The Ohio Hospital Association has named Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers (CHWC) as the recipient of the Melvin Creeley Environmental Leadership Award for its exceptional environmental stewardship efforts in 2020. This is the third time CHWC has received this distinguished award.
The award is presented during a challenging and busy time for health care institutions, and recognizes their commitment to improving the environmental health of their communities while reducing costs and providing excellent care to patients.
“We at CHWC are very proud of being recognized once again for our environmental sustainability programs,” said Andy Shoup, CHWC’s environment of care coordinator. “Health care, as an industry, uses a lot of resources and often produces a lot of waste. We are always looking at ways to reuse or recycle items, discard fewer materials into landfills and become more energy efficient.”
In 2020, CHWC increased recycling totals of cardboard, boxboard, shredded paper, plastic, aluminum, glass, printer cartridges, mixed ferrous metals, electronics and batteries. CHWC donates furniture and equipment to prevent unnecessary waste in landfills as well. The introduction of reusable to-go dining containers drastically reduced the amount of non-biodegradable materials purchased, used and thrown away, and food donation is currently being implemented as a waste reduction program as well as a community benefit.
CHWC is also in the process of switching to reusable containers for sharps, medication disposal and prescription bottle disposal. A number of new environmental initiatives are already in progress at CHWC for 2021.
Melvin Creeley Environmental Leadership Award honorees are recognized for promoting sound environmental practices through environmental stewardship and exemplifying the best practices for other hospitals to follow. Honorees were selected by the Environmental Leadership Council at the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA). The award is named after the retired president and CEO of East Liverpool City Hospital, Melvin Creeley, who chaired OHA’s Environmental Leadership Council from its inception in 2001 to 2010.
Beginning with a partnership with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) in the 1990s, OHA embarked on a campaign to assist hospitals with pollution prevention and waste reduction in Ohio. OHA’s Environmental Leadership Council provides leadership, support and technical resources to Ohio hospitals in their efforts to reduce waste, prevent pollution and comply with environmental regulations. The council consists of representatives from hospitals and organizations such as the Ohio Nurses Association and the OEPA.