UW Medicine is one of eight founding members in the Washington Health Care Climate Alliance, which will work to address the health impacts of climate change on Washington communities. The alliance was announced on Dec. 6, 2019, and also includes CHI Franciscan, Kaiser Permanente, MultiCare, Providence St. Joseph Health, Seattle Children’s, Swedish Health Services and Virginia Mason Medical Center.
In a press release announcing the alliance, it was noted that the member organizations will work together to promote legislative and regulatory “climate-smart policies related to energy, transportation, food, waste, infrastructure, and community resiliency.” They have also made a commitment to promote sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint of their own operations.
“Environmental stewardship is a component of our mission to improve the health of the public,” said Dr. Paul Ramsey, CEO, UW Medicine. “Through the Washington Health Care Climate Alliance, we will continue to advance our work to provide patients and visitors with a healthy environment as part of our commitment to excellent clinical care and outstanding service.”
Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading nonprofit membership and networking organization for sustainable healthcare, has recognized UW Medicine’s work to implement sustainable practices with Top 25 Environmental Excellence Awards for UW Medical Center (13 consecutive years) and Harborview Medical Center (8 consecutive years). These hospitals have also received awards in such areas as providing sustainable food services and “greening the operating room.”
For examples of the collective impact of UW Medicine’s sustainability programs, see our 2018 Infographic: Celebrating Earth Day.
The Washington Health Care Climate Alliance was formed in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm, an organization dedicated to environmentally responsible healthcare. Health Care Without Harm supports similar alliances in California and Massachusetts.