May 21, 2012 11:10 ET

VHA Inc. Recognizes Eight Member Hospitals for Efforts to Reduce Health Care's Impact on the Environment and Communities

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - May 21, 2012) - VHA Inc., the national health care network, today recognized eight member health care organizations for their work to develop and implement industry leading environmental sustainability programs. By pioneering innovative and resourceful programs that reduce the environmental impact on the community, this year's group of community health care systems has demonstrated a significant commitment toward creating a more sustainable future.

VHA announced the winners of the 2012 VHA Leadership Award for Sustainability Excellence yesterday at its Annual Leadership Conference in Denver, Colo.

The 2012 winners are:

Best in Class

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass.
  • Parkwest Medical Center, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Providence Health and Services Oregon Region, Portland, Ore.
  • Spectrum Health System, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Impact and Innovation

  • Hallmark Health System, Inc., Medford, Mass.
  • Northshore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Ill.
  • Spectrum Health System, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn.

The eight winners of this award focused on a variety of sustainable and often system-wide, team- centered initiatives that yielded significant savings from paper recycling and waste reduction initiatives to reduced energy, water and toxic waste consumption to creating a food-service composting program and a roof-top garden. And while their individual focus areas varied, the winning systems shared a commitment to engaging their employees and their leadership in a set of prioritized objectives with specific goals supported by strong, underlying strategies that ultimately became embedded in the way the hospital conducts its business. While many of the sustainability programs stressed work-related opportunities, some employees extended these important practices to their personal lives as evidenced by their adoption of "green commuting" and reduced residential energy consumption.

"These eight organizations have distinguished themselves by creating a culture of sustainability to help improve their community's current and future environment," said Colleen Risk, executive vice president at VHA. "As innovators, these hospitals and health care systems are taking a pioneering and resourceful approach toward this very important health care initiative."

VHA serves more than 1,350 not-for-profit hospitals and more than 30,000 non-acute health care organizations nationwide. The Sustainability Excellence Award is part of VHA's larger commitment to recognizing and advancing innovative sustainability initiatives.

VHA has advanced its own sustainability efforts by producing a Corporate Citizenship & Sustainability report to track and measure its program; creating and hosting a Member Collaboration Sustainability Site where members can log-on to learn ways to implement sustainability programs; and, by serving as a Global Reporting Initiative Organizational Stakeholder to help advance the need for streamlined sustainability measurement worldwide. Through all of its sustainability work, VHA seeks to provide its members with important information about successful sustainability programs and effective measurement mechanisms to help support and advance the work of its not-for-profit hospital members.

"Despite their shrinking resources, our members are continually being asked to shoulder ever-greater responsibilities for the overall health of the communities they serve," continued Risk. "We are all stewards of the environment and these environmental leaders are models other hospitals can emulate to reduce health care's environmental impact for a more sustainable future."

About VHA Inc.
Based in Irving, TX, VHA Inc. is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance, and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. Since 1977, VHA has leveraged its expertise in analytics, contracting, consulting and networks to help members achieve their operational, clinical and financial objectives. In 2011, VHA delivered record savings and value of $1.8 billion to members. VHA serves more than 1,350 hospitals and more than 30,000 non-acute care providers nationwide, coordinating delivery of its programs and services through its 15 regional offices. VHA has been ranked as one of the best places to work in healthcare by Modern Healthcare since the publication introduced this list in 2008.

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