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Erie VA Medical Center Honored for Excellence in Health Care Sustainability

Erie VA Leadership and Staff with Award
Left to right: Erie VA Medical Center Director - John A. Gennaro is joined by GEMS Manager John Poshka, Erie VA Plumber Daniel Gray, and Erie VA Associate Director - Rick A. Harris, Jr.

The Erie VA Medical Center is an honored and proud recipient of the 2022 Top 25 Environmental Excellence Awards and a Circles of Excellence Award presented by Practice Greenhealth.

The Top 25 awards showcase health practices that are committing their facilities to environmentally friendly care. Each year, the competition for the top tier increases as hospital across the nation continue to innovate. 

Launched in 2002, the awards program recognizes health care facilities and health systems for their commitment to environmental stewardship and their sustainability achievements. The practices recognized with the Environmental Excellence Awards demonstrate comprehensive programs, full-circle sustainability, and sustainability in their organizational culture.

The Circles of Excellence Awards celebrate hospitals who have not only earned an award for all around sustainability achievement, but who have also been identified as the top scoring programs for each category of sustainability. 

The Erie VA received high honors for its stewardship with water – one of our most valuable resources. “Our facility has a very robust water-savings program fully supported by leadership and staff. The way we examine our operations and their impact on Veterans and the community is innovative and responsible – we have set a noteworthy standard,” noted Green Environment Management System (GEMS) manager John Poshka. 

The Erie VA has earned the Practice Greenhealth Circles of Excellence Award for top 10 nationwide performance in water conservation seven times, and received six Top 25 awards. 

Dating back to 2011, the Nutrition and Food Service kitchen renovation saved over 8 million gallons of water. Since then, conservation measures continue with the implementation of water saving fixtures utilized in all renovations, new construction projects, and daily operations. All projects – no matter how large or small in scale – undergo a thorough energy/water savings review by the resident Energy Engineer and the GEMS manager.

“Our goal of providing world class care to Veterans is multi-faceted – ranging from exceptional clinical care to exemplary environmental stewardship. I am proud of the commitment our team exhibits year after year,” added Erie VA Medical Center Director John Gennaro. 

The water-savings program at the Erie VA has resulted in a substantial decrease in water consumption from fiscal year 2020 through 2021. Facility projects such as steam repair and replacement of dry coolers have contributed to this achievement. In 2021, the target goal for water efficiency was met with a 21% decrease in gallons used from the previous year.

About Practice Greenhealth
Practice Greenhealth is the leading membership and networking organization for sustainable health care, delivering environmental solutions to more than 1,400 U.S. hospitals and health systems.