Author: William Olson, chief operating officer, Providence Oregon
Providence last month was presented with the 2021 System for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth, in recognition of our health system’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint. In addition, all Providence Oregon hospitals received Practice Greenhealth’s Environmental Excellence Award.
This is the first time the Providence system has been awarded this recognition, and we are one of only eight health systems in the U.S. to receive the award this year. The award recognizes Providence’s ongoing commitment to significantly reducing our carbon footprint and our efforts to build sustainability into our operations.
Providence is committed to our goal of becoming carbon negative by 2030, and we are grateful for the Practice Greenhealth awards that honor our ongoing work.
Providence Oregon awards
In addition to Providence’s overall system award, Practice Greenhealth presented the Environmental Excellence Award to all eight Providence Oregon hospitals:
- Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital
- Providence Medford Medical Center
- Providence Milwaukie Hospital
- Providence Newberg Medical Center
- Providence Portland Medical Center
- Providence Seaside Hospital
- Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
- Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center
I’d like to thank and recognize Brian Chesebro, M.D., medical director of environmental stewardship for Providence, for his leadership and commitment to improve our hospitals’ carbon footprint and to become responsible stewards of the earth’s natural resources.
I also want to thank Providence Oregon’s “Green Teams” that are located within each of our eight hospitals. Dr. Chesebro, the Green Team members and many others provide a critical eye at our environmental practices and continually help our organization strive to do better.
The Environmental Excellence Awards recognize health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon programs to eliminate mercury, reduce and recycle waste, source products sustainably and more. Winning facilities must demonstrate that they are working toward energy efficiency, waste reduction, sustainable food programs, elimination of mercury and other chemicals of concern, and that they have robust programs in many areas.
Health care and climate change
The World Health Organization considers climate change the No. 1 public health issue of the 21st century, and health systems must do our part to reduce our environmental impact on the planet and preserve the public health of our local communities.
As an industry, health care is a significant source of carbon emissions and is responsible for 4.4% of global totals. In addition to health care’s role as a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, we also will be called upon to respond directly to the health-related impacts of climate change. We cannot afford to ignore our collective and individual responsibilities. Learn more about Providence’s commitment to environmental stewardship here:
It takes many teams to go green
The Practice Greenhealth awards are a testament to the work our teams have done to help meet this goal. The more we work together to reduce our carbon footprint, the more we are directly contributing to the health of our communities and a more sustainable future.
Through Providence’s environmental advocacy WE ACT framework, we’re working to incorporate environmental measures and metrics in our clinical and administrative cultures. Including environmental cost assessment into our value analyses will ensure we operate as sustainably as possible.
Providence is grateful for the many caregivers and providers who are committed to this work and bring innovation, ingenuity and adaptability to help us dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.
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