Ames Family Hospice House earns health care environmental award
Hospice of the Western Reserve, a nonprofit agency caring for more than 7,000 patients annually in the Northern Ohio region, became the first hospice in the United States to earn two national health care environmental awards from Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting environmental stewardship in the health care sector. The agency's Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake earned an "Emerald Award" while its David Simpson Hospice House on Cleveland's east side lakefront, built in 1995, received a "Partner for Change Award."
The awards were presented in Cleveland at CleanMed 2014, a leading national environmental conference for health care sustainability. Other award winners include Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins.
“Hospice of the Western Reserve is committed to sustainable practices and environmental stewardship – not only at our two in-patient care centers but throughout the agency,” said Bill Finn, chief executive officer. “Environmental stewardship, economic vitality and social responsibility align with our mission of providing the best quality of life for our patients and leaving a positive legacy for future generations.”
“We have worked hard to develop programs and practices that protect the environment and the health of our patients, staff and community,” added Kathleen Gatto, director of support services, who heads up the agency’s green team. "It’s rewarding to see our efforts recognized on a national level.”
The Ames House's Emerald award recognizes “health care facilities that have achieved improvements in mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs ‘that go above and beyond.’” Recipients are considered to be “further along the path to sustainability” and are deemed to “show leadership in the local community and in the health care sector.”
Last year, the Ames House also achieved prestigious Gold LEED certification for its environmental building and sustainability practices from the U.S. Green Building Council. Sustainability strategies include the use of low VOC paint, carpet and furnishings, built-in recycling centers throughout the facility, chemical-free lawns and gardens, a high-efficiency climate control system zoned for patient comfort and water-efficient fixtures, which reduce water use by 28 percent. When Ames Family Hospice House was built, more than 75 percent of construction debris was diverted by repurposing or recycling.
Laurie Henrichsen is Public/Media Relations Manager for Hospice of the Western Reserve.