Dr. Yang Wei, Vice-President of the Second Hospital of Jilin University in Changchun, China and our newest Chinese hospital member of the network of Global Green and Healthy Hospitals visited two Practice Greenhealth award-winning hospitals in Seattle and San Francisco:  Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) in Seattle on April 3, 2015 and the University of California, San Francisco on April 10, 2015.

Brenna Davis, Sustainability Coordinator for Virginia Mason, described the commitment of her hospital to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by providing leadership in health care and throughout the business community to encourage others to follow their example.   VMMC is a founding member of the 2020Health Care Climate Challenge and a facilitator of a local business coalition recruiting businesses to set carbon reduction targets that included the Microsoft Corporation.   Ms. Davis demonstrated their waste segregation and recycling initiatives and the innovative food program focused on sustainability and local food procurement (see photo display in the hospital cafeteria).

At USCF Medical Center, Gail Lee, Sustainability Manager, described their commitment to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. The new hospital is designed to use 50% less energy than typical U.S. hospitals of its size. She also explained that the UCSF sustainability program reaches beyond their own facilities by educating their community about sustainability opportunities and by providing incentives for staff and physicians to reduce their carbon footprints at home and during their commute to work. UCSF provides discounts for employees to add solar panels to their homes and buy electric cars. They also have an annual sustainability fair to educate their staff, patients and neighboring communities about sustainability. At UCSF, sustainability education extends beyond their community as well, by sharing their sustainability successes through Practice Green Health and exchanging sustainability information with international visitors, like Dr. Yang Wei, through collaboration with GGHH and Health Care Without Harm.

It was great to make the connection between our Chinese colleagues and US hospitals that are a part of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Community.