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Metro Health Hospital Receives One of Healthcare’s Top Environmental Awards

For the fifth year in a row, Metro Health Hospital has received the top environmental award from Practice Greenhealth for its leadership role in health care sustainability.

Practice Greenhealth again recognized the Wyoming, Michigan-based community hospital with the Environmental Leadership Circle Award. Only 29 hospitals earned this award nationwide, and Metro Health was one of only six hospitals in the greater Grand Rapids area to receive it.

The award recognizes health care facilities that exemplify environmental excellence and set the highest standards for environmental practices in health care. To be considered, facilities must meet the criteria for the mercury-free award, recycle at least 25 percent of their total waste, have implemented numerous other innovative pollution prevention programs, and be leaders in their community.

“We are incredibly honored our green initiatives have received this recognition five consecutive years from Practice Greenhealth,” said Mike Faas, president and CEO of Metro Health. “We recognize the importance of ‘being green’ in everything we do. Our early commitment to sustainability in healthcare has allowed us to not only be a leader within our state, but a leader nationwide as well.

Metro Health was one of the first full-service hospitals in the country to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certified. In addition to maintaining its LEED accreditation, Metro Health’s green achievements and initiatives include:

  • Collected and safely disposed of 396 pounds of unused or expired prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and controlled substances as part of the National Drug Take Back Day events held in September 2012 and April 2013
  • Recycled 38 percent of the hospital’s total waste generated in fiscal year 2012, an increase of nearly 385 percent from fiscal 2005 or 315 tons
  • Adopted a comprehensive green cleaning program that includes the use of Green Seal-certified hydrogen peroxide cleaning products, a microfiber mop system that drastically reduces water and chemical usage, and the addition of a high-intensity germicidal ultraviolet room treatment device designed to treat the air and exposed surfaces in an enclosed area
  • Instituted a composting program for the hospital’s cafeteria and kitchen, which diverted more than 32 tons of food waste from landfills into reusable composting material in fiscal year 2012
  • Signed on to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association’s Healthy Food Hospital Pledge, which is one of the first voluntary statewide campaigns to model healthy food environments in hospitals. Also signed on to Healthier Hospitals Initiative
  • Committed to Practice Greenhealth’s Greening the OR Initiative, agreeing to share best practices, identify barriers to implementation, highlight successes and strategize about mechanisms to improve implementation of programs relevant to “greening” operating rooms
  • Established an employee vegetable garden on site and provide staff a discounted rate for the Doorganics program, which provides sustainable, local, organic produce delivered to the hospital.
  • Installed Michigan’s second largest green roof, a little over an acre, in combination with a system of rain gardens throughout hospital parking lots, which helped achieve a zero storm water discharge site
  • Recognized by the Department of Environmental Quality as a Clean Corporate Citizen, the only hospital in Michigan to receive this designation
  • Recognized in the inaugural year of 101 Best & Brightest Sustainable Companies

The hospital received the award during Practice Greenhealth’s annual Environmental Excellence Awards Ceremony.

About Metro Health
An award-winning leader in community healthcare, Metro Health serves more than 250,000 patients annually from across West Michigan – and beyond. In addition to its 208-bed hospital, which provides a comprehensive suite of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services, Metro Health has a growing number neighborhood outpatient centers and offices throughout West Michigan, as well as a community clinic for the underserved and a student health clinic on the campus of Grand Valley State University. With more than 500 physicians on staff, Metro Health provides a growing number of specialty health services, including cancer treatment, heart and vascular, neurology, pulmonology and others. Many are members of the Metro Health Medical Group. The hospital is committed to promoting health and wellness through the work of the Metro Health Hospital Foundation, Live Healthy community outreach classes and educational programs and more. Visit us, follow us on Twitter @MetroHealthGr and like us on Facebook/MetroHealth.


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