BWFH wins Greenhealth Partner for Change Award
Director of Environmental Services
and Green Team Co-Chair
Rudy Viscomi accepts the
Greenhealth Partner for
The award, accepted by Director of Environmental Services and Green Team Co-Chair Rudy Viscomi, is one of the organization’s Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the healthcare sector. 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.
Viscomi says of BWFH’s recycling program, "I started with the intent of reducing costs for waste disposal." But it’s evolved over time from white paper only to confidential paper, cans, plastics and now some metals. Likewise, the cleaning supplies he chooses have changed. "We have greener products that don’t bother individuals as much as the old ammoniated products that we used to have. These products that we have now are safer than the ones that you buy to use in your household and just as effective against bacteria, and they clean really well," he says.
Director of Food and Nutrition and Green Team Co-Chair Susan Langill, RD, LDN, says, "To me it really is a journey." Each year, BWFH moves the dial a little bit in order to continue to improve. She says, as an organization, we should not further harm patients and our community with pollution. "In order to take better care of our patients, we need to take better care of the environment," she explains.
The Green Team works diligently to keep up the green practices in place, which was a topic that was discussed at length during the CleanMed Conference and Exhibition. "The biggest issue is really sustainability. We start projects and processes, but to maintain them for the long term is really challenging. A lot of the concentration was on how we sustain what we have started and not only improve it, but extend it," says Viscomi.
In addition to sustaining the best practices already in place, the Green Team continues to find new ways to reduce BWFH’s impact on the environment. In the coming months, Food and Nutrition will focus on promoting local produce and seafood. In Environmental Services, Viscomi plans to turn his attention to greening the OR. He says of the Green Team’s efforts, "It’s not just to meet regulation. It’s really the right thing to do."
Do you have ideas or suggestions for the Green Team? Email them to FaulknerGreenTeam@partners.org.
To learn more about Practice Greenhealth visit www.practicegreenhealth.org.