Gundersen Health System joins White House climate effort

Dr.Thompson in DCGundersen Health System CEO Jeffery Thompson, MD, was recently invited to the White House to join senior White House officials and healthcare leaders from across the country to discuss sustainability efforts and resilience to extreme weather events and other impacts of climate change.

Pictured above at the White House conference are U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Syliva Mathews Burwell (center), Gundersen Health System CEO Jeffery Thompson, MD, (left) and Seema Wadhwa (right), Inova Health System.

Gundersen Health System is one of 12 healthcare organizations in the U.S. to commit to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Sustainable and Climate Resilient Health Care Facilities initiative, part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

Others involved include the Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Partners HealthCare, Virginia Mason Health System, University Hospital, Dignity Health, Ascension Health, Inova Health Systems, Intermountain Healthcare, Tenet Health and ThedaCare.

Gundersen reaches energy independence goal
In 2008, Dr. Thompson set a goal for the organization to control rising energy costs and improve the health of the communities it serves. It focused on two main initiatives–reducing consumption by improving efficiency and creating cleaner energy. On October 14, 2014, Gundersen used more energy than it consumed, becoming the first healthcare system in the country to attain energy independence.

“We set out to make the air better for our patients to breathe, control our rising energy costs, and help our local economy…. We believe we have made more progress on all three than anyone else in the country,” said Thompson. He adds, “Gundersen has shown that you can be financially disciplined, improve the local economy, and positively impact the environment.”

For more on Gundersen’s sustainable, resilient business practices, visit gundersenenvision.org.

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