Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System
GCVHCS Receives Environmental Excellence Award
BILOXI, Miss. – The Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System’s (GCVHCS) was recognized in May by one of the leading membership and networking organizations for sustainable health care.
Practice Greenhealth, an organization designed to deliver environmental solutions to hospitals and health systems across the United States, named the GCVHCS a 2020 Greenhealth Emerald Award recipient, a designation recognizing outstanding medical organizations from within the Partner for Change applicants.
“Sustainability is at the heart of our healing mission – and we’re proud to share that our sustainability strategies have won us a national award,” said Jason Mangum, a GCVHCS industrial hygienist and Green Environmental Management Systems (GEMS) manager. “At GCVHCS, we know sustainability is essential to better care for our patients, communities and planet.”
Mangum added that the award marks the fifth time GCVHCS has been recognized for its environmental stewardship and said that only GCVHCS and the Fayetteville VA Coastal Health Care System were the only Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 16 recipients of the 2020 Practice Greenhealth Emerald Award.
The award, recognizing the top 20 percent of applicants, is focused on advanced sustainability programs. Mangum said GCVHCS strategies to address sustainability included minimizing and recycling waste, addressing chemicals of concern, lowering energy and water consumption, sourcing food and products sustainably and establishing environmentally preferable purchasing criteria.
“Awards such as this truly represent a team effort,” he said. “The continued practices we have in place are the result of GCVHCS employees doing their part to ensure that the care we are providing to the Veterans we serve is environmentally friendly and sustainable – an effort which directly positively impacts the quality of care we offer.”
Mangum said that GCVHCS initiatives such as photovoltaic panels on roof-tops, water reduction devices on sinks, departmental electric vehicles and the recycling of resources such as metals, wood, plastics, electronics and construction debris were all contributing factors in the organization being recognized for its environmental sustainability.
The Emerald Award is part of the larger Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards, a recognition program for environmental performance in the health care sector. Launched in 2002, the awards program recognizes health care facilities and health systems for their commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability achievements.
The Biloxi Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, along with the Mobile, Pensacola, Eglin and Panama City VA Clinics are all part of the GCVHCS, which is headquartered in Biloxi, Mississippi, and provides a variety of medical outpatient services to more than 70,000 Veterans.