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Kaiser Permanente Wins National Awards for Commitment to Environmental Health
Date:5/19/2009

Practice Greenhealth Recognition Highlights Organization's Green Efforts

OAKLAND, Calif., May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente received the System for Change Award, for the second consecutive year, for its leadership in improving environmental performance in the health care sector. Kaiser Permanente received the award today from Practice Greenhealth at CleanMed 2009, a global conference for environmental leaders in health care.

The award, which recognizes health systems that have worked to gather environmental data, set goals, and encourage eco-friendly practices, reflects Kaiser Permanente's long-standing commitment to protecting the environment.

"Kaiser Permanente recognizes the health of the environment directly affects individual health. We are constantly working to reduce our collective impact on the environment and improve the health of the communities we serve," said Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D., senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy.

As a global leader in sustainability, Kaiser Permanente builds greener facilities, buys non-toxic materials when feasible, and supports sustainable agriculture. For example, the organization is working with suppliers to minimize the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in its operations and services. Recently, Kaiser Permanente made the decision to purchase patient controlled analgesic pump sets and patient identification bracelets that are completely free of PVC, which is a major source of dioxin, a known human carcinogen.

"Kaiser Permanente continues to work to find environmentally friendly alternatives for our members by selecting non-toxic products, working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and informing public policy," said Kathy Gerwig, Kaiser Permanente's vice president for workplace safety and environmental stewardship officer.

Practice Greenhealth is a landmark initiative formed to improve the environmental performance of the health care industry. "This award is a reflection of Kaiser Permanente's business ethics and represents a strong commitment to protect patient health and preserve the environment," said Bob Jarboe, executive director of Practice Greenhealth.

In addition to the System for Change Award, Kaiser Permanente facilities and regions across the country received 12 Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards in recognition of efforts to reduce waste and prevent pollution. The awards include:

  • Partner for Change Award: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Kaiser Permanente Fontana (Calif.) Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Fremont (Calif.) Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Hayward (Calif.) Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Antioch (Calif.) Medical Center, and Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center and Clinic in Hawaii.
  • Making Medicine Mercury-Free Award: Kaiser Permanente Hayward (Calif.) Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Antioch (Calif.) Medical Center
  • Partner Recognition Award: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Kaiser Permanente Roseville (Calif.) Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente San Jose (Calif.) Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente San Rafael (Calif.) Medical Center, and Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco Medical Center.

For more information about Kaiser Permanente's commitment to community health, go to www.kp.org/communitybenefit.

About Practice Greenhealth

Practice Greenhealth is the result of the merger of two leading organizations - Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E) and the Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC) - with a new clean energy and energy efficiency program - Healthcare Clean Energy Exchange (HCEE). For more information on Practice Greenhealth, healthy initiatives, current trends, news and views, and other links to earth-friendly organizations, visit www.practicegreenhealth.org.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.


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