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Published: May 21, 2012

By Tampa General Hospital


May 21, 2012 (Tampa, FL) - Tampa General’s efforts to eliminate mercury and reduce waste are so successful it has earned national recognition. Practice Greenhealth, a national organization of healthcare facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations, recently awarded TGH its 2012 Partner for Change Award. The Partner for Change Award recognizes healthcare facilities that continuously improve and expand their mercury elimination and waste reduction programs. It is the third national award the organization has presented to TGH since 2010 for the hospital’s programs to support environmentally sound practices, recycling, and eliminating hazardous chemicals. “We won the highest national award you can get for having robust sustainability at Tampa General,” said Paul Harvey, director of Hospitality Services, who spearheads the hospital’s sustainability initiatives as head of the TGH Green Committee. Last year TGH recycled 2.5 million pounds of waste, equal to 25 percent of its total waste. That’s considered a milestone level for environmentally-responsible organizations, said Paul. It’s very hard to do when the hospital generates 10 million pounds of waste a year, he said. “There are a lot of people hospital-wide who are committed to it,” said Paul. Environmental Services and Facilities employees have also been very instrumental in helping the hospital achieve these goals, he said. The hospital was also recognized for initiating a program to reduce its power consumption with energy-efficient lighting, as well as other energy-saving measures. Security staff is also using electric-powered vehicles. “This award demonstrates TGH’s commitment to its community to protect public health and preserve the environment,” said Laura Wenger, executive director, Practice Greenhealth. “TGH is truly demonstrating leadership for the future of healthcare.”