January 15, 2018 ― Hackensack, NJ ― Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center was among a diverse group of environmental stewards recently honored by the Christie Administration for their leadership and efforts to improve their communities through green practices designed to protect the environment. Hackensack University Medical Center received the Healthy and Sustainable Businesses Award at the 18th Annual Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards (GEEA) ceremony at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.
According to the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards, the medical center “has transformed itself into a model campus of sustainability through a variety of actions including significant increases in recycling tonnage, providing farm-fresh foods for patients and staff, and equipment improvements that reduce energy consumption hospital-wide.”
“We are honored to be recognized for the hard work we do every single day to improve the health of people and the environment across New Jersey," said Deirdre Imus, founder and president of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center. "Every little thing counts when it comes to green sustainability initiatives. We take nothing for granted and continue to seek new, innovative ways of optimizing the environment in and around Hackensack University Medical Center."
Hackensack University Medical Center is home to The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center , one of the first hospital-based programs whose mission is to identify, control and ultimately prevent toxic exposures in the environment that threaten our children's health. Beginning with the Greening The Cleaning program in 2001, the center has helped the hospital implement and expand its sustainable practices, benefiting patients, team members and the wider community.
“At the core of our sustainability efforts are innovative partnerships and initiatives that foster a healthier and cleaner environment,” said Kyle Tafuri, director of Sustainability, Hackensack Meridian Health. “In providing world-class health care to our patients and their families, we have a responsibility to promote health and wellness, and environmental responsibility is a key component of that mission.”
After the merger between Hackensack University Health Network and Meridian Health in 2016, Hackensack Meridian Health began baseline assessments for each hospital in its expanded network. Various initiatives include partnerships with PSE&G and local schools; green-focused purchases for furniture; and a focus on use of safer chemicals. A partnership with regional educational institutions to share best practices with other health care systems and companies in New Jersey became so successful that hospitals in New York and Pennsylvania began participating in the discussions.
The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards are the state’s premier environmental awards program for recognizing outstanding environmental performance, programs and projects in the state. Since 2000, the GEEA program has recognized 170 winners. The awards program is sponsored by DEP, the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust and the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology, in partnership with the New Jersey League of Municipalities. A panel of judges reviewed and scored nominations that featured unique or valuable environmental projects and activities. To learn more about the GEEA program, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/eeawards/
PHOTO: Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center was recently recognized at the 18th Annual Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards ceremony at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. The medical center received the Healthy and Sustainable Businesses award for its leadership and efforts to improve their communities through green practices designed to protect the environment. From left to right: Commissioner Bob Martin, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; Bonnie Eskenazi, managing director, The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center; Nadine D'Ambrosio, manager of Business Development, The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center; and David Zimmer, executive director, New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust.
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 33,000 team members and more than 6,500 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 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 according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 23 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.