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CleanMed 2013 Sustainable Health Care Conference Achieves Record Attendance

(Boston, MA)  CleanMed, the nation’s premier conference on health care and sustainability, marked its tenth conference in 2013 by drawing more than 900 health care leaders to Boston to discuss best practices, learn from each other and preview innovative new technologies. Attendance was the highest since the conference began in 2001. CleanMed is convened and organized jointly each year by Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm.

Fifty-five educational sessions and workshops provided the opportunity for attendees to discuss health care’s most pressing sustainability issues: reducing toxics and chemicals of concern; sourcing and purchasing environmentally preferable medical products; providing patients, staff and families with sustainable, local food choices; reducing energy and water use; and better waste management through recycling, reprocessing of medical instruments and smarter supply chain management.

“We are so pleased that so many involved in sustainable health care and the surrounding community came to CleanMed and had the opportunity to learn, meet with each other and re-energize the sustainability efforts in their own facilities,” said Gary Cohen, Executive Director of Health Care Without Harm.

Keynote speakers for this year’s conference were Bill McKibben, journalist, author and founder of 350.org; and Don Berwick, the former administrator of Medicare and Medicaid and, for 22 years, the CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. McKibben spoke on the global effects of climate change and on the importance of the issue to the health care sector. Berwick  addressed the myriad ways hospitals can provide the health care that the country wants and needs, but at an affordable cost, by making changes in the health care system and using new treatment and prevention strategies.

During the conference, Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm presented their annual awards.  More than 300 hospitals and businesses  were presented sustainability awards by Practice Greenhealth. Health Care Without Harm also presented its annual awards, including Healthy Food in Health Care Awards.

“We hear from our members that the best thing about CleanMed is the opportunity to learn new things and to make connections with other professionals, from those with advanced sustainability initiatives through to those who are just beginning the journey,” said Laura Wenger, the Executive Director of Practice Greenhealth.

The conference also included an exhibition featuring more than 75 companies and organizations. Major sponsors included SterilMed (a Johnson & Johnson company), VHA, Novation, Amerinet, Premier, Barr Foundation, Stryker, BD, Kimberly-Clark and Kaiser Permanente.

Planning for CleanMed 2014 is already underway: the conference will be held next year, May 12 through May 16, at the Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, visit  www.cleanmed.org.

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