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EnviroMason Initiative Highlights Business Smarts of Sustainability

SEATTLE – (April 18, 2012) —Virginia Mason Medical Center is the title sponsor of Seattle’s GoGreen ‘12 conference at The Conference Center, Wednesday, April 25.

One of five GoGreen events around the country, GoGreen ’12 Seattle is a one-day conference that brings together leaders in sustainability to help advance eco-friendly strategies businesses can pursue that are good for both the bottom line and the environment.

Among the featured speakers is Sarah Patterson, executive vice president and COO of Virginia Mason, who will participate in a C-Suite forum on strategies to leverage sustainability strategies to "stay ahead of the curve."

In 2008, Virginia Mason launched its award-winning EnviroMason initiative, a comprehensive sustainability program that has pioneered eco-friendly business practices in health care. Among EnviroMason’s achievements:

  • Saved 2 million gallons of water through plumbing upgrades at the downtown campus
  • Diverted nearly 700 tons of waste from landfills to recycling each year
  • Reduced electricity usage by 4.45 million kilowatts through facility improvements and conservation efforts
  • Recycled 5 tons of operating room waste
  • Diverted 144 tons of food waste from sewer systems through composting
  • Increased the volume of paper that is recycled by 300 percent
  • Installed three electric vehicle charging stations
  • Promoted the reduction of single occupant vehicle commuting by supporting public transportation use by employees, bicycle commuting, and co-sponsoring shared public transportation routes with Swedish and Harborview medical centers
  • Earned the Washington State Recycling Association 2011 "Institutional Recycler of the Year" for EnviroMason.
  • Earned the Washington State Recycling Association 2011 "Event Recycler of the Year" for successfully recycling 98 percent of all waste generated at the Boeing Classic golf tournament

"We must be good stewards of all our resources, including our people, our financial resources and our natural resources, as well," said Patterson. "EnviroMason is a framework through which we can exercise this stewardship in a way that makes our lives and our environment better and allows us to dedicate more of our resources toward the direct care of patients."

For more information about GoGreen ’12, go to or

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs more than 5,300 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 450 physicians; satellite locations throughout the Puget Sound area; and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste and improve quality and patient safety.

Awards and distinctions include Top Hospital of the Decade by The Leapfrog Group, 2012 Top Hospital (for the sixth consecutive year) by The Leapfrog Group, 2012 Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence from HealthGrades®, and 2012 America’s 100 Best Specialty Excellence Award for Overall Cardiac and Gastrointestinal Care from HealthGrades.

To learn more about Virginia Mason Medical Center, please visit or or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

For media inquiries, contact:
John Gillespie
Media Relations
(206) 341-1509 (o)
(206) 402-2822 (m)

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