California hospital group sets the pace for sustainability programs


In 2005, California-based Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) became one of the first, if not the first, hospital group in the United States to stop using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for intravenous (IV) bags, solutions, and tubing.

Today known as Dignity Health, the healthcare organization is a founding sponsor of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative and is leading in other sustainability efforts, including several involving plastics.

Last month. Dignity Health announced it will be the first health care system in the nation to begin using pigment-free patient plastics in all of its hospitals and other care centers to reduce impact on the environment.

"We began our sustainability program formally in 1996," says Sr. Mary Ellen Leciejewski, Dignity Health ecology program coordinator....
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