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{Past Event} - Greening the OR: Reusable Surgical Textiles: Save Money and Reduce OR Waste Up to 30 Percent!

February 17, 2011 - 1:00 pm - February 17, 2011 - 1:00 pm -- Eastern Standard Time


While single-use disposable items are the norm, more and more hospitals are finding that an easy and green way to reduce costs and reduce waste (by as much as 30%) is to increase their use of reusable textiles and gowns in the OR. Two hospitals share their stories of how reusable textiles improved their bottom lines and reduced both waste and their carbon footprints. Panel will include staff from the OR and environmental services, as well as textile specialists and laundry operators. In addition, data will be shared that substantiates the green advantage of reusable medical textiles versus disposable single-use items while also maintaining patient and worker safety and care standards.


Steve Tinker, American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA)
Steven Tinker is the President of the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA), an organization dedicated to the promotion of the appreciation of reusable textiles. He has been with Gurtler Industries, Inc. since early 2002 and is currently the Vice President of Research & Development. Gurtler is a national manufacturer of institutional and industrial laundry detergents and processing chemicals. Steve has more than 35 years experience in the professional laundry industry as a product development scientist and marketing executive, previously with Ecolab Inc. Over the years Steve has been a key presenter at industry seminars and has published numerous articles on a wide variety of laundering technology in industry publications, such as Textile Rental, Industrial Launderer and American Laundry News.

Lynn Thelen, RN, Fairview Hospital, University of Minnesota
Lynn Thelen is a Registered Nurse in the Operating Room at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. She works as both a scrub and circulating nurse in s wide range of specialties that include cardiac, thoracic, transplant, GYN and general surgery, as well as working as a charge nurse two days a week. Ms. Thelen, is the champion who, long with Dr. Andrade, founded the UMMC OR Green Team in January 2009. This committee has implemented and sustained significant waste and energy reductions across the department. As a result of the success of this committee, she now sits on the Executive Green Committee for Fairview. Ms. Thelen completed het certification for surgical technology at St. Cloud Technical College and completed her associate degree in nursing at Normandale Community College.

Barb Fordyce, Health Systems Cooperatiave Laundries
As manager for the surgical textile preparation area at Health Systems Cooperative Laundries, Barb is responsible for all of the daily operational aspects of the department including staffing, surgical textile purchasing and customer service to OR customers. With 27 years of experience in healthcare laundries, Barb has worked in production, customer service and packroom operations, including assisting with start-up operations in several facilities throughout the United States. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of Minnesota and is a certified Central Service Technician.

Dr. Catherine Zimmer, MS, BSMT , Zimmer Environmental Improvement, LLC
Telephone: 651-645-7509
Dr. Catherine Zimmer was a healthcare specialist for the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) for more than 13 years. One of her last projects completed was the research on the use of reusable surgical textiles at Fairview Hospital. She is currently a consultant but spent 12 years as a clinical laboratory scientist before joining MnTAP and worked three years as a hazardous waste inspector. Zimmer is a registered environmental health specialist and an active contributor to Practice Green Health and Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, having chaired workgroups to develop H2E’s Chemical Minimization and Waste Reduction plans, and having consulted on guidance for JCAHO standards and writing the Pharmacy Tech Brief for the Green Guide for Healthcare. Her work on pollution prevention using Hospitals for a Healthy Environment tools was recently published in the “Journal of Cleaner Production”, an international periodical. Zimmer holds a B.S. Clinical Laboratory Science and an M.S. Environmental Health, both from the University of Minnesota.

A.J. Van Den Berghe, Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP)
Telephone: 612-624-4653
As an engineer at MnTAP, A.J. Van Den Berghe provides technical assistance in the areas of industrial energy use and conservation. He is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota having studied Chemical Engineering and Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management, with a focus on Corporate Environmental Management. As a part of his coursework, A.J. studied life cycle assessment (LCA) structure and methodologies, including the ISO 14040 framework, under the direction of Dr. Sangwon Suh. In addition to contributing to the MnTAP LCA, A.J. is currently researching energy efficiency opportunities for a variety of industries, with a focus on Minnesota’s vast ethanol and printing industries.

Webinar speakers have no financial or other interest in the sponsoring company and the sponsor has had no input into the content of the presentation.

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