Green Practices Are Funneling More Resources into Patient Care


CATEGORY: News and Community

​Going green starts simply at most organizations and then grows as knowledge increases. At Hospice of the Western Reserve, we have made environmental sustainability a key initiative impacting all aspects of our operations. Our ability to increase efficiencies and conserve, reuse and recycle allows resources to flow back into achieving ideal patient care for the families we serve. 

"Many years ago, it was a few visionaries who took recyclables home, picked cans out of the trash, avoided Styrofoam and questioned why we were not challenging ourselves to be more sustainable that led the way to developing a more comprehensive green strategy," said Kathy Gatto, Green Team Chair and Vice President of Support Services.

"Today we are taking a leadership role in sustainability initiatives. We're committed to growing in a way that conserves natural resources, protects the environment and creates a legacy for future generations. Environmental stewardship, economic vitality and social responsibility align with our mission of providing the highest quality of care for our patients."

Every dollar saved by recycling and green initiatives means more dollars available for patient care. For instance, $100 saved supports two music or art therapy patient visits, $200 saved provides the use of a pressure-reducing mattress for a full month; $500 saved supports two full months of sessions at Spirit of Clay so grieving family members can create ceramic memorial pieces as part of their healing process.

A few current examples of environmental stewardship include:

  • Ames Family Hospice House and Medina Inpatient Hospice Care Center are both LEED Gold Certified buildings, the global standard for environmentally efficient facilities.
  • All food scraps are composted or taken to a local farm to help feed their animals.
  • All medical supplies from McKesson and all cleaning supplies from DawnChem are green products.
  • All landscaping at our headquarters and three inpatient care units is pesticide free.

Agency sustainability goals moving forward include further reducing waste generation and hazardous chemical use, promoting increased water and energy conservation and increasing recycling throughout the organization.

"We are particularly mindful of the changing climate of reimbursement and its impact on hospice. We have worked hard to develop programs and practices that protect the environment and the health of our patients, staff and community," Kathy said, "but there is still much more we plan to do. By building on small changes that have a big impact when done collectively, we can create a legacy of care and stewardship for future generations."

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Northern Ohio's Hospice of Choice

More than 1,000 Hospice of the Western Reserve employees and 3,000 volunteers live and work side-by-side in the same neighborhoods with our patients and families. We are privileged to have cared for more than 100,000 Northern Ohioans since our inception.