Summit Pacific Celebrates Earth Day

Group of Summit Pacific Staff Volunteered to Remove Invasive Species

Joins Practice Greenhealth, and Green Team Volunteers Remove Invasive Species on Hospital Campus

(ELMA, WA) – In 2020, Summit Pacific formed a Green Team, guided by their Vision: “To promote environmental education and awareness to our staff and community by investigating, piloting and implementing healthy, responsible and sustainable initiatives.”

Scotch Broom is an Invasive and Toxic Weed

In honor of Earth Day, the Green Team lead a work project to remove invasive scotch broom on the hospital campus. “Invasive species can cause damage to the economy, the environment and to human health. But each person can make a difference in preventing new invasions and we are proud to care for our hospital grounds,” said Brackeen. The team removed scotch broom, a weed which is toxic to animals and humans, and displaces native and beneficial plants and smothers tree seedlings, hampering reforestation efforts.

Understanding the impact healthcare has on the environment, Summit Pacific announced that it has joined Practice Greenhealth, the leading nonprofit membership and networking organization for sustainable healthcare. The mission of Practice Greenhealth is to empower its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge.

“We are strongly committed to sustainable healthcare,” said Summit Pacific’s Director of Innovation, Jennifer Brackeen. “By becoming a member of Practice Greenhealth, we are strengthening our efforts to operate in a way that is better for the planet as well as the patients, staff, and visitors who walk through our doors.”

The healthcare sector has an enormous impact on the environment—from producing an astonishing 5.2 billion tons of waste annually and consuming more than 8% of the nation’s energy, to using products containing DEHP/PVC and other harmful chemicals.

With 21.8 million people working in healthcare settings and facilities that operate 24 hours per day, seven days each week, plus purchasing power that represents 18% of the U.S. marketplace, healthcare organizations also have a tremendous opportunity to create better, safer, greener workplaces and communities.

Cynthia Beck, Community Programs Coordinator at Summit Pacific Volunteered to Remove Scotch Broom

“We are honored to have Summit Pacific join our growing network of more than 1,100 hospitals and healthcare systems that support sustainable health care and have made a commitment to environmentally preferable practices,” said Gary Cohen, Co-Founder and President of Practice Greenhealth.

Practice Greenhealth network partners recognize sustainability as a means to practice the Hippocratic Oath—to heal and do no harm—through safer products, reduced air emissions, elimination of toxins, safer working environments, less waste and efficient use of energy and water.

As a network partner, Summit Pacific has access to tools, resources and expert knowledge that advance sustainable healthcare and drive change throughout the organization.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our organization,” said Brackeen. “We look forward to collaborating with Practice Greenhealth to move closer toward our sustainability goals and celebrating our achievements together.”

Read full press release here.