Affinity Health System honored for environmental leadership
05 / 17 / 2006
Maria Nelson, Media Relations
Affinity Health System
(920) 554-0686 (pager)
MENASHA, Wis. – Affinity Health System is being honored for outstanding achievement in environmental innovation in health care. Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E), a non-profit group focused on improving health care’s environmental performance, awarded Affinity its 2006 Environmental Leadership Award.
The H2E Environmental Leadership Award is the highest award given annually to health care facilities for outstanding environmental performance. Award recipients are distinguished by their pioneering efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the health care industry by implementing innovative programs that set industry standards for waste reduction and pollution prevention.
Additionally, Affinity was awarded the H2E Making Medicine Mercury Free Award for its efforts to virtually eliminate all waste containing mercury.
“With every new facility that we build, we are making a serious commitment to ensure the health care environment is healthy for patients, visitors, staff and the earth,” says Gary Kusnierz, director of Facilities for Affinity Health System. “It’s an honor to be a national leader in the trend toward environmentally responsible health care.”
Affinity is being honored for its sustainable design work that it has incorporated into the construction of the 50,000-square-foot addition to
The St. Elizabeth Hospital addition is among the first hospitals in Wisconsin to incorporate environmentally friendly sustainable concepts followed by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) U.S. Green Building Council Rating System.
LEED design follows these six criteria:
- Sustained site development — rain water is collected on site and drained to an outdoor rain garden where it is filtered before flowing into the city’s storm sewer
- Water efficiency and savings
- Energy efficiency and savings
- Conservation of materials and selection — a vast majority of building materials were purchased within a 500 mile radius of Appleton; recycled building materials were incorporated into the construction as much as possible; and all construction waste is being recycled
- Indoor environmental quality—low-emitting building materials are being used
- Innovation in design.
“The sustainable design concepts we have incorporated tie in directly to Affinity’s values, specifically our value of stewardship,” Kusnierz says. “We are one of the few health care systems in the country to advance this process to multiple projects and buildings.”
“Affinity Health System is helping to change the culture of an industry,” said Laura Brannen, H2E executive director. “In today’s environment, competing demands make it challenging to engage in meaningful and sustainable environmental improvements. Environmental Leadership Award winners set the highest standard of excellence in demonstrating the way hospitals can and should improve the environment while maintaining quality patient care.”
Jointly founded by the American Hospital Association, the Environmental Protection Agency, Health Care Without Harm and the American Nurses Association, H2E educates health care professionals about pollution prevention opportunities, rewards the sector’s best performers and provides a wealth of practical tools and resources to facilitate the industry’s movement toward environmental sustainability.
For the Editor:
Affinity Health System, a faith-based regional health care network, is the Fox Valley’s second-largest employer, according to the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry. For the fourth consecutive year, Affinity has been named one of the nation’s top 64 health systems based on clinical performance according to Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. For ten consecutive years, Affinity Health System has been named to the SDI (formerly Verispan) Integrated Health Network Top 100, an annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated health care networks in the nation. Both St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh rank among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in terms of quality and efficiency, as determined by the 2007 Premier | CareScience Select practice National Quality Award. Members of Affinity include Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Health Foundation, Oshkosh; St. Elizabeth Hospital and the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, Appleton; Affinity Medical Group, a regional network of 25 family practice and specialty clinics – 22 of which are recognized as NCQA Level III medical homes, the highest level of recognition – in 14 communities; Calumet Medical Center, Chilton; and Affinity Occupational Health.