Mercy Health Youngstown to Receive OHA’s Top Environmental Award

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The John Chapman Award recognizes one hospital or healthcare system each year for outstanding achievements in reducing the organization’s ecological footprint.

Mercy Health Youngstown, HMHP, Humility of Mary Health Partners
Over the past six years, reducing our ecological impact has become a core component of the culture here at Mercy Health Youngstown, and a key consideration in all of our decisions.

Mercy Health Youngstown, formerly Humility of Mary Health Partners, will receive the Ohio Hospital Association’s top award for environmental leadership, the John Chapman Award.

OHA made the announcement yesterday afternoon in recognition of Earth Day. The John Chapman Award, which recognizes one hospital or healthcare system each year for outstanding achievements in reducing the organization’s ecological footprint, will be presented June 9 during the OHA’s annual meeting in Columbus.

Over the past six years, Humility of Mary Health Partners, now Mercy Health Youngstown, has implemented a wide range of programs and practices that save water and energy, reduce waste, promote recycling, prevent hazardous materials from being landfilled, reduce emissions and increase access to healthy foods, especially in food deserts.

“Being good stewards of the Earth aligns with Mercy Health’s mission to improve the health of our community and we embrace that, continually striving to improve our practices and processes to achieve environmental sustainability,” says Matthew R. Waggle, regional director of environmental services. “Over the past six years, reducing our ecological impact has become a core component of the culture here at Mercy Health Youngstown, and a key consideration in all of our decisions.

“Our efforts incorporate and promote sound environmental practices throughout Mercy Health Youngstown -- all departments, all practices, all facilities,” Waggle elaborates. “With this award we’re not being recognized for a specific project, but rather our continuing efforts to reduce our impact on the Earth.”

Those efforts include recycling construction waste such as concrete block, wood, gypsum, asphalt, steel, brick, shingles and fabric – an astonishing 80% of construction waste was recycled when the new patient tower at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital was built -- reducing energy consumption by replacing traditional lighting with LEDs and installing occupancy sensors where appropriate, eliminating bottled water and printed agendas during meetings, promoting double-sided rather than single-sided copies of materials that must be printed, recycling more than 10,000 pounds of the plastic blue wrap that keeps surgical instruments sterile every year since the blue wrap recycling program was introduced, reducing cafeteria waste by using traditional tableware rather than disposable plates, upgrading HVAC systems so they operate at peak efficiencies, using green and sustainable chemicals for cleaning and disinfecting, using reusable sharps containers, diverting pharmaceutical waste from landfills and sewers, hosting community recycling events, and recycling a wide variety of materials generated by routine business operations -- everything from kitchen grease, glass, aluminum beverage containers and plastic to office paper, cardboard and printer cartridges.

Mercy Health Youngstown also hosts seasonal farmers markets to ensure patients, employees, visitors and residents of surrounding neighborhoods have easy access to fresh, locally grown produce, meats and dairy products.

This is the first time Mercy Health has received the John Chapman Award, named in honor of Johnny Appleseed. However, the OHA has recognized Mercy Health Youngstown’s ongoing efforts to achieve environmental sustainability every year since 2011 with the prestigious Melvin Creeley Award. This year, 13 hospitals will receive the Melvin Creeley Award. Of those, six outstanding nominees were considered for the John Chapman Award. Last year, Humility of Mary Health Partners, now Mercy Health Youngstown, was among 12 organizations throughout Ohio to receive the Melvin Creeley Award and one of only four considered for the John Chapman Award.

About Mercy Health Youngstown
Mercy Health Youngstown, formerly Humility of Mary Health Partners, is an integrated health system in the Mahoning Valley, which encompasses the Youngstown/Warren metropolitan area – Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio. It is part of Mercy Health, which is headquartered in Cincinnati and is the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest Catholic health systems in the United States. Mercy Health Youngstown provides a full spectrum of health care services – acute inpatient and trauma, outpatient and ambulatory, rehabilitation, behavioral, emergency and urgent care, primary care physicians in patient-centered medical homes, specialist physician care, home health, home medical equipment, long-term care and hospice care, as well as Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley. Learn more at http://www.mercy.com/Youngstown.
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Maraline Kubik