UnityPoint Health - Meriter Receives Partner for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth

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UnityPoint Health – Meriter was recently awarded Practice Greenhealth’s 2023 Partner for Change Award, which recognizes a healthcare organization’s elite performance in environmental sustainability.

Through UnityPoint Health – Meriter’s Green Team, a multi-disciplinary group that works to decrease waste and improve environmentally friendly practices at the hospital and clinics, the organization has worked to become sustainability focused across various departments since 2018.

Most recently, in April the hospital cafeteria switched from providing single-use plastic cutlery and serving plates to reusable silverware, plates and cups.

Other efforts in the Food and Nutrition department include no longer automatically including plastic straws with patient meals, which saved 122,824 straws in 2022. The hospital's coffee shop also composts its coffee grounds, instead of them ending up in a landfill.

In the Surgical unit, UnityPoint Health Meriter has greatly reduced the use of fluorocarbon (ozone depleting) anesthesia gases and opted for environmentally friendly options. Desflurane was removed from formulary in 2019. Sevoflurane is the only anesthesia volatile gas used, and low-gas flow techniques are widely used.

When it comes to waste and recycling, Meriter recycled 42 Pallet or 17,000 pounds of electronic equipment instead of sending it to the landfill last year. Also in 2022, Meriter recycled 225 tons of the 949 tons of total combined waste which includes metal, paper, and commingled waste streams and recycled 2,178lbs of lithium-ion and lead acid batteries.

In all of its facility improvements, Meriter works to replace old models of air and heating units with newer, energy efficient models, as well as works to use energy efficient LED light fixtures.

“This award highlights the amazing sustainability efforts that are happening every day here at Meriter,” said Tim Ferguson, Head of Facilities Development at UnityPoint Health – Meriter. “It is a true testament to the work that our Green Team and staff members are doing every day to deliver the best care and at the same time reduce the impact on our environment.”

UnityPoint Health – Meriter and the Green Team look forward to expanding our environmentally friendly efforts.

To learn more about the Green Team, click here.