White House Highlights Healthier Hospitals Initiative's Success in Reducing Environmental Impact and Costs

Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:45am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  RESTON, VA, Jul 24 (Marketwire) -- 
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) will today
facilitate discussions among leaders in health care and policy to
highlight the Healthier Hospitals Initiative's (HHI) successful efforts
to reduce the environmental footprint of hospitals, lower costs and
improve patient health by incorporating sustainability initiatives into
their business models. 

    Over ten leaders of the health and environmental sectors will take part
in two panel discussions: "Fostering a Culture of Environmental
Sustainability" and "Healthier Hospitals Initiative: Transforming the
Supply Chain." As part of these discussions, officials will address the
impact these efforts have on hospital purchasing decisions, the health
care supply chain and the overall business of the health care sector. 

    Senior Administration officials from the Environmental Protection Agency,
White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the Department of
Energy's Better Buildings Challenge will be in attendance. Additionally,
several of the nation's largest health systems will participate in the
discussions, illustrating the widely recognized benefits of implementing
smarter business practices across and beyond the health industry. The
major health systems and distinguished speakers include: 

--  Gary Cohen, President, Health Care Without Harm, and Founder of the
    Healthier Hospitals Initiative
--  Kathy Gerwig, Vice President, Workplace Safety and Environmental
    Stewardship Officer, Kaiser Permanente
--  Al Iannuzzi, Senior Director Product Stewardship, Worldwide
    Environment, Health and Safety at Johnson & Johnson
--  John Messervy, AIA, Director of Capital and Facilities Planning,
    Partners HealthCare
--  Brad Perkins, MD, Executive Vice President for Strategy &
    Innovation, & Chief Transformation Officer, Vanguard Health
--  Blair Sadler, Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement;
    former CEO of Rady Children's Hospital
--  J. Knox Singleton, CEO, Inova Health System
--  Jeff Thompson, MD, CEO, Gundersen Health System
--  Christina Vernon, Executive Sustainability Officer, Cleveland Clinic
--  Seema Wadhwa, Director, Healthier Hospitals Initiative


"By implementing the challenges put forth by the Healthier Hospitals
Initiative, enrolled hospitals are working to improve the environment,
the health of our patients and to lower costs," said Gary Cohen,
president of Health Care Without Harm and founder of HHI. "The Initiative
is leading the health care sector in reducing bottom-line costs. In
addition, HHI is working to transform the industry as a whole by
encouraging all hospitals to purchase more environmentally-preferable
supplies, serve healthier foods, use less energy, reduce waste and more."

    HHI is an industry-led initiative that calls upon the nation's hospitals
to commit to the three-year Initiative to improve the health and safety
of patients, staff and communities by implementing at least one of the
six challenges:

--  Engaged Leadership Challenge: engage in leadership on environmental
    health and sustainability
--  Healthier Food Challenge: serve healthier foods and beverages
--  Leaner Energy Challenge: reduce energy use
--  Less Waste Challenge: reduce waste and recycle
--  Safer Chemicals Challenge: use safer chemicals
--  Smarter Purchasing Challenge: purchase environmentally preferable


"Hospitals have an obligation to patients, staff and communities to
not only find a better, smarter way of doing business, but also to
improve health by making smart decisions about using less energy, using
safer chemicals and serving healthier foods," said James H. Skogsbergh,
CEO, Advocate Health Care. "By participating in the Healthier Hospitals
Initiative, we are advancing our commitment to protecting and improving
patient health and the health of our environment."

    Visit HHI's website to learn more about the Initiative.

    Today's event will be live streamed on the White House website. To watch
the live panel discussions, click here.

    About the Healthier Hospitals Initiative
 The Healthier Hospitals
Initiative (HHI) is a national campaign to implement a completely new
approach to improving environmental health and sustainability in the
health care sector. Eleven of the largest, most influential U.S. health
systems, comprising approximately 500 hospitals with more than $20
billion in purchasing power, worked with Health Care Without Harm (HCWH),
the Center for Health Design and Practice Greenhealth to create HHI as a
guide for hospitals to improve sustainability in six key areas: engaged
leadership, healthier foods, leaner energy, less waste, safer chemicals,
and smarter purchasing. Sponsoring health systems include Advocate Health
Care, Bon Secours Health System, Catholic Health Initiatives, Dignity
Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), Hospital Corporation of
America, Inova Health System, Kaiser Permanente, MedStar Health, Partners
HealthCare, Tenet Health Systems and Vanguard Health Systems. More
information is available at www.healthierhospitals.org. 


Lauren Smith
(202) 591-4065

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