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The Healthcare Waste and Emergency Preparedness Coalition Announces Its Official Formation
Date:3/3/2009

Looming Threats Require Healthcare Sustainability for America's Hospitals and Medical Centers During Crisis

WASHINGTON, March 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Healthcare Waste and Emergency Preparedness Coalition (CleanMedWaste.org) has been formed to raise awareness and provide education about two major problems facing our healthcare system today -- healthcare facility operational sustainability during a crisis and the proper methods of discarding hazardous medical waste.

The coalition consists of hospitals, waste solutions companies, and others who are committed to ensuring a safe and clean medical waste disposal system that fully considers the challenges of maintaining health facility sustainability during emergencies, transportation breakdowns, and patient surges.

"The readiness of our healthcare facilities should not be taken for granted," said Darrell Henry, Executive Director of the Coalition. "Our healthcare system faces serious tests of preparedness and sustainability, especially in the area of managing hazardous medical waste in the time of crisis."

Current practices of disposal involve removal, transportation, and off-site disposal of waste. However, modern affordable technologies exist that can cleanly, safely, and economically sterilize infectious and contagious waste on the premises of healthcare facilities. Treating hazardous materials on site is cleaner, greener, less costly, and, most importantly, a safer option.

Healthcare facilities are required to be self-sufficient for several days. Under a wide-spread community problem, the volume of hazardous materials would dramatically increase when a large population suddenly contracted a contagious disease (via Pandemic or Bioterrorism) or incurred a disaster and surged a hospital's capacity. Facilities would be inundated for hazardous storage containers, which would put public health and the safety of health providers at risk, and supply management would be stressed. This occurred after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and more recently Hurricane Gustav.

"The coalition believes that an on-site sustainability approach addresses a looming issue; hospital preparedness in the case of a pandemic or other crisis," said Henry.

"The Center for Disease Control and other federal health officials have recognized that nation healthcare system remains vulnerable to bioterrorism, pandemic, and natural disasters and that on-site sterilization is a best practice for emergency preparedness and health care facility operational sustainability, and government regulations and federal legislation in Congress should recognize that too," said Henry.

To learn more about the Healthcare Waste and Emergency Preparedness Coalition, please visit our Web site: http://www.CleanMedWaste.org.


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SOURCE Healthcare Waste and Emergency Preparedness Coalition
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