St. Mary’s Health System has been honored with a 2013 “Partner for Change, with Distinction” award from Practice Greenhealth, a national membership organization for health care facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations. The award is one of the organization’s seven Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in health care sector.
The Partner for Change, with Distinction award recognizes healthcare facilities that have achieved improvements in their mercury elimination, waste reduction, and pollution prevention programs (above the Partner for Change basic criteria.) This includes at least 15% recycling, a more extensive sustainability program, and a show of 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. “St. Mary’s Health System 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.”
St. Mary’s earned this prestigious recognition due to its efforts to reduce its electricity, oil, gas, and water consumption as well as promote food sustainability in the community.
St. Mary’s replaced its air cooled chiller with two high efficiency centrifugal chillers contributing to an annual reduction in electricity costs of more than $625,000 even while expanding its facility by approximately 100,000 square feet. As a result of these reductions St. Mary’s was the first hospital in Maine to earn the prestigious national Energy Star Award. Other facility upgrades led to a 9.5 million gallon annual reduction in water consumption. Duel fuel boilers give St. Mary’s the ability to track fuel markets and choose between #2 fuel or cleaner burning natural gas.
Through the work of St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, with the help of community partners, It has taken a lead role in a sustainability and food access study to learn how to best address the needs of the Lewiston/Auburn area. Additionally, Lots to Gardens, a youth and community driven program within the Nutrition Center, uses sustainable urban agriculture to create access to fresh food and to nurture healthy youth and a healthy community.
It is through these efforts and programming that St. Mary’s was selected as a “Partner for Change, with Distinction.”
“We are very pleased to have our accomplishments recognized at a national level,” said St. Mary’s President and CEO, Lee Myles, “We are committed to reducing our
environmental impact and are continually monitoring our progress. Receiving this award is confirmation that we are on the right track.”