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Palomar Health wins national environmental awards for third consecutive year


Palomar Health Downtown Campus and Pomerado Hospital are recipients of “2013 Partner for Change Awards” from Practice Greenhealth, the third consecutive year the national environmental leader has recognized Palomar Health hospitals for sustainability achievements in the health care sector.

The Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their sustainability programs.

Practice Greenhealth is a membership organization representing healthcare organizations committed to the integration of sustainability principles and practices as a means to better protect the health of patients, staff, the communities served, and the environment. The Partner for Change awards are part of Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards program.

Facilities considered for the Partner for Change award at a minimum must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas.

“These awards prove that Palomar Health is committed to environmentally preferable practices that protect the health and welfare of their community, staff and patients they serve,” said Laura Wenger, RN, Practice Greenhealth executive director. “Practice Greenhealth is pleased to recognize Palomar Health for these efforts.”

Palomar Health Downtown Campus in Escondido and Pomerado Hospital in Poway were recognized for several achievements, including:
• Successful sustainability efforts in reducing waste and increasing recycling.
• Managing energy and water consumption and their costs.
• Tracking and increasing local and sustainable food purchasing.
• Developing commuter transit benefits.
• Enhancing gardens and healing spaces.
• Engaging staff on the connections between human health and the environment.

“We take pride in our comprehensive approach to sustainability in healthcare,” Palomar Health Sustainability Manager Barbara Hamilton said. “As we continue to explore the connections between human health and the environment, Palomar Health looks forward to working with Practice Greenhealth to further our sustainability efforts and lessen our impact on the environment,” Hamilton said.

Awards were presented in Boston this week, April 25, at CleanMed 2013, the premiere national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability.

Palomar Health hospitals won Partner for Change awards in 2012 and Partner Recognition awards in 2011.

About Practice Greenhealth:

Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading membership and networking organization for institutions in the health care community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices. The organization empowers members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care.

For more information about Practice Greenhealth, please visit www.practicegreenhealth.org.

About Palomar Health and Sustainability

Palomar Health is the largest public health-care district by area in California and the most comprehensive health care delivery system in northern San Diego County with three hospitals – including the new Palomar Medical Center in Escondido- and several other facilities.

Palomar Health is proud to be a leader in the region for sustainability in healthcare with a comprehensive program in the areas of energy efficiency, alternative generation and water conservation, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable sites and gardens, and education and engagement.

Palomar Health recently won a 2013 Diamond Award from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) for best new program that helps reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gases in the region.

For more information about Palomar Health, please visit www.PalomarHealth.org.

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