Rush University Medical Center has undertaken many sustainability initiatives with the goal of managing and minimizing its carbon footprint and becoming a leader in sustainable health care. The Medical Center's Green Team has executive suite level support and works with various subcommittees to evaluate resource consumption, minimize waste, and focus on sustainability.
The Green Team will soon be launching the "Greening the OR" subcommittee, which will focus on energy and waste reduction in the operating rooms. The Department of Anesthesiology Faculty and team members have started to reduce our environmental impact with various recycling programs throughout the operating rooms.
- Specifically, our laryngoscope handles have lithium batteries inside and we have worked with Rush's own Occupational Safety department to recycle these lithium batteries. This keeps valuable metals and minerals from accumulating in landfills. We also recycle alkaline batteries that we use in our pagers, train of four monitors, and various other pieces of equipment. The Department of Anesthesiology supports this initiative.
- We have started to educate all anesthesia providers on the impact that our anesthetic gases have on greenhouses gases and global warming. We are in the midst of undertaking a survey of anesthesia team members to determine the optimal methods to reduce the anesthetic gas waste.
- And perhaps most exciting of all, we have joined a program with Stryker Corporation that diverts various OR equipment, including pulse ox probes, Glidescope handles, and laparoscopic surgical tools, from the landfill. It leads to thousands of pounds of equipment being diverted from the landfill each year. Stryker Corporation also offers carbon neutral shipping for our equipment and diversion program and actively plants trees in response to the amount of equipment we divert from the landfill on a monthly basis. This is a small start in the long journey towards becoming a leader in sustainable health care but having any positive impact on the environment is super exciting!
Green Committee members:
Sarah M. Cocoma, MD
Keena Kohl, MD
Ian Kolata, MD
Samantha Pratt, CRNA
Steven L Outly, MD
Arya Bekhradi, MD
Maiko Yamashita, CRNA
Kelly Gallagher, CRNA
Stephen Music, DO
Annie Yao, DO
Do you want to do more to support environmental sustainability in your anesthesia practice?
Learn how from leaders in green anesthesia by attending the Environmental Sustainability and Your Practice Symposium, Saturday October 1st, 2022, 9am-5pm Eastern Time
Featured Topic: The Circular Economy in Health (with Jen Fraser )
Additional topics include:
- Impact of chronic pain management on the environment
- Waste management
- Talking with patients
- Surgical perspectives on "going green"
Environmental Excellence Award
Rush University Medical Center was recently awarded a GOLD Award by Stryker Sustainability Solution’s team for their efforts to reduce waste. In 2021 Rush diverted 10,000 pounds of waste. We are continuing to work toward more sustainable process, workflows, and operations in the coming years and appreciate the efforts of all the Rush teams.