Gerber Memorial Hospital

Newaygo County Hospital Earns Greenhealth Partner for Change Award

Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial was awarded the 2015 “Greenhealth Partner for Change” Award by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge.

The Award is one of the organization’s Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the health care sector.

The Greenhealth Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this Award must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas.

Gerber Memorial was the recipient of this award for its program to eliminate Styrofoam™ and reduce the use of disposables in its cafeteria and dietary operations.  The program kicked off April 22, 2014, which was also Earth Day. New “To Go” reusable containers replaced the old Styrofoam containers.  This included plates and cups.  Plastic silverware was replaced with a cutlery kit that cost employees $.20.  The cafeteria created a process of cleaning returned containers and rolling them over to employees – who wore special wristbands – the next time they visited the cafeteria for breakfast or lunch.

“As a Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change Award winner, Gerber Memorial is committed to improving the health of our patients, staff and community as a whole,” said Dave Rosel, director, environmental services/materials management.   “We take pride in our sustainability efforts to lessen our impact on the environment and look forward to working with Practice Greenhealth to continue this work across the country.”  

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented May 14 in Portland, Oregon at the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition, the premier national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability.