November/December 2007

Catholic Health Initiatives, Mercy Hospital Recognized for Green Initiatives


Catholic Health Initiatives and Mercy Hospital, Valley City, N.D., have each been recognized with awards for environmental initiatives.

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Mercy Hospital received a 2007 E2C Award from the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE). ASHE created the award in support of the goals of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program. The award recognizes hospitals that rise to the challenge of reducing energy use. It is presented to hospitals that show energy reduction of at least 10 percent during a baseline period. Mercy Hospital achieved a reduction of 45.6 percent, which corresponds to more than 2.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide that was not released into the atmosphere. The reduction in energy use resulted from a project to improve the efficiency of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system at Mercy Hospital. The improvements included control upgrades, new air handling units and revisions to the heating, hot water and chilled water systems. Pete Sabeff, design engineer with EEI Healthcare, Denver, Colo., worked with Mercy Hospital’s Kevin Tougas, chief engineer, and Mary Ellen Frey, executive vice president, as well as Rick Failing, president and chief executive officer of Mercy and three other hospitals in North Dakota. The project began in 2005 and was completed in 2006 at a cost of $900,000. “Financial savings related to the reduction in energy use have justified the capital investment,” said Dennis Smith, assistant director of facility services for Catholic Health Initiatives. Several other market-based organizations have been identified as potential candidates for energy reduction projects. The Catholic Health Initiatives Clinical Engineering facilities group can conduct a preliminary evaluation at no cost to a market-based organization; evaluations may be requested by contacting Skip Smith, director of facility management, at skipsmith@catholichealth.net, or Dennis Smith at dennissmith@catholichealth.net . This fall, the group purchasing organization Consorta presented Catholic Health Initiatives with its Environmental Edge Award. The award recognizes Catholic Health Initiatives for taking responsibility for the safety of its patients and communities. Consorta noted that Catholic Health Initiatives has an Environment and Energy Task Force, as well as defined energy management goals. “We are appreciative of the work our market-based organizations have done to conserve energy, reduce waste and protect the environment,” said Phil Mears, senior vice president of supply chain for Catholic Health Initiatives. “Some facilities have also made excellent achievements in reducing the use of hazardous materials, including mercury. The market-based organization representation we have on the Environment and Energy Task Force helps us identify and spread successful ‘green’ initiatives throughout the system. I’m very pleased that the work of Catholic Health Initiatives and our market-based organizations has been recognized by the Consorta award.”