Walk, ride, share for cleaner air

walk, ride, share

Champion a Walk, Ride, Share for Cleaner Air employee challenge at your work place and start making a difference today!

Gundersen Health System’s Walk, Ride, Share for Cleaner Air commuting challenge gives staff incentives for biking, car-pooling, taking the bus or walking to work. Each month through the end of August, employees who participate in the challenge have a chance to win gift cards and other great prizes.

Active and alternative commuting not only promotes a healthy lifestyle, it helps reduce greenhouse emissions, which can cause illness and disease such as cancer, asthma, cardiac, and reproductive problems.

Active/alternative commuting options

  • Walking
  • Bicycle riding
  • Car pooling
  • Using mass transit transportation
  • Any other travel without driving yourself (rollerblading, skateboarding)

 

It’s OK if you are not able to actively or alternatively commute every day. Do it as often as you are able.

Start your challenge today!

Learn more about reducing energy consumption and greenhouse emissions from the environmental leaders at Envision.

Introducing the Employee Home Solar Discount program

Register for today’s live webinar, Introducing the Employee Home Solar Discount Program, presented by Practice Greenhealth. This webinar is the first in a series of Green Employee Benefits for Practice Greenhealth members.

The webinar begins at 1 p.m. EDT. Click here to request access to the webinar. If you have problems logging in, contact Peggy Rademaker at prademaker@practicegreenhealth.org.

This new program provides hospitals with an incredible opportunity to offer employees the chance to buy or lease solar systems for their homes at a substantially lower rate than the national average. Implementing the program at your health system or hospital provides a great incentive to engage employees and also contributes to increasing the resilience of their communities.

Health systems that are members of the Health Care Climate Council have been piloting the project. Two of these pilot projects – Mark Platt from Gundersen Health System and Sarah O’Keefe from University Hospitals – will share their stories and experiences during the webinar.

Lauren Kleinman from Practice Greenhealth will present the Toolkit to assist members with implementing this Green Employee Benefit at their own hospitals. As an additional incentive, Practice Greenhealth will announce the details of a contest to award free CleanMed 2017 registrations and lodging to the health systems that establish the best Employee Home Solar programs.

pgh_9eb24b50616a74d3fc42ab4a81f00ad1
Mark Platt
Senior Vice President of Business Services, Gundersen Health System
In the role of Senior Vice President of Business Services, Mark oversees the Envision program (Gundersen Health System’s sustainability program), in addition to business development and marketing, business health services, community and preventive care services, corporate communications, external affairs and government relations, facilities, and supply chain. He also leads the strategic planning process as a member of the senior leadership team. Mark received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Patients engage in rooftop garden planting project

patient plantingpatient planting 2

Gundersen’s Envision program not only impacts Gundersen employees but also Gundersen patients and the greater community.  Recently Envision started selling Udderly Green Organic Compost and Potting Mix in collaboration with Purple Cow Organics at Ace of La Crosse.  These products are made with plant fiber byproduct from Envision’s dairy digesters located in Wisconsin.

Originally intended as an employee engagement project, these products gave employees and community members the opportunity to learn more about the Envision program and the dairy digester projects. However, staff working in the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Gundersen saw these products as a way to engage the long stay patients in healthy and fun outdoor activities.

Pictured above is a patient planting vegetables on the rooftop garden at the hospital using the Envision potting mix with assistance from Courtney Hoeg, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).  Chef Thomas Sacksteder assists the patients in the fall season with harvesting and preparing the vegetables.  If you are interested in learning more about Envision, see the following website: www.gundersenenvision.org.

e-Waste eye openers

Gas mask

The term “e-Waste” is generally applied to corporate and consumer electronic equipment that are near or at the end of its immediate useful life. e-Waste includes discarded or obsolete cell phones, computers, notebooks, computer game consoles and other electronic devices.

Did you know?

  • e-Waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste.
  • A report from United Nations University (UNU) found that the world produced 41.8 million metric tons of e-waste in 2014 – an amount that would fill 1.15 million 18-wheel trucks. Lined up, those trucks would stretch from New York to Tokyo and back.
  • Large amounts of e-Waste are sent to China, India, Kenya where lower environmental standards and working conditions make processing e-Waste more profitable. It is reported that 80% of all Asian children have elevated levels of lead in their systems.
  • Health impacts from improperly disposed e-wasteo   Nose bleeds, seizures, child development, sinus perforations
    o   Mouth, teeth, gum damage, thyroid damage
    o   High blood pressure, irregular heartbeat
    o   Lung damage, asthma, bronchitis, cancer
    o   Kidney, liver, digestive system damage, fetus neurologic damage, ulcers
    o   Skin cancer, paralysis
    o   Death
  • e-Waste in landfills releases greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 178,000 cars

What is your e-Waste contribution?

For more information, contact us at www.gundersenenvision.org.

