Kaiser Permanente Honored With 14 Environmental Excellence Awards

San Jose Medical Center named among top 25 U.S. hospitals for environmental stewardship by Practice Greenhealth.

Feature Story
Smiling group of people wearing green "KP Green Team" tee shirts.
Elizabeth Bailey (front row far left), Thomas Nachbaur, MD (front row, far right), Cindy Soliday (back row, third from left), pictured with other members of the San Jose Medical Center Green Team.

In recognition of its advancement of and commitment to health care sustainability, Kaiser Permanente has received 14 Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards, including the designation of its San Jose Medical Center as one of the top 25 hospitals in the country for environmental excellence. The 2018 awards will be presented May 9 at the conclusion of Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm’s CleanMed Conference in San Diego.

Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. The Environmental Excellence Awards are given each year to honor environmental achievement in the health care sector. Kaiser Permanente has been recognized by Practice Greenhealth for its sustainability work every year since the awards program began in 2002.

At San Jose Medical Center, Green Team leaders Elizabeth Bailey, director of Food and Clinical Nutrition Services, and Cindy Soliday, director of the Genetics Department, have made it their mission to engage their fellow environmental champions to take on sustainability initiatives that touch every part of the facility. With the more than 40 members on the SJMC Green Team and a physician champion in pediatrician Thomas Nachbaur, MD, Soliday and Bailey have been able to influence projects ranging from upgrading the heating and air-conditioning system and installing “smart” irrigation, to holding an annual e-waste collection day and an upcoming “paper fast” to reduce unnecessary printing.

They even worked with an employee from a nearby Kaiser Permanente data center to analyze the hospital’s sustainability data, which helped reveal new priorities.

“It’s a labor of love. This is something we feel personally very passionately about,” Soliday said.  “It’s good not only for our medical center, but for our communities at large.”

Kaiser Permanente’s awards recognize the commitment, embodied in its 2025 Environmental Stewardship Goals and executed by employees and physicians across the organization, to buying safer products, conserving energy, using solar and wind power, and managing waste.

“These recognitions are yet another confirmation that Kaiser Permanente is moving in the right direction to set policies and pursue projects that improve the health of our members, our communities and our planet,” said Kathy Gerwig, Kaiser Permanente’s vice president for employee safety, health and wellness and its environmental stewardship officer. “Climate health is directly tied to human health, and in order to fulfill Kaiser Permanente’s mission, we must continue to work toward a greener future within our walls and beyond.”

The full list of Kaiser Permanente’s Environmental Excellence awards includes:

  • Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award: Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center
  • Circle of Excellence for Environmentally Preferable Purchasing: Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center
  • Circle of Excellence for Greening the Operating Room: Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center
  • Circle of Excellence for Climate: Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center
  • Greening the Operating Room: Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center
  • Partners for Change Emerald:
    • Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente Zion Medical Center
  • Partner for Change:
    • Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente Georgia Region
    • Kaiser Permanente Ontario Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center