William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
Madison VA Receives Awards for Green Initiatives
In recognition for leading the health care industry in sustainability and environmental stewardship, the Madison VA Hospital (VAH) received the 2018 Greenhealth Emerald Award, recognition for greening the operating room, and a spot in the Circle of Excellence for efforts to reduce water consumption. Practice Greenhealth, a nationwide organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care, evaluates hospitals each year on their sustainability efforts. The awards were presented to the Madison VAH at the Environmental Excellence Awards Gala on May 9th in San Diego at the conclusion of the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition.
These awards recognize that Madison VAH is setting the standard for eliminating mercury, improving energy and water efficiencies, reducing and recycling waste, sustainable purchasing, and other activities. The Madison VAH previously received the Greenhealth Emerald Award in 2014, 2016, and 2017 and was recognized for greening the OR and water reductions in 2016.
Hospital Leadership recognized the Green Environmental Management System Program Manager (GEMS) Roxanne Wienkes and staff leads from Environmental Services, Engineering, and the Operating Room for their efforts at an Employee Town Hall meeting at the hospital on Thursday, May 17th.
“I am thrilled that our efforts to improve recycling and environmental stability at the Madison VA Hospital were once again recognized at the national level.” said John Rohrer, Madison VAH Director. “These awards are the result of a dedicated team that understands the impact of environmental initiatives and has the ingenuity to enact positive changes year after year.”
Some of the key accomplishments by the Madison VAH in 2017 include a reduction in the quantity of solid waste generated of 3.4%, a reduction in the quantity of water used per square foot of over 3.8%, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from anesthesia medications of approximately 160 metric tons (or the equivalent of taking nearly 35 cars of the road for a year), and a reduction in paper purchasing of over 15%. These efforts not only reduce environmental impact, they save money. Reduced paper purchasing alone saved the Madison VAH nearly $20,000 dollars in fiscal year 2017.
Other sustainability programs and projects include a weekly farmers market that will begin on June 5, community gardens, a green roof that was installed over a portion of the hospital, environmental programming and educational workshops, and a papermaking workshop where donated military uniforms were transformed into handmade paper.