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Providence Hospitals Win National Environmental Awards

July 01, 2014

Providence St. Patrick Hospital Named to the New Greenhealth Circles of Excellence;
Providence St. Joseph Medical Center Wins Partner for Change Award

(Missoula, Montana) - Providence St. Patrick Hospital has been honored for outstanding performance in healthcare sustainability in the area of Energy by Practice Greenhealth. Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading healthcare community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge.

New this year, the Circles of Excellence recognize hospitals for outstanding performance in one specific topic area. The Circles of Excellence are determined by the highest scoring facilities in each category of the Greenhealth Partner for Change Award based on the Practice Greenhealth’s scoring and evaluation criteria. These awards highlight hospitals that are driving innovation in sustainability performance in each sustainability category.

Some of the highlights of St. Patrick Hospital’s sustainability performance:

  • St. Patrick Hospital recycled or safely diverted 38 percent of waste in 2013. The innovative Waste Shepherds Program uses volunteer staff and others in the community to sustain this complex work.
  • The hospital’s energy work segregated HVAC areas for more efficient setbacks, retrofitted more energy efficient lights and reduced pump sizes for more efficiency.
  • St. Pat's is supporting healthier and sustainable foods within the hospital for both staff and patients with the Food Smarts Program and an employee Community Supported Agriculture program.
  • After the hospital went triclosan-free in 2012, it has experienced no increase in infections, a continued cost savings, and has the benefit of not exposing staff, visitors or community to this dangerous chemical. Studies have linked triclosan to a range of adverse health and environmental effects, including endocrine disruption, bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistance, water contamination and damaging fragile aquatic ecosystems.

St. Patrick Hospital was also selected as a winner of this year’s Greenhealth Partner for Change Award for the sixth year in a row. Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson received the Partner for Change Award for the first time.

St. Joseph Medical Center was honored with this award by continuously increasing their energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by upgrading and retrofitting outdated systems over the past few years. The hospital uses less energy than 75% of other buildings of similar size. For this reason, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized St. Joseph Medical Center in 2013 and 2014 with Energy Star Awards. To qualify for the Energy Star Awards, the hospital had to earn a 75 or better on EPA’s 1-100 energy performance scale, indicating it used less energy than 75 percent of other buildings of similar size. St. Joseph Medical Center not only achieved that goal with an average score of 88 as of July 2014, they also own the highest energy score in the entire Providence Health & Services system.

The Greenhealth Partner for Change Award recognizes healthcare facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this Award must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas.

These awards speak directly to Providence’s Core Value of Stewardship:
We believe that everything entrusted to us is for the common good.
We strive to care wisely for our people, our resources and our earth.

Contact: JoAnn Hoven, Public Information Coordinator, Providence St. Patrick Hospital, at 406-241-2919 or Beth Schenk, Registered Nurse Scientist, Providence St. Patrick Hospital, at 406-329-2730.