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Vermont Hospitals Commit to a Healthier Future with the First Statewide Enrollment in the Healthier Hospitals Initiative
Date:9/12/2013

Reston, VA (PRWEB) September 12, 2013

The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI), Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (VAHHS) and Efficiency Vermont announced today that Vermont is the first state to commit to enrolling all of its hospitals in HHI, a collaborative of leading health care institutions united to speed the health care sector toward environmental sustainability. Two Vermont hospitals, Fletcher Allen Health Care and Central Vermont Medical Center, are already HHI members and leaders in implementing sustainability initiatives. HHI was launched by thirteen hospital systems—Advocate Health Care, Bon Secours Health System, Catholic Health Initiatives, Dignity Health, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Inova Health System, Kaiser Permanente, MedStar Health, Partners HealthCare, Stanford University Medical Center, Tenet Health Systems and Vanguard Health Systems—along with Practice Greenhealth, Health Care Without Harm and the Center for Health Design, in May 2010.

HHI is a no-cost campaign to accelerate the adoption of sustainability practices in the day-to-day operations of hospitals in the U.S. and Canada for improved health of patients, staff, and community; reduced environmental impact by the sector; and considerable fiscal savings that reduce the overall national health care costs through better public health. There are currently nearly 800 hospitals enrolled in HHI using their collective sustainability experience, purchasing power and industry representation to encourage the widespread use of proven sustainability practices in six key “Challenge” areas:

  •     Engaged Leadership
  •     Healthier Food
  •     Leaner Energy
  •     Less Waste
  •     Safer Chemicals
  •     Smarter Purchasing

All Vermont hospitals—including Fletcher Allen Health Care and Central Vermont Medical Center—are making strong efforts to reduce their energy use by working with Efficiency Vermont. Projects being pursued include the development of Strategic Energy Management Plans (SEMP), tracking building data in Energy Star Portfolio Manager, and the implementation of significant energy efficiency improvements. The partnership between Vermont and HHI was announced at the VAHHS Annual Meeting on September 12, 2013, at a special luncheon sponsored by Efficiency Vermont.

“It is inspiring that the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems and Efficiency Vermont have fully engaged all of the hospitals in their state, driving them toward HHI’s resources and proven strategies,” said Gary Cohen, President of Health Care Without Harm and Founder of HHI. “The collective experiences of our health care community show that this is both a sound business decision and the right thing to do for improved public health and reduced environmental impact.”

Success of the campaign will be measured and tracked with aggregate data that can be sorted by state or hospital type—data that will be of great use for demonstrating success. The data collected in 2012 was used to showcase HHI’s success in its first year in the 2012 HHI Milestone Report published in April 2013.

“The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems has a special interest in the Leaner Energy Challenge,” says Bea Grause, President and CEO. “This initiative will help Vermont hospitals make changes that will reduce energy use, and promote the health and wellness of patients and staff."

As part of their commitment, VAHHS and Efficiency Vermont have signed on as Supporting Organizations of HHI, supporting the goals of HHI and seeking opportunities to share information with organization members and associates. The green movement in health care is completely in concert with any organization’s mission of improving the health and well-being of their community, and promoting effective stewardship of human and financial resources.

Learn more about the Healthier Hospitals Initiative at http://www.healthierhospitals.org.

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About the Healthier Hospitals Initiative
The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) is a national campaign to implement a completely new approach to improving environmental health and sustainability in the health care sector. Eleven of the largest, most influential U.S. health systems, comprising over 475 hospitals with more than $20 billion in purchasing power, worked with Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), the Center for Health Design and Practice Greenhealth to create HHI as a guide for hospitals to improve sustainability in six key areas: engaged leadership, healthier food, leaner energy, less waste, safer chemicals, and smarter purchasing. Sponsoring health systems include Advocate Health Care, Bon Secours Health System, Catholic Health Initiatives, Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), Gundersen Health System, Hospital Corporation of America, Inova Health System, Kaiser Permanente, MedStar Health, Partners HealthCare, Stanford University Medical Center, Tenet Health Systems and Vanguard Health Systems. More information is available at http://www.healthierhospitals.org.

About Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems
The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (VAHHS) is a member-owned organization devoted to improving the health status of communities throughout Vermont by advocating for, leading and serving members in their efforts to develop and sustain high-quality health services for Vermonters.

About Efficiency Vermont
Efficiency Vermont was created by the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to help all Vermonters reduce energy costs, strengthen the economy, and protect Vermont's environment. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 or visit http://www.efficiencyvermont.com.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/9/prweb11120128.htm.


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