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Dominican Hospital Receives National Award for Environmental Excellence and Innovation


Annual awards program honors hospitals driving the health care sector toward a greener, healthier future

SANTA CRUZ, CA (April 23, 2019) – Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has received the Partner for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth in recognition of its work to lead the health care industry in sustainability and environmental stewardship. Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. Practice Greenhealth has recognized Dominican’s environmental excellence for 12 straight years.

“This award speaks to the commitment our hospital family demonstrates to meet and surpass our ecology goals each year,” said Dominican Hospital President Nanette Mickiewicz, MD. “As health care providers, we recognize the interdependence between human health and the health of our environment. Sustainability is central to protecting the health of our patients, staff, and community.”

This distinction is part of the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor environmental achievements in the health care sector. The Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that have implemented a significant number of environmental programs, and continuously improve and expand upon these programs to achieve a top standard of excellence in sustainability.

“At Dignity Health and Dominican Hospital, we believe that what’s good for the planet is good for the patient,” said Sister Mary Ellen Leciejewski, OP, Vice President Corporate Responsibility at Dignity Health. “We are very proud to again be recognized for our dedication to ensuring our practices support what’s best for our patients, our community, and our planet.”

Dominican Hospital has attained several sustainability successes, including:

  • Achieved a recycling rate of 54 percent, more than double the average recycling rate of other sustainability award-winning hospitals
  • Eliminated plastic straws and stir sticks from the hospital cafeteria 
  • Diverted more than 42,000 pounds of plastic from the landfill 
  • Shredded more than 493 tons of paper, saving nearly 8,500 trees, 3.5 million gallons of water, and 187,500 gallons of oil 
  • Created a 9,000 square foot certified-organic garden which yields 2,500 pounds of produce yearly 
  • Installed a 5,000 gallon water catchment tank, which supplies the organic garden
  • Recycled more than 112 tons of cardboard and mixed recycling materials
  • Managed harmful chemicals by eliminating mercury-based thermometers, adopting non-toxic cleaning products, and responsibly disposing of pharmaceutical waste
  • Reduced energy usage through the installation of LED lighting throughout parking lots and purchase of high efficiency motors

Dominican Hospital’s ecology program began in 1996, and has received many awards and recognitions. Dignity Health has pledged to increase its use of renewable energy to 35 percent and to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020—a goal that the organization is already on track to surpass.

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About Dominican Hospital

Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has been caring for the Santa Cruz County community for 75 years. Dominican offers emergency services and is a Certified Stroke Center. Dominican’s services include the only comprehensive Cancer Center in Santa Cruz County, a Total Joint Replacement program, advanced neurological and endoscopic services, and an expert heart and vascular team treating some of the most complex cardiac cases in the Monterey Bay area. Dominican has received national recognition for superior patient safety, cardiac care, and stroke treatment from Healthgrades, a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Dominican also has received several awards for environmental excellence.


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