09:28 AM

Two Carilion Hospitals Win National Awards for Environmental Sustainability

Sustainability is at the heart of Carilion's healing mission – and Carilion's sustainability strategies have won the system national awards for two of its hospitals. Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH) and Carilion New River Valley Medical Center (CNRV) both received the 2021 Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care.

This is the 5th consecutive year that CRMH has received this national recognition, and the 3rd consecutive year for CNRV!

In health care, sustainability means looking at how operations affect the health and safety of environment as well as the health of patients, staff, visitors and the local community. Strategies to address sustainability at Carilion include minimizing and recycling waste, lowering energy and water consumption and sourcing food locally when we can.

"We’re grateful to the many caregivers, frontline workers and administrators who are committed to this work and bring innovation, ingenuity, and adaptability to help us dramatically improve our footprint," said Sara Wohlford, Efficiency & Sustainability manager. "This is truly a system effort, and it's so exciting to see initiative at the grass-roots level."

In recent years, Carilion teams have made great strides toward reducing their impact on the environment, and they are committed to doing even more. This year, as part of the system's larger applications, some of those grass-roots initiatives by both facilities were spotlighted, including:

  • Carilion Clinic New River Valley Medical Center became home to a bee apiary. Daniel Kolasa, a radiographer at CNRV, applied for a grant from the Carilion Clinic Foundation to start the Bee Healthy Apiary on the grounds of the hospital. The apiary currently consists of two hives and a bear fence but has the potential to grow to three hives in the coming year. Daniel tends to the apiary every two weeks as well as offers tours to interested visitors.
  • A Native Planting Day on the grounds of Roanoke Memorial Hospital. An event coordinated by Dr. Jessica Fleming, a medical resident who has a passion and extensive knowledge of wildlife populations and their dependence on native plants to survive. Our Sustainability Champions were able to plant native seeds in various areas of CRMH’s grounds which will not only support wildlife but will also beautify the grounds. We are looking forward to seeing what blooms!
  • The Carilion Clinic drug donation program which allows individuals to donate unused and unopened medications to help those who are in need. It is designed to offer an affordable, onsite option for patients that are otherwise financially unable to afford their current prescription medications, with the added benefits of reducing medication waste as well as reducing the risk of improper prescription disposal which can lead to drugs leaching into local water systems. This program was born through the joint realization of the Carilion Medication Assistance Program and the Carilion Community Pharmacy.

Read more about Carilion's sustainability efforts here