Hospitals and Pollution Prevention

OCAPP Hotline (800) 329-7518
Weekdays, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Healthier Hospitals Initiative

The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) is a three-year initiative created by Practice GreenhealthHealth Care Without Harm, Center for Health Design and 13 sponsoring health systems. The purpose is to accelerate the adoption of environmental health and sustainability practices throughout the health care sector in the U.S. and Canada. HHI provides proven strategies, step-by-step guides and a sharing community of hospitals - all at no cost. This initiative helps hospitals:

  • Reduce energy and waste
  • Choose safer and less toxic products
  • Provide healthier food options for purchase

Following the free enrollment, the facility will be orientated to the various learning opportunities and data submission details. While the initiative is free, enrollment is required to gain access to the how-to-guides, learning platforms and other resources. Ohio’s contact for the HHI is Lauren Kleinman. She can assist with webinar presentations, answering questions and enrollment. For more information contact Lauren Kleinman at lkleinman@healthierhospitals.org or by phone at 330-962-8442.

The Mercury Challenge

The Ohio EPA and Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) signed a pollution prevention agreement in 1999 and have been working cooperatively to reduce hospital wastes since. The Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention has been working with the OHA to reduce the generation of hospital waste, including mercury, which hospitals commonly have in thermometers, blood pressure monitors and other equipment. A formal agreement between the two organizations was signed as part of Ohio Pollution Prevention Week, Sept. 20-24, 1999, initiating the Ohio Healthy Hospitals Pollution Prevention Initiative. Its based on a federal agreement signed by U.S. EPA and the American Hospital Association. The goal of the program is to provide tools to support hospitals' continued efforts to minimize the production of pollutants and reduce the amount of waste generated.

As part of the agreement, Ohio EPA and the OHA agree to create and implement programs to:

  • Virtually eliminate mercury-containing waste from the health care industry's waste stream
  • Reduce the total volume of waste created by the industry
  • Educate health care professionals on pollution prevention activities they can implement
  • Reduce the amount of chemicals used by the industry
  • Monitor the industry's progress in implementing pollution prevention initiatives over time

The Office of Pollution Prevention initially contracted with CGH Environmental Strategies of Burlington, Vermont, who are nationally recognized experts in working with hospitals for waste reduction. CGH worked with Ohio EPA and the OHA to develop a program for waste reduction at Ohio hospitals to reduce mercury use, solid waste from various hospital operations and certain chemicals.