Gerber Memorial Hospital

Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Receives Excellence Award for Sustainability from VHA Inc.

Gerber Memorial announced today it has received an Excellence Award for Sustainability from VHA Inc., the national healthcare network. The Excellence Award honors Gerber’s work in creating a comprehensive sustainability program in 2014 that reduces the environmental impact of delivering healthcare in the local community. The award was presented on Thursday, May 14, during VHA’s national Navigating to Excellence Forum, held in Las Vegas.

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 VHA Excellence Award for Sustainability 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 the VHA to continue this work across the country.”  

To determine the VHA sustainability award winners, entries were reviewed by a panel of judges from VHA, VHA member hospitals and experts in the sustainability field. The panel reviewed submitted entries based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation
  • Expandable learnings
  • Measurable results

Gerber Memorial was one of five VHA member hospitals who received an award for a superior sustainability program in 2014.

“Across the country, VHA member organizations are leading the development of sustainability programs that make the delivery of care more environmentally conscious and resource considerate,” said Colleen Risk, VHA executive vice president, member networks and human resources. “Their spirit and commitment to sustainability reflects VHA’s values and mission, and we are proud to recognize [Hospital’s] sustainability program achievement.”