San Francisco, Calif. – (April 9, 2012) – Dignity Health, which includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, French Hospital Medical Center and Marian Regional Medical Center, announced this week it will be the first health care system in the nation to begin using pigment-free patient plastics in all of its hospitals and other care centers to reduce its impact on the environment. The conversion to dye free plastics, manufactured by Medline Industries, Inc., will be completed in all Dignity Health facilities by the end of May 2012. This conversion has already occurred in the Dignity Health Central Coast facilities.
"We are proud that Dignity Health is the first health system that is changing its plastics to dye-free products for our patients across our network. It helps protect and improve the environment and, ultimately, public health," said Sr. Mary Ellen Leciejewski, Dignity Health Ecology Program Coordinator. "Our support for environmentally responsible products underscores Dignity Health's long-standing commitment to sustainability."
Under the new initiative, Dignity Health will replace everyday products that are used at the patient's bedside, such as bed pans, wash basins, water pitchers and drinking cups, with pigment-free products. Pigment-free products support greener manufacturing because they eliminate the need for potentially harmful chemicals during the manufacturing process. Based on its annual usage of these products, Dignity Health will divert an estimated 2,935 lbs (1.33 tons) of pigment from leaching into the soil and groundwater by switching to pigment-free plastics. The total value of the contract is $1 million per year.
"The Dignity Health hospitals of the Central Coast remain dedicated to environmental efforts," explains Sister Janet Corcoran, OSF, Vice President of Mission Services, Marian Regional Medical Center. "One of our Core Service Values is Stewardship. This is a great example of our stewardship value-in-action as it continues to support our local efforts to reduce, recycle, reuse, conserve and respect mother earth."
"We're excited to partner with Dignity Health to help reduce our impact on the environment," said Francesca Olivier, Medline's director of sustainability. "At Medline, we feel that preserving a healthy planet for future generations is not only the right thing to do, but it is our responsibility as leaders in the healthcare industry to do our part. We provide sustainable products and services so that our customers can do what's right for their patients, their facility and our environment."
Dignity Health has already taken a number of steps to reduce its environmental footprint and improve patient safety:
Through increasing the use of energy efficient equipment and renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic, solar hot water, cogeneration and fuel cell technology, Dignity Health set the following ambitious goals in 2011 to achieve by 2020: