SOURCE: Catholic Healthcare West

June 05, 2007 11:00 ET

CHW Receives National H2E Recognition for Environmental Efforts

California's Largest Not-for-Profit Hospital System Garners Sixth Industry Leadership Award

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - June 5, 2007) - In honor of United Nations World Environment Day, Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) announced today the organization and six of its California hospitals have received national environmental awards from Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E), an independent non-profit organization focused on improving healthcare's environmental performance. CHW is the only California hospital system to receive the 2007 Champions For Change Award, which honors environmental leadership in the hospital industry.

"Catholic Healthcare West has been a pioneer and a leader in its commitment to ecology," says Laura Brannen, H2E executive director. "Their support of H2E efforts has spurred environmental commitments among healthcare organizations across the country. As a system, CHW is H2E's most decorated Champion award winner, achieving this distinction every year since the awards program began in 2002."

The award honors leaders in improving their own environmental performance and promoting an industry shift toward the environmentally responsible delivery of healthcare.

"We are honored to be recognized by Hospitals for a Healthy Environment for a sixth year in a row," says Lloyd Dean, President/CEO. "This award reflects our long-term commitment to contributing to a cleaner, safer, healthier environment. More importantly, it reflects the commitment of our employees, physicians and volunteers to caring for our patients and our world."

H2E also honored a number of CHW hospitals for their individual efforts toward a safer, healthier environment. Mercy Medical Center, Redding, Sequoia Hospital, Redwood City, and St. Bernardine Medical Center, San Bernardino, received the Partners for Change Award for their mercury elimination, waste reduction and pollution prevention programs. Mercy General Hospital, Sacramento, and St. Bernardine Medical Center, San Bernardino, received the Making Medicine Mercury Free Award, a one-time award honoring facilities that have met the challenge of becoming virtually mercury free. Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz, and St. Joseph's Medical Center, Stockton, were inducted into the prestigious 2007 H2E Environmental Leadership Circle for their ongoing innovation and integration of environmentally responsible healthcare programs.

The awards are only the latest recognition of CHW's environmental efforts. In 2006, CHW received an additional 19 awards for a wide range of environmental programs including: waste management and recycling, mercury elimination, worker commuter programs, wastewater system operations, and setting the industry standard for environmental programs and policies.

"One of our core values as a healthcare provider is stewardship, which includes stewarding Earth's resources to sustain a healthy environment," says Sr. Mary Ellen Leciejewski, ecology coordinator for CHW. "It is rewarding to see that our hospitals have taken this value to heart and have designed individual programs to meet the specific needs of their communities."

As of 2006, all of CHW's 42 hospitals throughout California, Nevada and Arizona were virtually mercury free; and the organization reduced its total land-filled waste for the third year in a row, keeping total land filled waste (includes solid waste plus medical waste) to less than or equal to 15 pounds per adjusted patient day, which is below industry standards, according to H2E. Additionally in 2006, CHW:

--  saved  88 tons of waste through the increased use of reusable
    products;
--  phased out PVC, a commonly used chemical in many medical supplies;
--  managed the disposal of e-waste;
--  joined the California Climate Action Registry; and
--  begun efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    
Also, more than 90% of CHW facilities have implemented reusable sharps container systems and all major new facilities will be constructed under Sustainable Design Guidelines. More information about CHW hospitals and ecology programs are included in the organization's "2006 Corporate Responsibility Report," available at www.chwHEALTH.org/ecology.

About Catholic Healthcare West

Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) is the eighth largest hospital system in the nation and the largest not-for-profit hospital provider in the West. Founded in 1986, the CHW network of more than 8,500 physicians and approximately 50,000 employees serve a population spanning 22 million people at 42 hospitals across California, Arizona, and Nevada. CHW is committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable healthcare services with special attention to the poor and underserved. In 2006, CHW provided $803 million in charity care, community benefits, and unreimbursed patient care. For more information, please visit our website at www.chwHEALTH.org.

About H2E

Jointly founded by the American Hospital Association, the Environmental Protection Agency, Health Care Without Harm, and the American Nurses Association, H2E is an independent not-for-profit organization focused on improving healthcare's environmental performance. H2E envisions a healthcare system committed to reduced waste volume and toxicity, efficient energy and water use, clean air, safe work practices and safe buildings.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Carmella Gutierrez
    (415) 438-5508