voluntary program focusing on pollution prevention and waste reduction at health care facilities. (A list is provided at the end of the release.) By becoming an H2E partner, a hospital commits to setting priorities and goals to reduce its environmental impact on patients, workers, and the surrounding community. Partners and champions work together on a wide array of environmental issues, including eliminating mercury, reducing regulated medical waste, recycling, and green cleaning.
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, and the Women’s Health and Environmental Network (WHEN) were among 193 organizations nation-wide in 2006 to be recognized for their environmental leadership in the healthcare industry.
Examples of local improvements include Jefferson and Pennsylvania hospitals virtually eliminating the use of mercury thermometers and blood pressure cuffs containing mercury from their facilities, increasing recycling, and better managing waste. WHEN shows area hospitals how to reduce environmental harm to patients by changing hospitals’ practices and educating staff and patients.
Medical care in the United States is one-seventh of the nation’s economy. Working with hospitals, an important sector of medical care, will help find solutions that make a difference in environmental health and the financial bottom line.
| Hospitals for a Healthy Environment was established in 1998 by EPA, the American Hospitals Association, the American Nurses Association, and Healthcare Without Harm. For more information about H2E, or to become a partner, visit the website at
http://www.h2e-online.org. Local H2E participating hospitals include:
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center Philadelphia , Pennsylvania
Crozer Chester Medical Center Presbyterian Medical Center
Upland, Pennsylvania Philadelphia , Pennsylvania
Delaware County Memorial Hospital Shriners Hospital for Children Philadelphia
Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania Philadelphia , Pennsylvania
Eastern Regional Medical Center - Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Hahnemann University Hospital Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Holy Redeemer Hospital and Medical Center
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Jeanes Hospital Temple University Health System
Lower Bucks Hospital