Mason Health Wins Three Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards: Partner for Change, Greening the Operating Room and Making Medicine Mercury Free

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Submitted by Mason Health

Mason Health has once again demonstrated its unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship by winning three prestigious awards this year from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading membership organization for sustainable health care systems.

For the fourth year in a row, Mason Health has earned the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Partner for Change Award, recognizing superior performance in environmental sustainability across multiple programs and services.

This year, for the second year in a row, Mason Health also won the Greening the Operating Room Award, and for the first time, Mason Health has been recognized with the Making Medicine Mercury Free Award, a one-time award that underscores Mason Health’s dedication to eliminating mercury across the District, for the safety of patients, employees and the community.

“Mason Health is a leader and an example for other critical access, rural hospitals nationwide,” said Scott Rich, Practice Greenhealth’s Growth & Partner Experience Director. “I often point to them as a hospital that is doing the hard work of addressing climate change challenges as they work to ensure a healthy community. It isn’t easy. But, I often say that if a small hospital in rural Washington with limited resources can become more sustainable, any hospital can – especially hospitals with more resources. This work takes heart, vision, and commitment from leadership.”

These accolades not only highlight Mason Health’s leadership in the healthcare sector but also the District’s resolute drive to foster a healthier, more sustainable future for all.

“In health care, we’re trying to heal our patients,” said Mason Health Chief Development & Communication Officer Jennifer Capps. “In direct alignment with our mission, vision and values, it is our job to keep community members healthy. We really started this whole process to learn more about how we could eliminate waste to keep our entire community healthy.”

Mason Health’s Green Team of leaders across the District works hard throughout the year on sustainability initiatives.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with Jennifer and her team at Mason Health on their environmental stewardship journey,” said Kate Gottlieb, Sustainability Strategy Manager at Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm. “Having grown up in a rural area supported by timber dollars, I appreciate Mason Health’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Their efforts ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the stunning Hood Canal and the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest.”

The Greenhealth Partner for Change Award recognizes superior performance in environmental sustainability, covering a range of different sustainability programs and activities. Mason Health’s Bistro, led by Culinary & Nutrition Services Manager Ashlee Johnson, has made enormous strides in using sustainable and local food sources over the past several years, while other departments have focused on initiatives such as eliminating paper waste.

The Greening the Operating Room Award honors facilities that have made substantial progress in reducing the impact of the surgical environment. Mason Health Surgical Services Director Lori Genson has prioritized eliminating hazardous smoke from operating rooms, and in 2022 Mason Health was awarded the Go Clear Award from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), recognizing these efforts.

Lastly, the Making Medicine Mercury-Free Award recognizes hospitals that have virtually eliminated mercury from their facilities and have made a commitment to continue to be “mercury free.” Mason Health’s Supply Chain and Environmental Services (EVS) Departments worked hard on the award application, ensuring Mason Health has the practices and policies in place to encourage the procurement of mercury alternatives and to handle hazardous waste in the event of a toxic spill.

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that creates an adverse impact on the neurological development of fetuses, infants and children. Depending on the amount of exposure and duration of exposure, individuals could be at risk of damage to their nervous, digestive and immune system.

“Mercury, being that it is a hazardous material, becomes hard to dispose of when the product containing it reaches end of life,” said Director of Supply Chain Sean Hazlett. “It complicates to how Supply Chain and EVS dispose of it. We don’t want to put patients and staff at risk.”

This September’s issue of SCOPE Magazine will have a feature article about Mason Health’s efforts to eliminate mercury from the District. To learn more visit here.

Mason Health, Public Hospital District No. 1 of Mason County is ISO 9001 Quality Management System certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and is a licensed and accredited acute care hospital with a level four emergency trauma designation. Mason General Hospital and Mason Clinic are ENERGY STAR® certified and Mason Health is the recipient of three Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Partner for Change Awards, two Greening the Operating Room Awards and the Making Medicine Mercury Free Award. To learn more about Mason Health’s sustainability efforts, visit the Mason Health website. There are more than 100 physicians on staff in 19 specialties. For more information or to find a health care provider, visit the Mason Health website. To learn more about DNV, visit the DNV website.

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