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EPA Teams Up to Make Health Care Environmentally Sustainable - New England Members of “Hospitals for a Healthy Environment” Program Receive Recognition

Release Date: 06/14/2006
Contact Information: Dave Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – June 14, 2006) - Under an innovative program to develop and promote environmentally preferable practices in the healthcare industry, several New England institutions were recently singled out for special recognition by EPA for a national award.

The program, called “Hospital’s for a Healthy Environment” (H2E), is creating a national movement for environmental sustainability in health care. Hospital’s for a Healthy Environment is jointly coordinated by EPA, the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association and Health Care Without Harm.

“New England hospitals are demonstrating innovations that not only provide great healthcare, but which help make a healthier environment,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “I’m proud that so many New England hospitals are part of this program and are being recognized for their good work.”

This year special recognition was given to H2E facilities that exemplify the mission of this partnership, under four different categories. The following are H2E 2006 Award winners in New England:

2006 H2E Champion Award for Champions that have taken a leadership role in promoting H2E goals to their members, and whose members have implemented programs in support of these goals:
- New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Concord, N.H.
- Covenant Health System, Lexington, Mass.
- The Institution Recycling Network, Concord, N.H.

    2006 Making Medicine Mercury Free Award one-time award given to facilities that have virtually eliminated mercury and have developed policies to sustain the elimination:
    - Baystate Health, Springfield, Mass.
    - Bradley Memorial Hospital, Southington, Conn.
    - Littleton Regional Hospital, Littleton, N.H.
    - Parkland Medical Center, Derry, N.H.
    - Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Portsmouth, N.H.
    - St. Mary Health Care Center, Worcester, Mass.
    - The Miriam Hospital, Providence, R.I.
    - Youville Hospital & Rehabilitation Center, Cambridge, Mass.
      2006 Partner for Change Award for making significant progress reducing waste and eliminating mercury and preventing pollution in measurable, sustainable ways:
      - Concord Hospital in Concord, N.H.
      - Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Northampton, Mass.
      - Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Conn.
      - Kent Hospital, Warwick, R.I.
      - Littleton Regional Hospital, Littleton, N.H.
      - Somerville Hospital, Somerville, Mass.
      - The Cambridge Hospital in Cambridge, Mass.
      - Whidden Hospital, Mass.
        2006 Environmental Leadership Award for outstanding efforts in innovative and sustainable environmental programs. These leaders are distinguished by their pioneering efforts to reduce the impact of health care on the environment:
        - Baystate Health, Springfield, Mass.

        In providing healthcare, the mission of a medical facility is to protect and improve the health of those in the community being served. With nearly 300 hospitals and thousands of other healthcare facilities in New England, the potential environmental impacts from these operations can be significant by reducing the use of toxic chemicals, generating less waste and consuming less energy and water.

        The goals of H2E are to eliminate the use of mercury in the health care sector to cut health care waste in half by 2010; and to identify and eliminate persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic chemicals in the health care system. Currently, there are nearly 1,200 H2E partners nationally, representing 8,266 health care facilities that have joined H2E and are committed to achieving those goals. There are 156 New England H2E Partners.

        More information on EPA's work with New England hospitals (epa.gov/ne/healthcare/index.html)

        More about Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (www.h2e-online.org)

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