NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Cooley Dickinson Hospital (CDH) is one of 13 healthcare facilities in the nation that has been recognized by VHA, Inc., a national healthcare network, with its 2011 Leadership Award for Sustainability.
CDH earned the Sustainability Excellence/Best in Class – Individual Program for the hospital's energy management program, specifically its co-generation plant.
Cooley Dickinson is the only hospital in New England that uses woodchips to heat and cool its facilities and installed two electricity-generating turbines to complete the co-generation process. Co-generation (CHP or combined heat and power) is a process that produces electricity using the steam that heats and cools the buildings.
To generate the steam, CDH burns virgin wood, which is considered a renewable biomass energy source. (Virgin wood is natural wood that are untreated and clean.) CDH uses steam for all its heating and to produce chilled water for air conditioning. By using wood as a fuel source, CDH avoids burning up to 1 million gallons of oil per year.
CDH is one of a few hospitals in the nation has a co-gen system. For that reason, John Lombardi, director of Facilities, nominated the hospital for the award. "Recognition from VNA demonstrates that our leadership in this area is not only good for the environment but is paying off for our patients, employees and the community. It's an honor to be recognized as being on the forefront among the nation's most environmentally sustainable hospitals," Lombardi adds.
Criteria for the award is based on
- a commitment to the development, implementation and promotion of a sustainability strategy;
- the development of a "best in class" sustainability program, such as on-site programs to save energy, recycle, reduce waste or conserve water;
- Measured and reported progress toward sustainability goals; and
- Demonstrated a commitment to increasing awareness of its sustainability story in the community and/or among its employees.
"Hospitals across the country are doing innovative things to green operations and decrease their carbon footprints," says Terri Scannell, director of Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability at VHA, a nationwide network of not-for-profit hospitals that collaborates to improve hospitals' clinical and economic performance.
Continues Scannell, Cooley Dickinson won for their best in class program in energy management with a Co-gen plant. "They were among the only hospitals which invested in co-gen and this showed outstanding leadership."
Watch the Presentation
SAVING MONEY & CONSERVING ENERGY
WITH BIOMASS IN HOSPITAL SYSTEMS:
BURNING WOOD FOR COMBINED HEAT & POWER
About Cooley Dickinson Hospital
Serving communities in Western Massachusetts, Cooley Dickinson features centers of excellence in such specialties as orthopedics, cardiology, cancer care and minimally invasive surgery. A staff of 1750 professionals and 400 affiliated physicians comprise an integrated network of emergency, surgical, clinical, rehabilitative, hospice and home care expertise that treats 40,000 emergency patients per year, delivers 800 babies, and collaborates with Massachusetts General Hospital to deliver comprehensive cancer care. Cooley Dickinson's vision is become a model healthy community, able to provide local access to the most advanced clinical treatments in a caring and neighborly setting. Nationally recognized for effective, innovative attention to patient safety, Cooley Dickinson Hospital meets the highest standards of bringing medical advances to local communities by truly providing "excellence next door. Learn more at www.cooley-dickinson.org.
VHA serves more than 1,350 not-for-profit hospitals and more than 30,000 non-acute health care organizations nationwide. The Sustainability Excellence Award is part of VHA's larger commitment to recognizing and advancing innovative sustainability initiatives through efforts like its Corporate Citizenship & Sustainability Scorecard and Member Collaboration Sustainability Site. For more information on VHA, go to www.vha.com.