Published: 04/19/2013

Evangelical Community Hospital Celebrates 2012’s Green Efforts

Being aware of its carbon footprint is a priority at Evangelical Community Hospital and each year a team of interested employees who are enthusiastic about preserving the environment work to add to Evangelical’s green efforts.
In 2012, Evangelical recycled over 170 tons of materials, 15 more tons than was recycled in 2011. This included cardboard, fiberboard, magazines and catalogs, newspaper, office paper, clear glass, aluminum cans, and plastics. In addition the Hospital recycled other materials such as copper, antifreeze, batteries, computer systems, fluorescent tubes, and used oil.
The Hospital also stepped up its recycling efforts to include recycling of class 1 and class 2 plastics and aluminum at all facilities on campus and the Evangelical Dining Room converted to eco-friendly packaging and utensils.
Those are not the only efforts that have been made to show a commitment to a greener facility. In 2012, the Hospital implemented a Patient Care Value Analysis Team (VAT) initiative in evaluating disposable isolation gowns, making a transition to a washable/reusable product through a linen service to replace disposable gowns when possible. The VAT evaluates every product that is used by the Hospital seeking the best product available at an affordable cost. In this case, the reusable gowns chosen reduced the number of disposable gowns used each month from 4,800 to only 600.
When constructing the new Surgical and Cardiovascular Expansion opening in July 2012, many green design strategies were pursued. Water efficient landscaping, maximum use of daylight, flooring with no petroleum-based adhesives, equipment efficiency, lighting and thermal control, all were considered when designing the new building. Now almost a year in operation, the new addition provides a welcoming environment made from materials that also protect the environment and make wise-use of resources.
As the Hospital continues to renovate areas like The Family Place and refresh areas of the interior, all paint used is zero VOC or volatile organic compound (VOC)-free. VOC gases can have short and long-term adverse effects on health so eliminating them in the Hospital creates an environment that is safe for staff, volunteers, and patients.
The work toward a more environment-friendly facility is made possible through the efforts of Evangelical’s employees, who not only recycle on a daily basis, but some of whom volunteer to be on “The Green Team,” a committee of concerned individuals who make protecting the environment a priority. Started in 2009, the mission of the team is to reduce the Hospital’s impact on the environment and increase consciousness and actions for reducing energy.
For 2013, the Evangelical Green Team is committed to finding ways to make the Hospital even more environmentally-friendly.
Gregg Rokavec, Director of Environmental Safety & Security at Evangelical Community Hospital and Chair of the Green Team, said, “If each year, we add one more green initiative to our already strong environmental program, we are making a difference. It is our goal to find new and innovative ways for the Hospital to impact the overall health of our environment as well as the health of our patients.”
Evangelical Community Hospital is a non-profit organization that employs approximately 1,300 people and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 127 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Lycoming Counties.