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EPA’s Trailblazer Award Honors Lehigh Valley Health Network

Release Date: 12/17/2009
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 /

PHILADELPHIA (December 17, 2009) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Lehigh Valley Health Network with the Trailblazer Award for its environmental leadership in a ceremony today at Lehigh Valley Hospital.

EPA’s Trailblazer Award recognizes hospitals in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware that have served as models for other hospitals and shown leadership in moving their facilities toward sustainable practices. These hospitals are helping pave the for all area hospitals.

“The Lehigh Valley Health Network deserves credit for taking positive steps to reduce waste, improve purchasing practices, and invest in reusable rather than disposable products,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Hospital management is successfully demonstrating leadership and innovation in reducing their environmental footprint.”

The Lehigh Valley Health Network is receiving the Trailblazer Award for establishing programs that are resulting in reductions in the health network’s carbon footprint, including an extensive recycling program; green cleaning programs; drought-resistant gardens; environmentally-preferable purchasing practices; sustainable food practices and wellness programs; LEED-certified buildings; rooftop solar panels; and computer power management and conservation programs.

Medical care in the U.S. is about one-sixth of the nation’s economy. Since 1998 EPA has been working with the healthcare sector to reduce its environmental impact and to help find solutions for reducing pollution, which can make an enormous difference in environmental health and the financial bottom line.

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