UMMC Wins National Environmental Excellence Award

Practice Greenhealth, an organization of dedicated to environmentally responsible practices at large health care facilities, awarded UMMC a "Partner for Change, with Distinction, Award."

UMMC staff accepted the award in April at the annual global conference, CleanMed 2011, in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Medical Center has previously won the "Partner for Change Award." This year, the award comes "with distinction" - a higher level that recognizes a greater level of action and results. To be eligible to even compete for the prize, a hospital must:

  • Achieve improvements in eliminating mercury, reducing waste and preventing pollution.
  • Recycle at least 15 percent of its waste.
  • Have an extensive sustainability program.
  • Show leadership in the local community and/or in the health care sector.

"The Environmental Excellence Awards recognize success stories," said Anna Gilmore Hall, executive director of Practice Greenhealth. "University of Maryland Medical Center is a successful model of how health facilities can develop and implement pollution prevention programs to greatly improve the health of their patients, staff and community."

Denise B. Choiniere, MS, RN, sustainability manager for UMMC, says the award reflects the measurable and significant progress the Medical Center is making as an organization.

"We made enormous strides this past year with the implementation of our waste separation program," Choiniere says. "We cut our regulated medical waste in half and increased recycling by 30 percent. Additionally, we continue to decrease our energy consumption as well through system upgrades and ingenuity by our chief engineer, John Baldwin. This is type of award is only achievable when the entire staff work together to do the right thing. UMMC is being now being recognized as a leader in sustainable health care, something we all should be proud of."