Problems and Solutions to Increase Greening of the Health Care System Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Greening of the Health Care System

The objective of this work in writing is to examine problems and solutions to increase greening of the health care system. Towards this end, this work examines and reports literature in this area of study.

It is reported that Pittsburg, PA was, in the 1940s a place coping with extreme pollution and was known as 'the Smoky City'. However in the 1940s leaders in the city met with architect Frank Lloyd Wright inquiring as to what might be done to improve the city. The leaders chose to change the environment "and stimulate new ways of thinking." (Board on Population Health, 2007, p.45) The businesses in Pittsburg were required to change from coal to gas and other fuels that were smokeless for heating and that begin "a significant green renaissance for Pittsburg and created was "a livable, diverse economic region, with one of the most highly regarded and sophisticated healthcare systems in the world." (Board on Population Health, 2007, p.45)

I. Greening of the Healthcare System in Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburg Medical Center created a comprehensive green healthcare system plan that consists of the following:

(1) construction of new high-performance buildings;

(2) Taking a leadership role in Western Pennsylvania in the education of families and schools about the effects of people on the environment and upon their own health;

(3) application and sharing of the scientific research the hospital pursues towards advancing the treatment of children;

(4) improvement of the training of medical residents in green health care; and (5) incorporation of given practices and treatment into the health care and the overall improvement of children, both in their homes and in their communities. (Board on Population Health, 2007, p.46)

The staff at UPMC are reported to have learned "how to develop, test, and implement strategies for the efficient conversion of heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting systems. They also gained understanding of other approaches to reduce consumption of natural resources. In their effort to reduce waste streams, the hospital focused on a multiple waste management approach through recycling" (Board on Population Health, 2007, p.47) In addition, it is reported that the staff at UPMC considered reducing vehicle pollution and stated is that the hospital envisioned will use 'hybrid or non-diesel parking shuttles and public transportation." (Board on Population Health, 2007, p. 48) Also included in the strategies are carpooling and alternative fuel vehicles as well as bike racks and showers being provisioned to staff and electric outlets for charging hybrid cars. Truck engines are to be turned off at loading docks when making deliveries. Patient rooms are now constructed from green materials and additional space added for patients and families to enjoy privacy and to maintain control over their environment. In addition, the hospital has plans for a rooftop-healing garden. (Board on Population Health, 2007, paraphrased)

II. VA Sierra Nevada's Green Health Care System

The mission stated for the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System "is to honor America's Veterans by provided exceptional health care that improves their health and well being. In order to accomplish this mission, the healthcare system realizes that it must operate in a manner that protects the environment and the safety of all patients, employees and visitors." (nd, p.1) The VA Sierra Nevada states that they are committed to management of resources in a manner that is "environmentally sensitive and sensible." (Reno VA, nd, p.1) The Green Environment Management System (GEMS) has been developed and is stated to include the following principles to ensure environmental compliance, water conservation, energy conservation, green purchasing, recycling, resource conservation, sustainable building, fleet management, fuel usage reduction and waste minimization:

(1) To implement directives and procedures specifically…

Sources Used in Document:


Green Healthcare Institutions: Health, Environment, and Economics, Workshop Summary (2007)

Board on Population Health (BPH)

VA Sierra Nevada is Greening Our Healthcare System (nd) Retrieved from:

A Practical Approach to 'Green' for Health Care Providers (2009) Deloitte. Retrieved from:

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