Hospitals take care of sick people, but they can also work to heal the environment. That’s the goal of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, a national campaign that launched April 3 in Washington, D.C.
Many health care organizations — including Kaiser Permanente — have already made great strides in reducing energy and waste, choosing safer and less toxic products, and purchasing and serving healthier foods. HHI, with 11 sponsoring health systems, aims to make it easier for other hospitals to adopt sustainable practices, while also cutting costs and increasing safety for patients and workers.
“The idea is to take the successes and the experience of hospitals that have been on the sustainability path, to document them, to turn them into actionable how-to guides, and then offer them for free to every hospital in America,” says Gary Cohen, founder and president of Health Care Without Harm.
We interviewed Cohen at the HHI launch last week at the Center for Total Health — see the video below. For more information on this initiative, check out this story on the Kaiser Permanente News Center.