Gundersen Health System on international stage

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Gundersen Health System took to an international stage again recently to share its work at the intersection of clinical care and sustainable business practices. Jeff Thompson, MD, CEO emeritus and executive advisor, presented Jan. 17 in Beijing at the International Workshop on Green and Sustainable Healthcare Systems and shared sustainability best practices with senior Chinese research and policy officials.

One key outcome of the conference was an agreement between United States-based Health Care Without Harm and other conference attendees to continue work, over the next five years, to strengthen cooperation and establish an exchange and communication mechanism between the U.S. and China on climate, including its impact on global health.

“Chinese leaders for the first time publicly admitted that 1 million Chinese die each year of air pollution and that they are a low tier country when it comes to health and the environment, ” notes Dr. Thompson. But soon, they will be a leader. Last year China put up two wind turbines–and a football field of solar panels–every hour for the whole year!”

For information on Gundersen’s sustainable best practices, visit www.gundersenenvision.org.

 

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The Benefits of Carpooling

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Do you drive to work? If so, do you drive by yourself? If you answered yes to both of these questions, have you considered carpooling? Carpooling is becoming more popular every year as more people realize the many benefits it can provide. What kind of benefits can you expect from carpooling?

  • Reduced stress due to driving less
  • Saving money
  • Doing your part to reduce congestion on the roads and highways
  • The possibility of developing new friendships with co-workers or other commuters
  • If you do not currently own a car, carpooling can enable you to look at a broader range of job opportunities that are farther from home
  • Doing your part to reduce air pollution
  • the possibility of cutting back one vehicle for your family
  • Access to closer parking (At Gundersen Health system we have closer parking spots for employees who carpool to encourage others to do the same—as pictured above).

Not only can carpooling provide individuals with benefits, but it can also benefit the environment. According to the EPA, tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks account for almost 1/3 of air pollution in the United States.  Although completely reducing emissions cannot happen overnight, everyone can do their part to help reduce emissions and be an example for others. Carpooling just 1 or 2 days a week can help to make a difference. If your organization does not have a carpooling group, consider getting a group together, or try talking with your co-workers and decide on a day when you should all try to drive to work together.