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April 18, 2008
Only a healthy planet can support healthy people. In keeping with this principle, UPMC joins the global observance of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22. Green Teams at UPMC facilities are planning special educational events that day to promote environmental awareness and well-being in the workplace.
UPMC is linking all aspects of its medical mission to greening initiatives. With a $5 million commitment to a green action fund to support systemwide waste reduction, energy efficiency, renewable resources, and conservation, UPMC is developing extensive environmental initiatives and disease-prevention programs. At hospitals and business units across the system, projects such as waste reduction and recycling, surplus materials exchange, and sustainable energy are in place or in process.
Here is a sampling of Earth Day 2008 activities organized by Green Teams at UPMC facilities:
UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Shadyside
UPMC’s new recycling initiative kicks off at UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Shadyside with new containers and easy instructions for the “how to” of general recycling for items such as paper, cans, plastic, and glass. A new battery recycling initiative also will be introduced on Earth Day. Used cell phones can be dropped off for collection to benefit the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh in the UPMC Presbyterian Cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Information and updates on UPMC’s healthy eating choices, food surplus distribution, and biodegradable containers will be available in the cafeterias. For more information, contact Allison Robinson, Bill Smith, or Dave Toma at 412-647-6409.
Used cell phones will be collected at UPMC Mercy on Earth Day to benefit the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. The cafeteria will host environmental education and distribution of informative material regarding UPMC greening initiatives and projects at the hospital. For more information, contact Martin Zamberlan at 412-232-5690.
UPMC St. Margaret
To reduce the number of bottled water containers tossed in the trash each day at UPMC St. Margaret, the hospital’s green team will distribute complimentary reusable water bottles on Earth Day that can be refilled at filtered water dispensers in the cafeteria. A paper recycling drive will be held Monday, April 21, through Friday, April 25. Staff members are encouraged to perform a clean sweep of their workspaces for dated materials, such as telephone books and magazines. Pick-up and drop-off locations will be identified throughout the hospital. For more information, contact John Merkt at 412-784-4155.
Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
On Earth Day 2008, Magee’s new recycling pilot project kicks off with education and orientation materials alerting staff to the ins-and-outs of recycling at Magee. Award-winning and hard-hitting environmental videos, “Exposure: Environmental Links to Breast Cancer,” “Blue Vinyl,” and “London and Donora: Killer Smogs,” will be shown in the cafeteria. For more information, contact Judy Focareta at JFocareta@mail.magee. edu or Joyce Lewis at JLewis@mail.magee.edu.
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Earth Day is “Wear Green Day” at Children’s Hospital to showcase the implementation of the enhanced recycling program for nonconfidential paper, beverage containers, and batteries (nicad, NiMH, lithium-ion, button, sealed lead acid, and alkaline). Educational materials on the environmental and health impact of food choices and dishware will be available, as well as updates on the hospital’s greening initiatives and commitment to Health Care Without Harm’s “Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge.” For more information, contact Marcia Barr at 412-692-7812.
UPMC Community Provider Services–Churchill
On Earth Day and throughout the week of April 21, Community Provider Services in Churchill will accept donations of medical ambulatory equipment such as wheel chairs, walkers, and canes for distribution through Global Links. Donations of clothing and household items will be collected for distribution through Goodwill. Recyclable electronics such as computers also will be collected on Earth Day for pickup by ComPreCycle. To promote home composting, a donated compost bin will be given away and composting information will be on hand. For more information, contact Aimee Kadri at 412-473-6681.