For the fifth consecutive year, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System was chosen as one of Practice Greenhealth’s top hospitals in the nation for Environmental Excellence.
This year VASNHS was selected as a Partner for Change Award recipient and recognized for leading the health care industry with innovation in sustainability, maintaining superior environmental programs, and illustrating how green initiatives are entrenched in the facility’s culture.
“This was truly a team effort,” said William Scott, VASNHS GEMS (Green Environmental Management Systems) Manager. “Many services came together to make this happen, from housekeeping to engineering, from pharmacy to food service. We all worked hard to earn this achievement.”
One major project for Energy and Sustainability is the Las Vegas VAMC Energy Savings Performance Contract, which was awarded April 8, 2020, and is projected to save approximately $755,000 per year in energy, water, and sewer costs. These include optimization of chilled water production, replacing all lighting fixtures to LEDs thereby reducing the kWh usage, installing Solar Domestic Hot Water for Building 5, reducing natural gas consumption for hot water production, optimization of Air Handling Units, and installing sub-metering for electricity, steam, and water.
Another project that earned recognition was Nutritional Food Service development of a new way to reduce the food waste on the patient tray line. The goal was to reduce the overproduced servings of food by 50 percent at the lunch meal. New processes were developed and periodically adjusted with staff input, resulting in sustained reduction of approximately 83 percent in 2019 and 2020 from the original overproduction.
Practice Greenhealth is a nonprofit membership organization founded on the principles of positive environmental stewardship and best practices by organizations in the health care community. They strive for sustainable health care that’s good for the environment, good for patients and staff, and good for the bottom line. Practice Greenhealth presents these awards annually, and VASNHS has been recognized every year since 2016. Nominees must submit a 195-page application to be considered for the award.
“It’s an honor that we share with all the staff at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center,” said Scott. “We will continue to make improvements and strive to earn the honor again next year.”