From eMDE, Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) online newsletter:
Maryland Hospitals Honored for “Environmental Excellence”
by Laura Armstrong, Pollution Prevention Coordinator
An Anne Arundel County hospital that built a “green” tower and two other facilities that developed programs to dispose of pharmaceutical waste are among the winners of Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment’s 2010 Trailblazer Awards.
The awards are presented annually to Maryland hospitals that have shown leadership in advancing sustainability in a particular area of their operations. The winners are strong models for other hospitals striving to advance sustainable health care by reducing their environmental footprint and raising the bar on achieving improved results.
Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (MD H2E) is a grant-funded technical assistance and networking initiative that promotes sustainability in Maryland health care. The Maryland Department of the Environment has supported MD H2E with grants for mercury and PVC audits at seven hospitals and recently partnered with the group to fund energy audits at the University of Maryland Medical Center and Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital.
MD H2E announced the 2010 Trailblazer Awards at the group’s annual Environmental Excellence in Health Care Conference Nov. 18 at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. The winners are:
Anne Arundel Medical Center for designing and building an eight-story “green” tower that emphasizes the well-being of its patients, staff, community, and surrounding ecosystem. The green building will be the first acute care facility in Maryland to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. The tower will use significantly less energy and water, and fewer toxic products and building materials were used during construction than have been used in similar structures. During construction, 92.6 percent of waste materials were recycled.
Franklin Square Hospital Center for being the first Maryland hospital to develop and implement an Environmental Management System as a method for reducing environmental impacts. Also, as part of MedStar Health, Franklin Square began a hazardous pharmaceutical waste management program in 2007 that, as of this year, is fully operational system-wide. Finally, while designing and building their new Patient Care Tower and Emergency Department, Franklin Square Hospital Center implemented a multitude of LEED-compliant features. Franklin Square Hospital participated in MDE’s Environmental Management System Implementation Program in 2008-2009.
LifeBridge Health acquired grant funding from BGE to replace fluorescent lights with LED lamps. Since implementing the program, LifeBridge Health staff members have served as mentors, providing assistance to staff at several other Maryland hospitals in an effort to duplicate their energy successes. LifeBridge is the only health system in the region that is composting at all of its facilities. They use the “final compost product” for landscaping needs at system facilities. Finally, LifeBridge Health has a system-wide regulated medical waste separation and reduction program that reduced red bag waste by more than 50 percent since 2002, including a fluid waste management system for operating rooms at Sinai Hospital.
University of Maryland Medical Center developed a hazardous pharmaceutical waste management program in January 2010 to uphold its mission to provide health care with minimum impact to human health and the environment. The policy, “The Safe Handling and Disposal of Hazardous Medications,” addresses both worker and environmental safety. Since the program’s inception, the Medical Center has collected 3,510 pounds of hazardous pharmaceutical waste for proper disposal. The policies, program, and educational materials are easily transferable to other hospitals across the state of Maryland.