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On May 21, 2024, the UW Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine will be awarded the Husky Sustainability Award. The award recognizes the exemplary achievement of University of Washington individuals or teams that have demonstrated leadership, initiative and dedication to campus sustainability.

The Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine earned this honor by reducing emissions with actionable, measurable strategies, including but not limited to:

  • Discontinued use of desflurane, an anesthetic gas with high global warming potential.
  • Advocated to decommission wasteful central nitrous oxide systems and switch to more cost-effective and environmentally preferred portable cylinders for nitrous oxide administration.
  • Developed, in partnership with Epic Sytems, an internal sustainability dashboard that tracks the emissions rates of individual anesthesiologists to inform how to reduce the environmental impact of their practice. In the 2 years since the implementation of the dashboard, the department’s overall hourly emissions rates have dropped by 50%. The tool is now available worldwide at all Epic institutions.

The Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine’s sustained efforts have resulted in tangible reductions in carbon emissions and have set a precedent for sustainable healthcare practices within UW Medicine and beyond. Through their ongoing dedication, they continue to make a meaningful impact on sustainability at the University of Washington and in the broader healthcare community.

An in-person award ceremony will be held on May 21 at 3 p.m. in the Burke Museum Cascade Room (Floor 1, Main Level). Everyone is welcome to attend.