Sources
https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-e-waste
https://www.causesinternational.com/ewaste/e-waste-facts
http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/crazy-e-waste-statistics-explored-in-infographic.html
http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/e-waste-infographic.html

Gundersen is co-founder of new purchasing marketplace

usa - green environment concept

Concerned about the use of products and services in healthcare that are potentially harmful to human health, local communities and the planet, Gundersen Health System has joined the nation’s other top leaders in healthcare sustainability to create the Greenhealth Exchange (GX).

GX is a purchasing cooperative founded by four health systems including Gundersen, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Dignity Health and Partners HealthCare along with longtime sustainability advocates Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth. GX is backed by a combined total of 60 hospitals that together represent $21.2 billion in annual revenues and more than $4 billion in purchasing power.

“Supplies and equipment have as big, if not bigger, impact on the environment as our energy use,” says Jeff Thompson, MD, executive advisor and CEO Emeritus for Gundersen Health System. “That’s why Gundersen is committed to Greenhealth Exchange. We can aggregate demand around products that will lower cost and be more sustainable.”

For more than 20 years, Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth have worked collaboratively with hospitals, health systems, product manufacturers and suppliers to drive change in the market for environmentally preferable products. GX will build on these efforts, helping hospitals overcome barriers to green purchasing by offering greater access to high-quality products at competitive prices.

GX is currently developing a network of suppliers and it expects to launch the online catalog in approximately six months. Conversations with additional major health systems are underway. Through detailed product specifications and supplier performance requirements, the unique marketplace will offer members access to the following:

  • High-quality green products brought together in one catalog at competitive prices.
  • Apples-to-apples comparisons on key product features including price and sustainability score plus health, environmental and community benefits.
  • Tracking and reporting the benefits associated with every purchase.

For more about the exchange, visit greenhealthexchange.com. For more information on Gundersen’s environmental initiatives, go to gundersenenvision.org.

Gundersen earns prestigious environmental awards

Featured Image

For the 10th consecutive year, Gundersen Health System has been recognized by Practice Greenhealth for its environmental initiatives.

Gundersen received the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award and four Circles of Excellence Awards last week during CleanMed, the national environmental conference for leaders in healthcare sustainability, .

“This recognition is meaningful confirmation by our peers that we are on the right path,” explains Mark Platt, senior vice president of Business Services at Gundersen. “But we don’t do this work for the fancy awards. We do it because it is the right thing to do for our patients, their families, our staff and all the communities we serve. The work we do embodies the mission and values of Gundersen Health System.”

According to Cecelia DeLoach Lynn, member of the Practice Greenhealth Awards team, “The Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award is a competitive award, encouraging hospitals to continue their pursuit of sustainable innovation across the healthcare sector. Gundersen Health System has been identified as one of the leaders in this sector, driving sustainability and embedding environmental stewardship into the very core of its culture.”

Cecelia explains that the Circles of Excellence honor up to 10 of the highest performing hospitals in 10 areas of sustainability expertise. Gundersen has been awarded the Circles of Excellence in Leadership, Waste, Energy and Climate. “These awards highlight those hospitals that are pushing the envelope and driving innovation in sustainability performance in each sustainability category,” Cecilia explains.

“We are one of only a few healthcare organizations in the country that have sustained this high level of environmental stewardship and been recognized for a decade or more,” says Tom Thompson, sustainability coordinator at Gundersen. “While this is a great accomplishment, our work isn’t finished. We are always coming up with new projects and initiatives as we continuously improve projects and processes for even better outcomes.”

To learn more about Gundersen’s Envision program, go to gundersenenvision.org.

 

Visit us at CleanMed – booth 403

May 17-19, Dallas, TX

What happens when longtime sustainability leaders Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm bring together people from across the country and around the world to talk about green healthcare? CleanMed happens.

CleanMed is the premier conference behind the movement for greener, more effective healthcare. Over a thousand people come to a different city every year to take part in three days of learning, networking, and inspiration. This includes representatives from hospitals, healthcare systems, group purchasing organizations, food service directors and healthcare architects and designers—and representatives from Gundersen Health System.

This year’s Gundersen presenters or co-presenters at CleanMed include:

  • Eric Bashaw, Facilities Operation Manager
  • Mark Platt, senior vice president of Business Services
  • Stephen B. Shapiro, MD, GACS, General Surgery and Colorectal Surgery
  • Jeff Thompson, MD, Executive Advisor and Chief Executive Officer Emeritus

At Gundersen Health System we’re passionate about helping healthcare leaders deliver greener healthcare. Gundersen Health System’s environmental program, Envision® has become known as a model for healthcare organizations nationwide. We can show you how developing or enhancing a portfolio of sustainability projects can help lower costs while improving the health of the communities you serve.

CleanMed is a chance for us to learn more about where healthcare is headed including the sector’s biggest challenges and opportunities, and how our products and services can help bridge those challenges.

Visit us at booth 403 to get a firsthand look at the services we offer.

Find out more about Envision at www.gundersenenvision.org.