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SEATTLE – April 18, 2013 — Virginia Mason Medical Center, which is proving medical centers can be leaders in protecting the environment, is the presenting sponsor of GoGreen Seattle ’13, a one-day conference on sustainability set for Wednesday, April 24.

The event, held in conjunction with Earth Week, will be underway from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. at The Conference Center at 8th and Pike in downtown Seattle. Featuring panel sessions and sustainability leaders, the conference will provide expert information and resources for businesses wanting to go “green.” More than 40 speakers will be in the spotlight.

Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD, will kick off the conference with opening remarks and an introduction of the keynote speaker, King County Executive Dow Constantine. King County is the title sponsor of the event.

Through its EnviroMason environmental stewardship initiative, Virginia Mason has made significant progress in minimizing its carbon footprint by reducing waste and conserving energy and water. Virginia Mason is a recognized national leader for its numerous environmental protection programs.

“Joining with GoGreen is an excellent opportunity to share our successes, as well as learn from other businesses that are also developing a stronger environmental focus,” said Sarah Patterson, Virginia Mason executive vice president and chief operating officer.

In 2012, Virginia Mason was one of only 125 health care organizations in the nation to receive the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR certification, and only one of three in Washington state. Of the three, Virginia Mason is the only one to receive certification for multiple buildings. Buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Virginia Mason has realized thousands of dollars in cost savings and revenue generation through energy conservation, waste reduction, innovative recycling efforts, and commuter services. The foundation of this work is found in the Virginia Mason Production System, the medical center’s management method for reducing waste and improving efficiency based on Toyota manufacturing principles.

In addition to Seattle, GoGreen conferences will be held in Portland, New York and Phoenix this year.

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 460 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.

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

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Virginia Mason Media Relations
(206) 341-1509
gale.robinette@vmmc.org

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