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Virginia Mason Recognized for Environmental Sustainability Achievements

SEATTLE – (April 20, 2017) –Virginia Mason has received the 2017 Circles of Excellence Award in 10 categories from Practice Greenhealth, a national organization dedicated to reducing health care’s environmental footprint.

Virginia Mason earned recognition for excellence in leadership commitment; reducing waste; reducing chemicals; greening the operating room (OR); healthy food; environmentally preferable purchasing; energy efficiency; water conservation; climate preservation; and green building achievements.

  • Leadership: This category honors hospitals for their long-term commitment to healthier environments through committee structure, reporting, data tracking, communication and education. At Virginia Mason, the EnviroMason initiative guides and encourages sustainability efforts across the organization.
  • “Greening” the Operating Room: Virginia Mason was the first medical center in the Puget Sound region to establish a recycling program in its operating rooms.
  • Healthy Food: Virginia Mason gets much of the food served in its cafeteria from local sources, has developed a comprehensive waste-prevention program and is the first hospital in the nation to earn Marine Stewardship Council certification for its commitment to serving seafood grown and harvested by certified, environmentally sustainable methods.
  • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing: Virginia Mason supports environmentally preferable contracts and the use of environmental attributes in its requests for proposals.
  • Energy: Virginia Mason is a leader in efficiency, with its performance measured through Energy Star metrics established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Water: Virginia Mason’s water conservation programs have saved an estimated 7 million gallons annually since 2007.
  • Chemicals: Virginia Mason has prioritized the elimination of mercury and has a robust staff education program about hazardous chemicals.
  • Climate: Virginia Mason recently received the Health Care Climate Champion Award from Global Green and Healthy Hospitals for leadership in climate protection and has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by the year 2020. The medical center also heled to create the Washington Climate Declaration, signed by more than 250 businesses across the state.
  • Less Waste: Virginia Mason prioritizes waste prevention and material handling that is consistently demonstrated through high recycling rates, low regulated medical waste generation and low rates of total waste generated per patient day.
  • Green Building: This category is presented to hospitals that have demonstrated green building achievements over the past five years.

In 2016, Virginia Mason earned Practice Greenhealth’s Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award for the second consecutive year. The national award honors health care organizations that lead through innovation and illustrate how sustainability is entrenched in their culture.

About Virginia Mason Health System
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system based in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. In the Puget Sound region, the system includes 336-bed Virginia Mason Hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 500 physicians; regional medical centers in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kirkland, Issaquah and Lynnwood; Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the United States designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS; Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research; and Virginia Mason Institute, which trains health care professionals and others from around the world in the Virginia Mason Production System, an innovative management methodology for continually improving quality, safety and efficiency. Virginia Mason online: VirginiaMason.org

Virginia Mason Health System also includes Virginia Mason Memorial, a 226-bed hospital serving the Yakima Valley in central Washington since 1950. Memorial online: YakimaMemorial.org

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Media Relations Manager
Virginia Mason Health System
(206) 341-1509
gale.robinette@VirginiaMason.org