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EPA and Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center Sign Pact for Self-Audit

Release Date: 04/06/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865, rosner.sheryl@epa.gov

Pete Mobilia, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center - (860) 714-4511


For Immediate Release: April 6, 2005; Release # sr050401

BOSTON - Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, in a voluntary agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, will complete a comprehensive environmental self-audit for all of its facilities. The agreement evidences the Hospital and Medical Center's commitment to environmental stewardship in the provision of healthcare services and will ensure that the Hospital is operating consistently with all federal and state environmental requirements.

The collaboration between Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center and EPA is one of the first of its kind in the region, and is part of a larger effort launched last spring by EPA's New England office to foster increased compliance with environmental laws at area hospitals. EPA sent a letter last April to more than 250 hospitals in New England that encouraged hospitals to conduct self-audits since many hospital functions, such as laboratories, power plants, and vehicle maintenance facilities, have the potential to cause environmental violations if not properly managed.

"Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center should be applauded for embracing a proactive approach to complying with environmental laws," said EPA Regional Administrator Robert W. Varney. "The Agency looks forward to working with Saint Francis and other New England hospitals as we embrace this innovative means to achieving compliance."

Under the arrangement, the hospital will complete a comprehensive environmental audit within the next year covering all relevant state and federal environmental requirements, disclose discrepancies that it finds to EPA, and correct those items within 60 days of discovery. If the hospital uncovers any violations that pose a serious threat to the environment, it agrees to correct the problems immediately.

"As an institution fully committed to the well being of our communities, Saint Francis is eager to provide the safest environment possible for our patients and workforce," said Christopher M. Dadlez, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that extends beyond the doors of our facilities and recognize the importance of our environment. As a result, we appreciate the opportunity to work directly with EPA to be proactive in supporting a healthy environment."

EPA's efforts to highlight environmental compliance at healthcare facilities was influenced by the experience of EPA's New York/New Jersey regional office, which took enforcement actions against several hospitals after non compliance was found during inspections.

For more information on EPA's audit policy go to: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/auditing/index.html
For more information on environmental compliance in Healthcare go to: http://www.epa.gov/NE/healthcare/