News and Stories

Virginia Mason One of Top 25 Green Hospitals in Nation

Virginia Mason Seattle Hospital & Medical Center has been awarded Practice Greenhealth’s Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award for the second year in a row. The prestigious environmental achievement award for 2016 is reserved for hospitals that lead the industry with innovation in sustainability, demonstrate superior programs and illustrate how sustainability is entrenched in the hospital’s culture. Read more »

Virginia Mason Named One of Greenest Hospitals in U.S. for Second Time

Virginia Mason has been named one of the 50 Greenest Hospitals in America for 2015 by Becker’s Hospital Review, a national health care publication.

“This recognition is a testament to the tireless effort by everyone across our organization to protect the natural environment for generations to come,” said Brenna Davis, sustainability director at Virginia Mason.

Through its EnviroMason environmental stewardship initiatives, Virginia Mason diverted more than 3,400 tons of waste from landfills between 2009 and 2014. The organization recycles more than 50 percent of its waste overall, compared to the health care industry’s average of 20 percent. Read more »

Virginia Mason Attends White House Summit on Climate Change and Health

On June 18, 2015, the White House convened a summit to bring together health and medical professionals, academics and other stakeholders to empower people and communities with the information and tools they need to protect public health in the face of climate change. Virginia Mason was honored to attend the summit at the invitation of the White House, and to present at the health care break out session.

The national dialogue was focused on highlighting the impacts of climate change and underscoring the important role the public health community can play in communicating and preventing these impacts. Public health leaders, deans, students and others participants came together to highlight local success stories, discuss their work around climate change and public health, and highlight best practices. During the summit, the Surgeon General challenged health care practitioners to take action on climate, because it is one of the biggest threats to human health of our century.

Virginia Mason Invited to White House for Talks on Climate-Readiness in Health Care

On December 15th, 2014 A Virginia Mason representative participated in a roundtable discussion at The White House in Washington. D.C, exploring ways U.S. hospitals and health systems can prepare for the effects of global climate changes.

At the meeting, Brenna Davis, director of Sustainability at Virginia Mason, joined officials from about a dozen other health care organizations considered innovators for making environmental safeguards and climate-readiness a priority.

“Our organization is honored to take part in this conversation about one of the most important issues of our time,” Davis said. Read more »

Virginia Mason Wins AWB Environmental Excellence Award

On Tuesday, May 13, Virginia Mason was awarded the Association of Washington Business (AWB) Environmental Excellence Award in the Sustainable Communities category. AWB President Kris Johnson praised the award-winners for leading the way in environmental sustainability and innovation. “The Evergreen State benefits from the bold steps these companies are taking,” Johnson said. “Even more impressive than their accomplishments are the ways they share their experience and expertise. These green businesses are leading the way for other companies in Washington and beyond. We are proud to have them as members of AWB.” 

“The key to our success is employee and team-member engagement,” said Brenna Davis, director of sustainability. “Our team members work hard every day to provide the highest quality care, at the lowest possible cost, while protecting the environment for future generations.”

Virginia Mason First U.S. Hospital to Receive Marine Stewardship Council Certification

July 2014 - Virginia Mason is the first hospital in the United States to earn Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for its commitment to serving seafood grown and harvested by certified, environmentally sustainable methods. The hospital serves MSC-certified Alaska cod and Oregon pink shrimp, and plans to include additional species. MSC-certified seafood is regularly served in the hospital’s cafeteria and it is an in-room menu option for hospitalized patients daily. Read more »

Environmental Excellence at Virginia Mason Gaining Momentum across the Country

 June 2014 -Virginia Mason has received three more environmental excellence awards for its organization-wide programs to protect the environment through energy conservation, recycling and elimination of hazardous products from the workplace.

The latest awards were announced in June by Practice Green Health, a national organization whose members strive to increase their environmental stewardship while improving patient safety. Read more »

First Do No Harm: Why Sustainable Healthcare Needs You

May 2014 —Despite laudable progress, health care sustainability efforts often aren't included in the broader sustainability conversation.

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, health care has taken the spotlight around the globe. Our industry is being driven by a mandate for high quality care at the lowest cost.

At Virginia Mason, we are well positioned to thrive in this new era, having been on a path to transform health care since 2002. Read more »

Fix a Leak Week

March 2014 — Water. We need it to survive, and future generations are depending on us to take smart steps now that will ensure this precious resource does not dry up.

The health care industry uses water for domestic functions like sinks, but also for process functions like cooling and sterile processing. At Virginia Mason, we spent more than a million dollars a year on water and sewer bills at the Seattle campus alone in 2013. Read more »

Talking About Sustainability

February 2014 — Ever wonder if health care organizations talk with each other about sustainability? We often talk on a national level about health care sustainability through Practice Green Health and Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI). Virginia Mason is a Practice Green Health Partner with Distinction award winner and participant in the HHI Challenges for healthier hospitals. Brenna Davis, director of Sustainability, has presented webinars and sharing calls for Practice Green Health members. In short, the national discussion is robust. Read more »

Virginia Mason Earns Energy Star Recognition

January 2014 — Virginia Mason Hospital has earned the coveted Energy Star rating from the Environmental Protection Agency based on our accomplishments in conserving energy and natural resources. Read more »

Greening the Operating Room

When you think about an operating room, you typically think about the life saving surgeries that happen there. You don’t usually consider the large amount of energy used — or the amount of waste that goes into a landfill. Virginia Mason addresses these environmental issues in our operating room (OR) while still providing the highest quality of care to our patients. Read more »

Creating Sustainable Landscapes

Virginia Mason is committed to preserving the natural environment for the health of our patients and future generations. In line with this commitment, we implemented a sustainable landscapes program at our downtown campus. Read more »

Reducing Our Transportation Footprint

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency scientists found that 68 percent of air pollution in our region comes from on-road motor vehicles. Still, the majority of workers continue to drive to work alone, according to the US Census Bureau. At Virginia Mason, 70 percent of our team members do not drive alone to work and instead use alternative methods of transportation. Read more »