FORT CAMPBELL, KY, UNITED STATES
Story by Maria Christina Yager
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Blanchfield Army Community Hospital was recently recognized for its commitment to reducing its environmental footprint in the global movement for environmental health and justice.
The hospital was recognized with the Partners for Change Award as part of The Practice Green Health Environmental Excellence Awards Program coordinated through the U.S. Army Medical Command.
Going “green” refers to choosing practices that support environmental conservation.
“The awards program is designed to promote sustainability within our hospital by empowering our staff to increase efficiency and environmental stewardship while improving patient care through best practices and knowledge sharing,” said Col. Patrick T. Birchfield, hospital commander.
This marks the fourth consecutive year the hospital has been recognized.
“Our staff is continuously striving to improve and expand upon these programs on the path to sustainability,” said the commander.
Blanchfield was recognized for implementation of a number of environmental programs including sustainability programs for waste, food, energy, water, environmentally preferable purchasing, climate, and “green” building.
“Anytime we can use less electricity and less water that helps the environment but also through our use of sustainable materials and sustainable designs,” said Mr. David Terrell, the hospital’s operations and maintenance engineer. Terrell said anytime the hospital plans a construction or renovation project, planners incorporate green designs through use of more efficient heating, ventilation and cooling systems, use of more ambient lighting from windows and use of environmentally friendly building materials.
Recycling initiatives practiced by staff, including recycling batteries, cardboard, cooking oil, and paper diverted approximately 192 tons of waste from the landfill, reflecting a disposal cost savings of over $75,000.
Another measure was the implementation of water bottle filling stations in the hospital which provide a rapid refill of canteens or reusable water bottles, minimizing single use plastic bottle waste. A digital display on the filling station keeps a running tally of the number of 20 ounce plastic water bottles saved from waste by using refillable bottles or canteens at the filling station.
While the award recognizes the hospital, Birchfield presented military and civilian staff members from the hospital’s Environmental Health, Nutrition Care, Infection Control, Facilities, and Logistics Divisions with the Commander’s Certificate of Appreciation for their contributions to the hospital’s selection.