Hackensack University Medical Center, a member of Hackensack Meridian Health, is pleased to announce that it is the only hospital in New Jersey to be named to the “50 of the greenest hospitals in America” list, by Becker’s Hospital Review. This marks the second consecutive year that the medical center has been recognized for its work in creating a sustainable, environmentally-friendly campus.
To compile its nationwide list, Becker’s Hospital Review considers nominations and conducts editorial research, looking at awards won from Practice Greenhealth, the US Green Building Council, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and the Environmental Protection Agency. HackensackUMC was the only hospital in the New Jersey/New York area to win the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Award three years in a row.
“We are proud to be recognized as one of the greenest hospitals in the country,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., president of HackensackUMC. “HackensackUMC has led the way in sustainable hospital initiatives, recognizing that we have an obligation to our patients, visitors, team members – as well as the greater community – to provide a campus that is mindful of our environmental responsibility. I congratulate our entire team and The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center for their work in earning us this recognition two years in a row.”
According to Becker’s Hospital Review:
HackensackUMC boasts The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center, one of the first hospital-based programs with a specific mission to identify, control and prevent toxic exposure in the environment that could threaten children’s health. Last year, HackensackUMC cemented itself as a leader in healthcare sustainability when it became the first hospital to join the American Sustainable Business Council, an organization that works on policy changes to move the economy to be more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. In 2016, for the third consecutive year, HackensackUMC received the Practice Greenhealth Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award.
“Health care should do more than treat diseases – it should help maintain and promote wellness, and respect the environment we all share through sustainable practices,” said Deirdre Imus, founder and president of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center®. “Our partnership with HackensackUMC has allowed us to implement and expand so many important programs on campus, such as cooking with antibiotic-free meat; switching to furniture treated without toxic flame-retardant chemicals; establishing the Greening The Cleaning® program; and creating an inviting home for honeybees. Above all we pride ourselves on remaining ahead of the curve in hospital initiatives that everybody can feel good about.”
Earlier this year, HackensackUMC announced that 85 percent of total meat served is now antibiotic-free, with the goal of being at 100 percent. More than 400 US hospitals are working toward the goal of 20 percent, demonstrating HackensackUMC’s strong accomplishment in this area. The medical center also partnered with its utility company, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G) for a Hospital Efficiency Program that has included the installation of three 1,500 T energy-efficient chillers, lighting upgrades including thousands of occupancy sensors, LED lighting in the parking garages, and plant upgrades that increase efficiency throughout the expansive campus. Through various initiatives at HackensackUMC, the team has been able to decrease regulated medical waste by more than 60 percent from 2012 through 2015, and now offers a campus-wide Sustainability Certificate program, encouraging team members from all departments to get involved.