St. John’s gets ‘clean’ bill of health for sustainability

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – In recognition for its successful programs in reducing environmental impact, St. John’s Medical Center again received the Partner for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care.

Partner for Change Award winners must demonstrate that they are recycling at least 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are on track to eliminate mercury, and have developed successful sustainability programs in many areas.

St. John’s recycling increased 15 percent from 2016 to 2017, going from 107.2 tons to 123 tons. The items that made up the bulk of recycling were ordinary consumer recycling (paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic), as well as HIPAA shredded paper, X-ray film, and cardboard.

Other innovative recycling efforts include sending clean but unusable linens to veterinarian clinics, and reducing the amount of blue wrap (a polyester cloth that covers sterile surgical instruments) that enters the waste stream.

“As health care providers, sustainability is at the core of our healing mission and central to protecting the health of our patients, staff, and community,” said Lisa Smith, MS, sustainability coordinator at St. John’s. “We take pride in our sustainability programs and the positive impacts they have on the environment and the communities we serve.”

The sustainability committee’s goals for 2018 include reducing operating room waste, increasing recycling, increasing the quantity of local food purchased by food service, growing more food on site, completing an energy audit, and reducing ride-alone rates.

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