August 4, 2017 ― Hackensack, NJ ― Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center is pleased to announce that it is being honored by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) with its 2017 Award for Excellence in the Environmental Quality category.“I want to congratulate Deirdre Imus and our entire sustainability team at the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® on achieving this distinction,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., president of Hackensack University Medical Center. “They continue to raise the bar on environmental programs and sustainability practices that make a meaningful difference in the lives of our patients, their families, our team members, and the communities we serve.”
According to the NJBIA, the Environmental Quality Award is presented to a company that has done outstanding work to preserve or enhance the quality of the state’s environment. These actions strengthen our economy and help build a low-carbon future while bringing a unique vision for addressing complex environmental issues and creating a culture of sustainability.
"We are humbled by this honor, and proud of the work we have been doing for nearly two decades to bring green practices to our hospital and its surrounding community," said Deirdre Imus, president and founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® at Hackensack University Medical Center. "We stay motivated by the knowledge that we are truly changing lives, improving people's health care journey, and benefiting the environment in and around Hackensack University Medical Center."
Hackensack University Medical Center has been widely recognized for advancing and elevating environmental and sustainability initiatives. This is the fourth time it has received NJBIA honors.
“We appreciate NJBIA’s recognition of our environmental initiatives,” said Kyle Tafuri, director of Sustainability Programs at Hackensack Meridian Health. “It is in our mutual best interest to support population health in this regard, and we are eager for deeper engagement statewide.”
Also in 2017, in recognition of groundbreaking achievement and innovation in health care sustainability, for a fourth consecutive year, Hackensack University Medical Center received the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation's leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care.
Hackensack University Medical Center has been selected as a Circles of Excellence Award winner in four categories. The award honors hospitals for outstanding performance in one specific area, such as reducing use of toxic chemicals or sourcing food sustainably. These awards highlight hospitals that are pushing the envelope and driving innovation in sustainability.
Recent initiatives include: installation and expansion of rooftop beehives to raise awareness about the importance of honey bees on local food; partnership with Zone 7, a New Jersey-based company to help increase the purchase of local/sustainable food; establishment of a farm stand in partnership with a local New Jersey farm; partnership with Montclair State University to host a Green Team of New Jersey-based college students; and educational public speaking engagements at local universities and businesses.
Hackensack University Medical Center has also joined forces with Healthcare Without Harm as a member of the Healthcare Climate Council to help build a united voice among hospitals committed to addressing climate change. The medical center’s efforts continue to garner national recognition.
The NJBIA Awards for Excellence reception will be celebrated in Bridgewater, NJ on October 18, 2017.
Photo Caption: Pictured here is the first jar of honey from the rooftop beehives at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center. The honey is harvested and used in recipes at Hackensack University Medical Center’s food preparations. One of many “green” initiatives that helped earn the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s (NJBIA) 2017 Award for Excellence in the Environmental Quality category.
About the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center®
The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center represents one of the first hospital-based programs whose specific mission is to identify, control and ultimately prevent toxic exposures in the environment that threaten our children's health. The mission is accomplished through education, research and implementation. Since 2001, the Center has helped Hackensack University Medical Center become one of the first hospitals in the country to implement green cleaning practices, which was just the beginning of their sustainable journey. Since then, the Center helped the hospital reduce waste, minimize the use of hazardous materials, limit patient and employee exposure to dangerous toxins, prevent pollution, serve healthier foods, and more.
About Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical CenterHackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 775-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of one of the largest networks in the state comprised of 28,000 team members and more than 6,000 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016-17 Best Hospital rankings - maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2017. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country, four consecutive years according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 25 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Northern Trust PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.