Local hospitals receive awards

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals, along with Spectrum Health itself, have received Greenhealth awards.

Spectrum Health has been awarded the System for Change Award by Practice Greenhealth. The award is one of the organization’s Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the health care sector.

“Implementing best practices in our sustainability, efficiency and environmental efforts is one way we demonstrate our commitment to be good stewards of our community’s resources,” said Tina Freese-Decker, president, hospital group, Spectrum Health. “This award recognizes the efforts of the many employees who embrace that commitment by reducing energy use, using local growers for food sources and eliminating waste from our facilities, all of which substantially impact the community and the environment.”

According to Practice Greenhealth, awards highlight health care organizations that are charting new territory and revolutionizing sustainability in health care.

“Spectrum Health has taken great strides since our sustainability program started in 2007 and we continue to focus on improving human health, protecting the natural environment and practicing fiscal responsibility,” said Sarah Chartier, sustainability manager for Spectrum Health.

As a health system, Spectrum Health received a total of 11 Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards. Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge.

The System for Change Award honors health systems that are working cohesively to gather data, set system goals, benchmark and share successes in environmental performance.

Spectrum Health received the System for Change Award, which requires at least five hospitals or long-term care facilities and joined Practice Greenhealth as a health system.

Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals received the Partner for Change Award, which recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this award 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.