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

For the fourth 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 23 hospitals earned this award nationwide, and Metro Health was the only hospital in the greater Grand Rapids area to receive it.

The award recognizes health care facilities that exemplify environmental excellence and are setting 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 the community.

“We are incredibly honored to have received this recognition from Practice Greenhealth for our green initiatives,” said Mike Faas, president and CEO of Metro Health. “We recognize the importance of ‘being green’ in everything we do and made an early commitment to be a leader in sustainability in health care within our state.”

Metro Health was one of the first full-service hospitals in the country to be Leadership in Engery 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 170 pounds of unused or expired prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and collected substances in 2011 as part of the National Drug Take Back Day event
  • Recycled 39 percent of the hospital’s total waste generated in fiscal year 2011, an increase of nearly 300 percent from fiscal 2005
  • 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 65 tons of food waste from landfills into reusable composting material in fiscal year 2011
  • 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
  • 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.


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