Bronson Methodist Hospital Recognized for Environmental Excellence

July 25, 2012

Bronson Methodist Hospital (BMH) recently received Practice Greenhealth’s Environmental Leadership Circle Award for a 10th consecutive year. The national award recognizes healthcare facilities that exemplify environmental excellence and are setting the highest standards for environmental practices in healthcare. No other hospital in Michigan has received the award every year since it was created in 2002. To be considered, facilities must meet criteria to be mercury-free; recycle at least 25 percent of their total waste stream; implement numerous innovative pollution prevention programs; and be leaders in their community.


“This Award honors the highest level of commitment to environmental stewardship and protecting public health,” said Practice Greenhealth executive director Laura Wenger, RN. “They are the best of the best, and the recipients of our top award. Bronson Methodist Hospital is truly demonstrating leadership for the future of healthcare.”


In the same way BMH has long demonstrated its commitment to improving healthcare quality and safety, the hospital has made sustainable, green practices a priority in all that it does. Strong advocacy at the top and awareness on the frontline have helped the organization successfully reduce its environmental footprint.  Using tools such as the Baldrige criteria, lean processes, evidence-based design, and others, Bronson has been able to accelerate the rate of improvement and introduce responsible ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials and energy.


Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) design has also been fundamental to facility development at Bronson. It resulted in the exceptional healing environment of the new Bronson Methodist Hospital (2000), the redevelopment of the hospital’s North Pavilion (2007) and Bronson Advanced Radiology Services (2008), Kalamazoo's first LEED-certified healthcare facility. A strong proponent of sustainable food sourcing, BMH became the first hospital in Michigan to sign the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge (2008) and to implement a Styrofoam recycling program (2008).


“Our focus on the environment began in the mid-1990s, long before it was cool to be eco-friendly,” said Lisa Hardesty, environment of care and sustainability manager for Bronson Methodist Hospital. “We are achieving results in four key areas – pollution prevention, energy conservation, green building design, and sustainable food sourcing. All Bronson staff are involved and taking personal responsibility to reduce our facilities’ environmental impact. Everyone plays an important role and does their part.” 


Overall, these practices contribute to creating and maintaining a healthy, healing environment for patients and families, hospital employees and the community.  Bronson is also active in environmental efforts in the community as a recipient of the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce Green Circle award and signatory of the Southwest Michigan Regional Sustainable Covenant.


About Bronson Methodist Hospital


Bronson Methodist Hospital, located at 601 John St. in downtown Kalamazoo, Mich., is the flagship of Bronson Healthcare, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving all of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. With 405 licensed beds and all private rooms, Bronson Methodist Hospital provides care in virtually every specialty — cardiology, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, neurology, oncology — with advanced capabilities in critical care as a Level I Trauma Center; in neurological care as a Joint Commission certified Primary Stroke Center; in cardiac care as the region’s first accredited Chest Pain Emergency Center; in obstetrics as the leading BirthPlace and only high-risk pregnancy center in southwest Michigan, and in pediatrics as one of only six children's hospitals in the state.


Bronson serves the largest percentage of Medicaid patients in the area and provides a substantial benefit to the community through outreach and charitable care. It is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence.  In 2009, the hospital received the AHA McKesson Quest for Quality Prize awarded annually to only one U.S. hospital and joined the top five percent of hospitals in the nation to be designated a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence.  Bronson has been ranked in the top five percent of hospitals in the nation as a HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence (2009-12) and as one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals (2009-11) according to Thomson Reuters. For more information, visit bronsonhealth.com.


About Practice Greenhealth


Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading membership and networking organization for institutions in the health care community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices. Members include hospitals, health care systems, businesses and other stakeholders engaged in the greening of health care to improve the health of patients, staff and the environment. Practice Greenhealth is a source of environmental solutions for the health care sector. For more information on Practice Greenhealth, visit www.practicegreenhealth.org.