Hospitals care for and heal patients and also protect and promote community health. Sharing information about the risks and health impacts of our changing climate, with an emphasis on a hospital’s plans to address these challenges, is integral to a hospital’s healing mission and can provide the foundation for community-wide sustainability and resiliency efforts.
Gundersen Health System achieved energy independence in 2014 with renewable energy sourced from its community. Gundersen’s CEO Dr. Jeff Thompson explained, “Our board saw the need to make an investment to take care of our community’s economy and health through cleaner energy. The return on investment is better than we expected.”
Practice Greenhealth member hospitals take this responsibility seriously and have embraced their role as a trusted voice on climate and health by:
- Committing publicly to climate action in mitigation, resilience, and leadership through the Health Care Climate Challenge.
- Providing information about how climate change contributes to common health concerns like asthma, allergies, and Lyme disease to staff, patients, and the broader community.
- Delivering services and programs that address local health needs that are influenced by the changing climate as part of community health needs assessments and community benefit programs.
Practice Greenhealth has developed tools and resources to help our members educate their patients, staff, and communities on the health impacts of climate change and to build programs that advance sustainable practices within and beyond their own facility walls.