March 2004

Catholic Health Initiatives' Environmental Commitment Grows

With a majority of market-based organizations engaged in environmental initiatives, Catholic Health Initiatives is at the forefront of environmentally responsible healthcare. “Environmental justice is a significant commitment of Catholic Health Initiatives,” said Colleen Scanlon, RN, JD, senior vice president of advocacy. “The scope of our efforts to protect the environment is growing.” Two of the newest environmental developments are:
  • Catholic Health Initiatives has become a partner in Energy Star, an Environmental Protection Agency program that helps businesses protect the environment through efficient energy use. Energy Star provides resources that can help market-based organizations improve energy efficiency. “The type of energy management that Energy Star promotes can not only help the environment, but is cost-effective for our local facilities,” said Skip Smith, assistant director of facilities for Catholic Health Initiatives.
  • Catholic Health Initiatives has become a “Champion for Change” with Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E), a national organization that educates health providers about pollution prevention opportunities. The Champion for Change designation recognizes that Catholic Health Initiatives works toward specific environmental goals, including mercury elimination, waste minimization and toxicity reduction. “H2E has information and resources our facilities can use tore in force or expand their environmental protection activities,” said Scanlon.
Support for Catholic Health Initiatives’ environmental commitment also comes from Consorta, its group purchasing organization. “We are very proactive about environmental responsibility,” said John Strong, president and chief executive officer of Consorta. “We seek out environmentally preferred products whenever possible, and reinforce environmental accountability through our contracts with suppliers.” Consorta and Catholic Health Initiatives are both sponsors of the CleanMed 2004 conference, to be held April 14–15in Philadelphia, Pa. The day before the conference, representatives of Catholic Health Initiatives will join with their counterparts from other Catholic health care systems and the Catholic Health Association for a meeting of the Catholic Partnership on Environmental Responsibility. “The goal of all of these alliances — with Energy Star,H2E, Consorta, the Catholic Partnership on Environmental Responsibility and others — is to provide our local facilities with resources they can use to make engaging in environmental responsibility easier and more effective,” said Scanlon. For more information on Catholic Health Initiatives’ environmental commitment, contact Colleen Scanlon at, or Skip Smith at