Atlantic Health System one of only 12 systems recognized nationwide by Practice Greenhealth
MORRISTOWN, NJ – JUNE 2023 – Atlantic Health System was one of only 12 health systems in the United States to recently receive Practice Greenhealth’s prestigious System for Change award, recognizing the health care organization’s accomplishments in environmental sustainability. Each of Atlantic Health System’s medical centers also received Environmental Excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth and this year added a facility to the list of those recognized.
Atlantic Health System’s Chilton Medical Center, Morristown Medical Center and Overlook Medical Center again received the Greenhealth Emerald Award, which recognizes outstanding hospitals from within the Partner for Change applicants. This competitive award recognizes the top 20 percent of applicants and is focused on advanced sustainability programs and exemplary scores in a range of categories. This year, for the first time, the organization’s Hackettstown Medical Center also received the Emerald Award.
Atlantic Health System’s Newton Medical Center again received The Greenhealth Partner for Change Award recognizes superior performance in environmental sustainability, covering a range of different sustainability programs and activities. Winners have also made substantive progress on mercury elimination. Also, for the first time, the Morristown Medical Center Ambulatory Surgery Center (located adjacent to the hospital) received this award.
All five of Atlantic Health System’s medical centers and the Ambulatory Surgery Center received the Greening the OR Recognition Award, which honors facilities that have made substantial progress in reducing the impact of the surgical environment. Overlook Medical Center was also honored with recognition in special categories with the Food Circle of Excellence Award, and Leadership Circle of Excellence Award.
Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care, highlighting success in making health care operations greener. Atlantic Health System has been recognized by Practice Greenhealth consistently for several years, for a myriad of innovative solutions designed to lower the New Jersey-based health care organization’s impact on the environment.
“Integrating sustainability into how we deliver care is one way we can very directly, effectively improve the health of our communities, which make our environmental efforts central to how we operate,” said Carolyn Brown-Dancy, executive director of environmental health and safety-sustainability for Atlantic Health System. “These awards, at each site and for the system, reflect how our team members and our organization have truly embraced the importance of being environmentally responsible.”
Atlantic Health has pursued sustainability in numerous ways throughout the years, from recycling to utilizing environmentally-friendly materials throughout the organization. Additionally, Atlantic Health System in 2022 formally committed to pursuing the Biden administration’s climate goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
In recent years, significant investments in infrastructure have been made in implementing renewable, sustainable energy as a reliable power source for its hospitals. A prime example of this are the solar carports currently being installed throughout the system.
The installation of the solar panel-topped carports, which began in 2022, is estimated to save the organization 8,282 Megawatt hours (MWh’s) per year in energy. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the estimated solar energy created will be equivalent to:
- 5,870 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide
- 1,277 Passenger vehicles driven for one year or more than 14 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle
- 1,066 homes’ electricity use for one year
The organization has also lowered its environmental footprint with the installation of a “co-gen” power plant at Morristown Medical Center. As with the similar plant previously installed at its sister hospital, Overlook Medical Center, co-generation power operates by using natural gas to power a turbine that generates electricity for the hospital. The by-product of the turbine is heat, which is then converted to steam, which is used by the hospital’s boilers for heating and hot water throughout the facility. In the winter, when demand is lower, the plant can meet nearly all of the hospital’s electricity needs, spanning 1.4 million square feet across 30 acres. In the summer, when heating is not required, the boilers can continue creating hot water for sterilization needs. Working in tandem with the hospital’s emergency generators, the gas-fired plant also offers the added protection against potential electrical outages from public energy.
“In a shifting health care landscape, a focus on sustainability can help build resilience while better protecting the health of patients and the community,” said Gary Cohen, Practice Greenhealth founder. “Atlantic Health System demonstrates the kind of leadership, innovation, and performance that can drive the entire health sector toward more environmentally responsible practices.”
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. Learn more at practicegreenhealth.org.
About Atlantic Health System
Atlantic Health System is at the forefront of medicine, setting standards for quality health care in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New York metropolitan area. Powered by a workforce of 19,000 team members and 5,440 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey including 12 counties and 6.2 million people. The not-for-profit system offers more than 400 sites of care, including its seven hospitals: Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ, Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ, Hackettstown Medical Center in Hackettstown, NJ, Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute in Madison, NJ and through its partnership with CentraState Healthcare System in Freehold, NJ.
The system includes Atlantic Medical Group, part of a physician enterprise that makes up one of the largest multispecialty practices in New Jersey with more than 1,600 physicians and advance practice providers. Joined with Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners they form part of Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network of more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ.
Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health care needs through 24 urgent care centers, Atlantic Visiting Nurse and Atlantic Anywhere Virtual Visits. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.
Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of six regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability and is a founding member of the PIER Consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research – a streamlined clinical trial system that will expand access to groundbreaking research across five health systems in the region.
Atlantic Health System has a medical school affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University and is home to the regional campus of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Morristown and Overlook Medical Centers and is the official health care partner of the New York Jets.