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Northern Ohio Hospice is First in U.S. to Receive National Awards for Green Med Practices

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CLEVELAND, OHIO, July 1, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hospice of the Western Reserve, a nonprofit community-based agency caring for more than 7,000 patients annually in the Northern Ohio region, became the first hospice organization in the United States to earn two national health care environmental awards from Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting environmental stewardship and best practices in the health care community.



The awards were presented in Cleveland at CleanMed 2014, a leading national environmental conference for health care sustainability. Other award winners include Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins.

"Hospice of the Western Reserve is committed to sustainable practices and environmental stewardship - not only at our two in-patient care centers - but throughout the agency," said Bill Finn, chief executive officer. "Environmental stewardship, economic vitality and social responsibility align with our mission of providing the best quality of life for our patients and leaving a positive legacy for future generations."

"We have worked hard to develop programs and practices that protect the environment and the health of our patients, staff and community," added Kathleen Gatto, director of support services, who heads up the agency's 'green team.' It's rewarding to see our efforts recognized on a national level."

Ames Family Hospice House - Earns "Emerald Award"

Hospice of the Western Reserve's Ames Family Hospice House, a 30,000-square-foot in-patient residential care center in Westlake, achieved an "Emerald Partner in Change" award. The award recognizes "health care facilities that have achieved improvements in mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs 'that go above and beyond.'" Recipients are considered to be "further along the path to sustainability" and are deemed to "show leadership in the local community and in the health care sector."

Last year, Ames Family Hospice House also achieved prestigious Gold LEED certification for its environmental building and sustainability practices from the U.S. Green Building Council. Sustainability strategies include the use of low VOC paint, carpet and furnishings, built-in recycling centers throughout the facility, chemical-free lawns and gardens, a high-efficiency climate control system zoned for patient comfort and water-efficient fixtures, which reduce water use by 28 percent. When Ames Family Hospice House was built, more 75 percent of construction debris was diverted by repurposing or recycling.

David Simpson Hospice House – Earns "Partner for Change Award"

Hospice of the Western Reserve's east side in-patient care center, David Simpson Hospice House, located on the Lake Erie waterfront at E. 185th St., earned a "Partner for Change Award," a significant achievement, particularly for an older facility. Much of the environmental technology incorporated into Ames Family Hospice House was not available in 1995, when David Simpson Hospice House was built.

The "Partner for Change" award was presented to health care institutions "that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs." At a minimum, facilities "must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, be well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas."

Editor's Note: High resolution interior and exterior photos of Ames Family Hospice House and David Simpson Hospice House are available upon request. To arrange a private media tour of one of the facilities, contact Laurie Henrichsen.

About Hospice of the Western Reserve

Hospice of the Western Reserve, one of the pioneers of the hospice movement in the U.S., is one of the nation's most experienced "legacy providers" of hospice care. Now in its 36th year, the nonprofit agency provides palliative end-of-life care, caregiver support and bereavement services throughout Northern Ohio. Care is provided in private residences, nursing homes, retirement communities, at two residential in-patient care centers, or "anywhere the patient calls home." The organization is actively engaged in evidence-based clinical research trials, and its Hospice Institute provides continuing education to the Northern Ohio medical community. For more information, visit www.hospicewr.org, or call 800.707.8922.

About Practice Greenhealth

Practice Greenhealth is the nation's leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge. To learn more about Practice Greenhealth visit www.practicegreenhealth.org.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=26258

CONTACT: Laurie Henrichsen 216.701.1768 (mobile) lhenrichsen@hospicewr.orgSource:Hospice of the Western Reserve