Hudson Hospital & Clinic mission is “Caring for the Health of our Community” and has embarked on an eco-friendly journey establishing sustainable business practices. After laying the green foundation several years ago, it’s now a roadmap for the hospital. Implementing sustainable business practices has made Hudson Hospital a model for other HealthPartners organizations. In fact, a recent review of the hospital by the Joint Commission identified their Environment of Care program to be exceptional and recommended as a Best Practices standard.
Hudson Hospital & Clinic implemented eco-friendly practices because it’s the right thing to do. Some of these include: reducing waste, conserving energy, using locally grown fresh produce, cleaning with Green-seal approved chemicals, and using natural gardens with drought-resistant plants. The goal is to reduce waste, recycle and reuse when possible.
For Hudson Hospital, it’s about partnerships. As part of the HealthPartners family, Hudson’s sustainability practices align and support the organization’s Partners for Better Health Goals 2014 – to protect the health of members, patients and the community. HealthPartners is committed to responsible, environmentally sustainable practices to help all of us achieve the Triple Aim – better health, improved patient experience and affordable health care.
Hudson Hospital & Clinic is also fortunate to be part of a supportive St. Croix Valley community where both businesses and the community have embraced eco-friendly practices. These partnerships paved the foundation for a commitment to sustainability in the valley. Hudson Hospital’s Environment of Care “green team” continues to assess and identify opportunities in their sustainability journey. Many vendors have also partnered with Hudson Hospital to provide cost-effective recycling programs and green-friendly equipment.
Has it made a difference? Take a look at some of Hudson Hospital’s latest green initiatives:
· Waste management and reduction – Through a comprehensive waste management plan for all materials and waste streams, Hudson Hospital has recycled about 190,000 pounds of cardboard, aluminum, paper, and plastic in 2010. A battery recycling program resulted in saving 111 pounds of waste last year. They’ve reduced paper and toner saving $12,000 annually. A $7,200 savings was seen using the new trash compactor. Vendors SterliMed and Centurion Medical Products, helped the hospital save $27,000 through reprocessing instruments, devices and recycling suture trays – resulting in reduced waste in landfills.
· Energy, water and climate – A smart facilities approach ensured the hospital was built to LEED construction standards. These smart approaches also include: LED lights on outdoor signage and exit signs to burn more efficiently; low-flow fixtures for toilets and faucets reducing water consumption, vinegar to clean hospital humidifiers rather than chemicals, native drought resistant plants in our gardens to reduce lawn size, and sensors on irrigation system to avoid using during rain.
· Nutrition and food service – The hospital participates in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and is a site for distribution of locally-grown fresh, organic produce for the community and participating employees. In season, the hospital’s café serves patients and guests locally grown produce. Recycled paper products are used and staff is encouraged to bring their own water containers eliminating bottled water, resulting in $1,000 savings annually.
· Sustainable environment – Hudson Hospital provides outdoor places of respite on campus – labyrinth, gardens, benches, birdhouses and is a tobacco-free campus. Bike racks and locker rooms are available for employees who bike to work. A chemical management program implemented digital mammography – saving $2,200 on chemicals in 2010. In collaboration with St. Croix County, the hospital implemented a pharmaceutical take-back program for disposal of drugs. The hospital uses greener cleaning to eliminate floor finishes and strippers, and our linen company is a member of the Laundry Environmental stewardship program.
What’s Next? Hudson Hospital & Clinic’ sustainability journey has only just begun. These eco-friendly practices and new innovative environmentally safe initiatives, like the community garden project and composting systems, will continue in support of their mission – Caring for the Health of our Community and journey – providing health care that’s healthy.