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Johns Hopkins Medicine Recognized for Environmental Sustainability - 06/04/2015

Johns Hopkins Medicine Recognized for Environmental Sustainability

One of only 10 systems nationwide to receive Greening the OR Award
Release Date: June 4, 2015
Lauren Berkow, M.D.
Lauren Berkow, M.D.

Johns Hopkins Medicine was recognized for its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, winning several sustainability awards during the recent CleanMed 2015 Conference in Portland, Oregon, and at the Maryland Hospital Association’s annual meeting in Baltimore.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital received a Greenhealth Emerald Award and a Greening the OR Award from Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit organization promoting sustainability in health care. Johns Hopkins was one of only 10 institutions in the country to receive the Greening the OR Award.

“We are proud to receive such distinguished honors,” says Ken Grant, vice president of general services at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. “Our team has worked hard to implement programs that promote sustainability, and we feel it is imperative that we play a role in reducing our environmental impact.”

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center received a Partner Recognition Award for implementing early-phase, effective programs to promote environment sustainability. 

“The Environmental Excellence Awards honor organizations that demonstrate leadership in reducing their environmental footprint,” said Jeffrey Brown, Executive Director of Practice Greenhealth. “Since the initiation of its sustainability program, Johns Hopkins Hospital has propelled itself to the forefront.”

Johns Hopkins was also honored by Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, receiving a Trailblazer Award for its supply biodecontamination project.

Lauren Berkow, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine, received a Physician for Environmental Health Award for her dedication to sustainability.

Berkow has championed numerous initiatives at Johns Hopkins, and she has led presentations and lectures throughout the nation on environmental stewardship.

“I am honored to be recognized for my part in helping improve our planet,” says Berkow. “Our staff in the OR has worked tirelessly to reduce red bag medical waste, increase recycling and reprocess items. It’s very rewarding to have these efforts acknowledged with this award.”

These competitive awards are given within the health care sector to institutions with outstanding programs that reduce the facility’s environmental footprint.

Johns Hopkins has saved money by implementing environmentally focused initiatives, including:

  • The team implemented the use of a fluid management system that saved the hospital $30,000 last year alone in one-time-use supplies, such as canisters and solidifier. With this technology, the hospital avoided 10 tons of waste that otherwise would have been sent as regulated medical waste. This is a waste stream that’s often five times more expensive to dispose of than municipal solid waste.
  • The staff spread awareness of the negative impacts of anesthetic gases on the environment through education about low-flow anesthesia. Because of this initiative, The Johns Hopkins Hospital saw a reduction of total anesthesia costs from $694,181 in fiscal year 2009 to $467,908 in fiscal year 2013.
  • The team installed LED lights in 50 percent of the OR suites to help reduce overall energy consumption, saving the hospital $64,847.
  • The hospital invested in cogeneration technology to reduce overall CO2 emissions by 30,000 metric tons in fiscal year 2014.
  • The team built a 65,000-square-foot green roof to help reduce the effects of water runoff.  

Johns Hopkins started using HVAC setback, which reduces the amount of air supplied to an OR when the room is not in use. Among 65 operating rooms, more than 85 percent of the suites have an HVAC setback program.

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