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February 17, 2013

A HEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT: Floyd Memorial Hospital earning reputation for being green

NEW ALBANY — Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services earns its reputation by providing top-notch medical services when there is a need.

However, in recent years the hospital has earned another reputation — for being environmentally friendly. From new hire orientation to the administration office, being green is a way of life now at Floyd Memorial.

“I feel there is a really strong link between the health of individuals in the community and the health of the environment,” said Floyd Memorial President and CEO Mark Shugarman. “It’s important for the hospital to take a role in that. I couldn’t be more pleased with what the green team has done in helping us become more green.”

Shugarman and the team has the statistics to back up that claim. In 2012, Floyd Memorial sent 89.1 tons of corrugated and 27 tons of single stream recyclable items to QRS Recycling. The hospital also deferred 5,141 pounds of medical devices from the landfill. And along the way, associates collected and donated 1,800 pairs of shoes to EDGE Outreach, enhanced donations to S.O.S. [Supplies Over Seas], stopped auto reports printed on nursing units, saving thousands of pounds of paper, and sponsored a weekly farmers market. And as part of Stericycle Reusable Sharps Canister program, the hospital kept 18,349 pounds of plastic and 781 pounds of cardboard out of landfills.

“It’s now part of the culture here at the hospital,” said Sharon Goldsmith, who along with Cindy Ferree is a co-leader of the hospital’s green team. “It’s become second nature. We couldn’t do this without all of the support from the other departments.”

The money collected from recycling goes back into the program and pays the salary of Jodi Brough, a special needs individual who works 20 hours a week collecting recyclables from the various departments of the hospital and placing them in a large Dumpster on the property which is emptied every two weeks. She has been at the hospital for five years.

“We are very happy to have her as part of the team,” Shugarman said. “She says she can’t wait to get to work. We appreciate all she does.”

“It would be nice to clone her personality,” Goldsmith said. “She has a task sheet and works very independently. She does an outstanding job.”

The green team has also set aside a room at the hospital where Styrofoam containers, bubble wrap and other packing material are stored for employees to take for personal use or home-improvement projects.  

“The team has really made this happen,” said Mark Truman, vice president of operations at the hospital. “It’s taken a lot of initiative and ownership in the program.”

The green team is made up of 30 associates and continues to look for ways to recycle and help the environment. In the last two years they have hosted a farmer’s market one day a week in the hospital parking lot.

“It’s been amazing,” Goldsmith said of the success of the program. “We have been blessed to have a dedicated team to make this happen and to have people who have a passion for it.”

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