Kaiser Permanente Wins National Environmental Awards

OAKLAND, CA -- Kaiser Permanente has received a record 32 environmental excellence awards this year from Practice Greenhealth, the national membership organization for hospitals and health systems committed to environmentally responsible operations and care.

Among this year's awards, Kaiser Permanente again received Practice Greenhealth's System for Change Award, which recognizes health systems that are working to gather data, set system goals, benchmark and share successes in environmental performance. This will be the fifth time the health care organization has received the award.

"These awards recognize the tremendous efforts by Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians who work tirelessly to assure that our medical facilities and services are delivering health care in a manner that benefits our members, our communities and the environment," said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy.

Kaiser Permanente is a health care leader in saving energy and water, purchasing safer materials, sourcing sustainable food and reducing waste. The organization has committed to aggressive targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through on-site renewable energy use and energy conservation measures; providing sustainable food for its patient meals; safe recycling of single-use medical devices to eliminate waste; and eliminating toxins such as DEHP and PVC from many of its medical supplies. On Tuesday, Kaiser Permanente announced that it will stop purchasing furniture treated with toxic flame retardants.

"Each year these awards are a reminder of the tremendous efforts of our employees and physicians, as well as those throughout many other hospitals and health care systems, working to support the health of the environment," said Kathy Gerwig, Kaiser Permanente's vice president for workplace safety and environmental stewardship officer. "Only by working together toward common commitments, sharing best practices and driving for results can we truly move the health care sector toward full environmental sustainability."

"We are proud to partner with Kaiser Permanente in its commitment to protecting the health of the environment and the communities it serves," said Gary Cohen, president and founder of Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm. "The organization has worked consistently to support sustainable practices in health care and these awards recognize its outstanding achievements."

Several Kaiser Permanente facilities and regions across the country received additional awards in recognition of their efforts to reduce waste and prevent pollution. This year, a handful of facilities were given the designation of "Circles of Excellence" for their exceptional environmental stewardship work in a particular sustainability area (noted below).

The entire awards list is as follows:

System for Change
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan
Emerald Partner for Change Award
Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center, excellence in addressing climate, water
Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center, excellence in addressing climate, energy
Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center, excellence in addressing food, water
Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center, excellence in addressing climate

Greenhealth Partner for Change Award
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia
Kaiser Permanente Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States

Kaiser Permanente Anaheim (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Antioch (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Fontana (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Fremont (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Oakland (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Ontario (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Panorama City (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Sacramento (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente San Diego (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente San Francisco (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara (Calif.) Medical Center, excellence in addressing climate
Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Vacaville (Calif.) Medical Center, excellence in addressing energy
Kaiser Permanente Vallejo (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles (Calif.) Medical Center

Partner Recognition Award
Kaiser Permanente Rancho Cordova (Calif.) Eye Surgery Center
Kaiser Permanente Folsom (Calif.) Ambulatory Surgery Unit
Kaiser Permanente Folsom (Calif.) Medical Office
Kaiser Permanente Manteca (Calif.) Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Moreno Valley (Calif.) Community Hospital

Kaiser Permanente has received awards every year since the inception of Practice Greenhealth's Environmental Excellence Awards program in 2002. In all, Kaiser Permanente has won 203 awards from Practice Greenhealth in the last 12 years.

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards are being presented on June 5, 2014, in Cleveland at the annual CleanMed conference, the premier national environmental gathering for leaders in health care sustainability.

To learn more about Practice Greenhealth, visit http://www.practicegreenhealth.org  

For more information about Kaiser Permanente, go to http://www.kp.org/share

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