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Local hospitals, RNs honored for green initiatives


Five local hospitals received the 2011 Trailblazer Award from the Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment at the Environmental Excellence in Health Care conference Nov. 10 at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The winners were Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis, Md.; Carroll Hospital Center, Westminster, Md.; Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore; Union Hospital in Cecil County, Elkton, Md.; and the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore.

The inaugural Nursing Leadership in Environmental Health Award was presented to Denise Choiniere, RN, MS, sustainability manager for UMMC. Choiniere, the first full-time sustainability manager in a Maryland hospital, spearheaded a number of environmental initiatives at UMMC, including a hazardous pharmaceutical waste management program, Earth Day events and a weekly farmers market.

MD H2E Director Barbara Sattler, RN, DrPH, FAAN, was honored with an Environmental Health Visionary Award. Sattler is founder and director of the University of Maryland School of Nursing’s Environmental Health Education Center and a professor in the school’s Community/Public Health master’s specialty.

Each year, Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment gives the Trailblazer Award to Maryland hospitals that serve as models for other hospitals and have demonstrated leadership in advancing sustainability in a particular area of operations.

The hospitals’ many initiatives included the following:

Anne Arundel replaced OR surgical lights with LED lights and implemented a surgical services recycling program.

Using a sustainability tracking tool to quantify the results of an environmental initiative, Carroll was able to track its water, energy and natural gas use. The hospital took steps that reduced natural gas use by 30%.

Good Samaritan built an employee/community vegetable and herb garden on its campus. Volunteers planted a variety of crops and donated a portion of the food to a local food bank.

Union Hospital committed to purchasing local, sustainable meat, poultry and produce for its cafeteria and patient meals. Local farms have increased their acreage for produce, employed winter greenhouses and increased poultry flock size to meet the hospital’s needs. Food waste either is composted or sent to an area hog farmer to be used for feed.

UMMC focused on lighting conservation and upgrades in the past year, including turning off lights when not in use and when daylight is sufficient in atriums and hallways and replacing light bulbs with more efficient bulbs.

LEARN MORE about Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment online at


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