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{Past Event} - Greening the OR: Clinical Engagement & Emerging Best Practices in the OR

January 23, 2013 - 2:00 pm - January 23, 2013 - 3:00 pm -- Eastern Daylight Time


In the operating room, the stakes are high and moments count.  Great measures are taken to prevent bad outcomes.  At the same time, the most recent and conservative Practice Greenhealth (PGH) estimate places annual hospital waste at 5.9 million tons per year in the United States alone.   Perioperative services is the single largest clinical generator of trash in all of health care, responsible for upwards of 30% of hospital waste, and making the operating room a critical target for sustainability efforts.   Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, and OR Nurse decision making play primary roles in resource management. It is ultimately up to the surgeon to decide what surgical instrument to use, and how many to have open and ready in case of emergency.  It is up to the anesthesiologist to decide what drugs and devices to similarly prepare in advance.  OR nurses, while under much pressure from physicians, also make decisions on which supplies to open.  While much of this is necessary, there is room for improvement but hospital sustainability efforts are routinely stymied by lack of staff participation.  OR physician and nursing leadership are critical to move the Greening the OR Initiative forward until a culture of sustainability has permeated the OR staff mindset.  In this session, we propose strategies for including, recruiting, and possibly mandating anesthesiologist, surgeon, and nurse conservation efforts.


  • Upon completion of this learning activity, participants should be able to explain risks of anesthesia and surgical practices to public health and ecosystems
  • Upon completion of this learning activity, participants should be able to identify opportunities for anesthesia and surgical waste minimization
  • Upon completion of this learning activity, participants should be able to identify barriers to physician and nursing participation in green practices
  • Upon completion of this learning activity, participants should be able to design strategies to engage anesthesiologists, surgeons and nurses in more ecologically conservative behaviors


Jodi Sherman, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Environmental Compliance Officer, Yale University, School of Medicine
Yale University, School of Medicine
Jodi Sherman is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Yale University, School of Medicine.  She is also the Environmental Compliance Officer of perioperative services at Yale-New Haven Hospital.  Dr. Sherman is a nationally recognized speaker and author in the emerging field of sustainability in anesthesia.  Her research interest is in life-cycle assessment of anesthetic practices.

Martha (Marnie) Kommalin, Senior Clinical OR Nurse, University Maryland Medical Center
Marnie Kommalan is a Senior Clinical OR Nurse at the University Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.  She is the Peri-Operative Champion for the Environmental Initiatives of the Medical Center and serves on the Green Team. 

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