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Accomplishments in FY 12/13

  • The UCDHS Sustainability Website was launched, featuring information on a variety of sustainable practices, a quarterly “Spotlight on Sustainability” highlighting sustainability efforts of a specific department, and sustainability tips.  The website is supported by a Facebook page and a sustainability blog, all designed to increase staff and student awareness of the sustainability program. (1/13)
  • A “Green Advocate” program was initiated, designed to encourage and support actions of staff members wishing to bring sustainable practices to their units.  The program has enlisted 50 Green Advocates to date, and is designed to serve as a prelude to a Green Office program. (11/12)
  • UCDHS was awarded the Practice Greenhealth “Partner for Change” award for the second straight year.  This award recognizes health care facilities that have established environmental programs and continuously improve and expand upon these programs on the path to sustainability. (5/13)
  • The program to reprocess single-use medical devices enjoyed continued expansion during the past fiscal year.  Partnerships with Hygia Health Services and Stryker Sustainability worked to save over $350,000 in medical equipment costs, and keep over 10 tons of materials out of landfills. (2011, but marked increase in FY 12-13)
  • In order to better utilize surplus medical supplies, a partnership with MedShare International was launched.  MedShare collects surplus medical supplies for shipment to hospitals in disadvantaged countries.  Over 12 tons of surplus supplies, which were languishing in the warehouse for lack of buyers, were donated to MedShare at project implementation.  MedShare now makes regular collection of the Health System’s otherwise unusable surplus medical supplies.  It is hoped that unsellable surplus medical equipment will be added to the program in FY 13-14.  (5/13)
  • UCDHS joined the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, a collaborative effort of leading healthcare systems across the country that have joined together to help drive the healthcare industry towards environmental sustainability.  In joining HHI, UCDHS took on five of the program’s six challenges, aimed at improving sustainability efforts in a variety of operating areas.  Those challenges include Engaged Leadership, Healthier Food, Less Waste, Safer Chemicals, and Smarter Purchasing.  (5/13)
  • A project was initiated to repurpose the Back Dock area that was formerly used for the treatment of medical waste.  The renewed Dock will better facilitate waste minimization programs, such as cardboard collection and baling, and will include a new cart dumper and compactor for recyclable materials, and a repurposed cart dumper and compactor for food waste and similar compostables.  The project is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2014.  (started 2/13)
  • The Linen Task Force developed several projects to more effectively manage bed linen processes, which included eliminating daily linen change requirements, and replacing, where practical, disposable pillows with reusable pillows.  The bed linen process change resulted in a reduction of 1.59 pounds of linen per Adjusted Patient Day, saving over $350,000 per year from a combination of reduced linen purchases and reduced laundry charges.  A six month trial of reusable pillows in 10 units yielded a $13,000 savings.  Graduate Student Researcher Joanne Brasch presented on this program at CleanMed 2013 and at the CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference.  (started in 2011, big push in 12/13)
  • Small scale energy efficiency programs were undertaken at the Davis Patient Care Clinic and the Broadway building, yielding almost $40,000 in utility initiatives.  A Lighting Efficiency Work Group has been formed to continue planning and implementing lighting retrofit programs throughout the Health System.  As funding opportunities are identified, large scale energy efficiency projects will be tackled.