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EPA’s Trailblazer Awards Honor Two Philadelphia-area Hospitals

Release Date: 10/23/2009
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (October 23, 2009) -- In a ceremony today at the annual meeting of the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council, EPA recognized two Philadelphia-area hospitals with Trailblazer Awards for their environmental leadership. The recipients were Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, and Doylestown Hospital, Doylestown.

EPA’s Trailblazer Award – now in its third year -- recognizes hospitals in the Philadelphia area and Delaware that have served as models for other hospitals and shown leadership in a particular area of sustainability. These hospitals are helping to pave the way to move all area hospitals forward by reducing their environmental footprint.

These hospitals deserve credit for taking positive steps to reduce waste, improve purchasing practices, and by investing in reusable rather than disposable products, said John Pomponio, director of the Environmental Assessment and Innovation Division for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. “These hospitals are successfully demonstrating leadership and innovation in reducing their environmental footprint.”

Pennsylvania Hospital is receiving the award for its extensive recycling program, as well as its healthy organic foods program. The hospital started a weekly farmers market in 2008 for patients, staff and the surrounding community. New in 2009, the hospital introduced the new locally-grown featured produce item in the cafeteria. The item is available for purchase Wednesdays at the market, then served in the cafeteria on Thursdays with the recipe posted so diners can prepare the same dish at home.

Doylestown Hospital is receiving the award for its Green Team’s efforts in toxic and medical waste reduction; environmentally preferable purchasing practices; cleaning practices that make use of less toxic materials; and for the hospital’s arboretum, which provides storm water management and a healing environment for patients and the community alike.

Medical care in the U.S. is about one-sixth of the nation’s economy. Since 1998 EPA has been working with the healthcare sector to reduce its environmental impact and to help find solutions for reducing pollution, which can make an enormous difference in environmental health and the financial bottom line.

For more information, go to: www.epa.gov/Region3/green/healthcare2009_07_02.html