Sutter Health Hospitals Recognized as Leaders in Waste Reduction and Environmental Safety
Affiliated Hospitals Honored for Exemplary Efforts to Protect Employees and Patients from Industry-Standard Mercury Products
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 21, 2005 – Two years after the State of California challenged hospitals to significantly reduce the amount of traditional medical products that contain mercury from inside their facilities, acute hospitals within the Sutter Health network have met that deadline. Sutter-affiliated hospitals have reduced their combined use of products containing mercury by almost half-a-ton (973 pounds) and are now "virtually mercury free" – the best standard that can be achieved.
"Sutter Health affiliates are dedicated to creating healthy and safe environments for their employees and patients," said Sutter Health Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer Michael Evans. "We were the first health provider network to participate with the California Department of Health Services (DHS) to implement the Healthcare Pollution Prevention Program and have significantly reduced the amount of these conventional mercury products in nearly all of our facilities."
At a special presentation, The Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) and the DHS will present Sutter Health hospitals with banners recognizing their exemplary efforts. Hospitals receiving this prominent award are:
- Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
- California Pacific Medical Center
- Eden Medical Center
- Marin General Hospital/Novato Community Hospital
- Memorial Medical Center Modesto
- Memorial Hospital Los Banos
- Mills-Peninsula Health Services
- St. Luke’s Hospital
- Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital
- Sutter Coast Hospital
- Sutter Davis Hospital
- Sutter Delta Medical Center
- Sutter General Hospital
- Sutter Lakeside Hospital
- Sutter Medical Center Santa Rosa
- Sutter Memorial Hospital
- Sutter Roseville Medical Center
- Sutter Solano Medical Center
- Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water and soil. But when fever thermometers, blood pressure cuffs and other products that contain mercury are thrown away by medical providers across the world, they become waste. Certain prolonged exposure to mercury waste can adversely affect reproductive function and the nervous system.
"Virtually mercury free" means facilities have fully replaced thermometers and the other vast number of products that traditionally use mercury with modern substitutes that don't contain mercury.
For a complete listing of all of the Sutter hospitals mercury reductions please visit www.dtsc.ca.gov/HarardousWaste/Mercury/
"Hospitals across the Sutter Health network deserve high praise for their steadfast dedication to removing pollution from health care products and practices," said Evans. "And we're not done yet. Sutter Health is committed to making all our facilities "virtually mercury free," and our medical foundations are now beginning the process."
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