Sustainability Champions Recognized at Michigan Green Healthcare Conference
Posted on October 11, 2018
The Michigan Green Healthcare Conference was held Oct. 9 and 10 in Grand Rapids to energize and update sustainability officers, dieticians, clinicians, engineers and others with a passion for reducing the ecological footprint of the healthcare industry. During the conference, the 2018 Michigan Green Healthcare Awards were presented to Cathy Semer, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, and World Medical Relief, Southfield. To receive the award, nominees must demonstrate leadership, strive to improve sustainable practices in patient care and inspire others to make a difference.
Semer recently retired from Henry Ford Health System, where she was the environmental programs manager at Henry Ford Hospital. During her tenure, Semer implemented sustainable, impactful programs such as elimination of mercury thermometers, a reusable sharps container program, a bottle and can recycling program, and a reusable cafeteria tray program. During Semer’s last year at the hospital, she was considered one of the institution’s experts in safer chemicals and worked closely with infection control and environmental services to research and select the safest and most effective products for room terminal cleaning and chemotherapy mixing room disinfecting. These initiatives provided proven results; a safer environment for patients, staff and the community; and reduced costs in either purchasing or operations.
World Medical Relief was recognized for its collaboration with many hospitals in Metro Detroit and Grand Rapids. World Medical Relief has shipped medical supplies, instruments, medical equipment, and medicines to more than 100 countries. Hospitals, physician offices, clinics, companies and individuals donate unneeded, usable items, including unexpired medications. After the equipment is checked by a biomedical technician and any necessary reconditioning or refurbishing is performed, thousands of volunteers sort and pack them for distribution. The organization’s move to new headquarters in Southfield provided many loading docks, which is facilitating exponential growth. This year the agency is on track to ship more than 60 40-foot containers. In addition to supplying local programs, these containers are destined for countries hit hard by poverty, war and natural disaster and will provide their clinics and hospitals with essential inventory to treat their patients.
For more information on the Michigan Green Healthcare Conference or the Michigan Green Healthcare Awards, contact Kristen Hammock at the MHA.
Photo Caption: The 2018 Michigan Green Healthcare Awards were accepted Oct. 10 by Cathy Semer (left), retired, Henry Ford Health System, and Josephine Jabara, director of development and community affairs, World Medical Relief.
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