Strides in Sustainability: UW Health Earns Environmental Excellence Awards

Madison, Wisconsin - UW Health's Sustainability Program and Culinary Services continue to make remarkable strides in reducing UW Health's environmental footprint, reducing costs and ensuring that our facilities and culinary offerings are healthy as possible for patients, families, faculty and staff.


The latest accolades come in the form of three awards UW Health received from Practice Greenhealth:


Partner for Change Award


Recipients: University Hospital, American Family Children's Hospital and UW Health at The American Center


2018 Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Award WinnerThis is the second straight year UW Health has received this award, which recognizes healthcare facilities that continuously improve and expand upon programs to eliminate mercury, reduce and recycle waste, source products sustainably and more. Winning facilities demonstrate that they are recycling at least 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are on track to eliminate mercury and have developed successful sustainability programs in many areas.


"As healthcare providers, sustainability is at the core of our healing mission and central to protecting the health of our patients, staff and community," said Mary Evers Statz, UW Health program director, energy management and sustainability. "We take pride in our sustainability programs and the positive impacts they have on the environment and the communities we serve."


Circles of Excellence - Healthy Food


Recipients: University Hospital and American Family Children's Hospital


This is also the second consecutive year UW Health has earned this award, which honors hospitals for outstanding performance as leaders in sustainable food services, including meat and sugar-sweetened beverage reduction, healthier meat procurement, local sourcing, food waste prevention and management. Top contenders have written policies and an educational strategy that addresses the food system as a critical component in an overall sustainability plan - for human and planetary health.


"UW Health has been demonstrating leadership in our community to improve the health of our patients, staff and community," stated Megan Waltz, UW Health director of culinary services. "We are proud to be named one of the top 10 hospitals in the country for this work and will continue to make sustainability a top priority."


Making Medicine Mercury Free


2018 Making Medicine Mercury-Free Award Winner

Recipient: UW Health at The American Center


Presented to healthcare facilities that have virtually eliminated mercury and have policies in place to prevent it from re-entering the facility. Award criteria include strong mercury-free purchasing policies and management practices, staff education and a commitment to continuing to be mercury-free. Mercury is one of the most hazardous chemicals, associated with many health risks.


"Eliminating mercury from the products we use protects both our patients and staff," said Dr. Karin Zuegge, anesthesiology, UW Health medical director for sustainability. "We are proud of our successes in eliminating mercury and are committed to doing even more to reduce exposure to this harmful chemical."

Date Published: 05/17/2018

News tag(s):  karin l zueggerecognitionsustainabilityawardsgreensteps

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