2 UMMS Hospitals Recognized for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability Efforts

For immediate release: June 06, 2014


Karen Warmkessel

kwarmkessel@umm.edu | 410-328-8919

BALTIMORE – Two University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) hospitals – the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center – were recognized this week as “Trailblazers” by Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (MD H2E). The Trailblazer Awards are presented annually to hospitals that have shown leadership and achievement in environmental sustainability.

UMMC is the only hospital to receive the Trailblazer Award from MD H2E five years in a row. This year, UMMC was recognized for its sustainable food efforts, which include increasing the health value of the food it prepares and serves to its patients, visitors and staff, and hosting a weekly farmers market in partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore. The medical center increased overall healthy food and beverage purchasing, reduced meat purchasing, offered more vegetarian options and launched a price incentive program in its cafeteria. The University Farmers Market is the first hospital-based farmers market in Maryland to accept SNAP benefits, further expanding access to fresh produce for residents of West Baltimore.

UM Upper Chesapeake is the first hospital in Maryland to qualify for the EmPower Maryland Incentive. It will receive almost $2 million for the construction and operation of a combined heat and power system, which will provide electricity, heating and air conditioning for the hospital’s Bel Air campus with no upfront costs from the hospital. The system will also provide backup power to ensure that the hospital can operate during an emergency or natural disaster. The medical center will save nearly $9 million over the course of the system’s expected life, while simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions by more than 40 percent.

UMMC also received three other environmental awards this week from Practice Greenhealth, a national membership organization for health care facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations. UMMC was recognized for its leadership in several areas, including reduction and appropriate disposal of hazardous chemicals and environmental innovation in surgical practices. It was the first organization to win a new award for “Greening the OR” (Operating Room).