Zoutman: Climate change risks are universal. Climate change poses major threats to human health and everyone is at risk, Dr. Dick Zoutman told an audience at Belleville General Hospital. Dr. Zoutman is Quinte Health Care’s chief of staff, an emeritus professor of Queen’s University, a medical microbiologist and infectious diseases expert, and was the guest speaker at the Belleville General Hospital Foundation’s lecture series. “The health impacts are significant... and they affect all of us. We could see drought; we could see storms. In the Quinte region, we have seen Lyme disease, which we haven’t seen before," he said in an interview. Read more
To improve patient diets, the doctor is in … the kitchen. More and more primary care doctors are using the kitchen as the place to prescribe a powerful medicine: healthy food. With poor diets linked to many deaths from preventable diseases, research has found that changing diet and becoming more active can be more effective than medication in preventing disease. Read more
Creating Healthy Retail Food Environments in Health Care Facilities. Hospital workers experience an 8.6% higher burden of illnesses such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and obesity than the general U.S. workforce. Although patient meals are carefully calibrated for their nutritional profile and tailored for specific diets, food and beverages sold in hospital retail settings are often out of line with dietary recommendations. Click here to read Healthcare Without Harm's document Creating Healthy Retail Food Environments in Health Care Facilities
How to Divest a Health Institution. Hospitals with endowment funds have the ability to impact climate change through their investments. This document from Britain's MEDACT (similar to Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in the US) is a tool for helping health institutions divest from fossil fuels and make climate-smart investment choices.
The report acknowledges the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) for being one institution that has already divested! Download your copy here.
Are you ready for the climate change impact? An article by the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care. Canadian health facilities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the negative  impacts of climate change, which can disrupt facilities’ services and care delivery.
Extreme weather events (e.g. storms, floods, wildfires, heat waves) can create  emergencies by damaging infrastructure, compromising access to critical resources  (e.g. medical supplies and equipment; transportation; food; and water) and  threatening the safety of patients, visitors and staff. Climate change also increases  risks to Canadians from some vector-, water- and food-borne diseases and it is  expected to worsen air quality in many communities. Read the full article.
Infrastructure and Buildings Working Group: Adaptation State of Play Report. The Infrastructure and Buildings Adaptation “State of Play” project provides an overview of state of adaptation in Canada and the activities underway in the infrastructure and building sectors. The project has drawn on input from a variety of key infrastructure and adaptation experts in Canada, literature reviews, includes input from the IBWG. In this 2017 report, various gaps and opportunities have been identified as well as potential options for addressing them. Read the report.
Boston Hospitals Lead Nation in Greenhouse Gas Reductions. A recent Health Care Without Harm report  highlights how Boston-area hospitals cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent between 2011 and 2015. They’ve already surpassed climate goals established by the city and Massachusetts, which aimed for a 25 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2020. Even better: Boston health care facilities are on track to reduce emissions by a remarkable 47 percent by 2020 as compared to business-as-usual energy growth. That’s equivalent to eliminating the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 42,220 passenger vehicles. Read more
Indoor Environment Quality and You. Keeping people healthy, happy, and productive at work is critical for any organization; probably none more so than a hospital. But making an indoor environment healthy for human occupants is not as simple as it seems. A recent study called  “The Impact of Green Buildings on Cognitive Function” was a partnership between Harvard, Syracuse University Center of Excellence, and the SUNY Upstate Medical School. They tested participants in a green building environment and in a conventional working environment by modifying the VOC levels and CO2 levels over the period of six days. They found that people working in green building environments performed 61% to 101% better in cognitive function tests, and identify productivity increases of 10% or 15% and reductions of absenteeism of 35%. Read more.
Retrofitting your building makes plain business cents. Retrofitting buildings makes economic sense, and not just because of lower operating costs: green buildings can fetch higher rents and retain occupants longer. Moreover, as the cost of carbon increases, more sustainable buildings will have a clear advantage in terms of reduced GHG emissions. A study of Bentall Kennedy’s North American real estate portfolio of more than 300 buildings found that environmentally friendly office properties commanded nearly 4 percent higher rent. Read more

The BPS reporting portal is open for the 2017 reporting period under O. Reg. 397/11. Public Sector organizations are required report on their 2015 energy consumption by July 1, 2017.  Information on how to complete the annual energy and GHG report, along with the dates and times for Ministry-hosted webinars, can be found in the toolkit area by logging into the Ministry of Energy’s Portal. Contact BPSsupport@ontario.ca if your require further information.

Registration for HealthAchieve 2017 Now Open!
Global health care and business leaders come to HealthAchieve to be empowered by the potential that change holds. They seek new ways to push boundaries that move the health care system forward, to learn from and collaborate with industry leaders and innovators, and, ultimately, to change lives by helping to create a high-performing health system that is truly focused on putting patients first.

This year, HealthAchieve will be in the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre over two days, November 6 and 7.

Register today and save with early bird rates!


  National Health Leadership Conference
Value-based healthcare: Embracing a patient and family-centered approach     

June 12-13, 2017      
Vancouver, British Columbia
This conference is the largest national gathering of health system decision-makers in Canada including trustees, chief executive officers, directors, managers, department heads and other health leaders representing various sectors and professions in health regions, authorities and alliances, hospitals, long-term care organizations, public health agencies, community care, mental health and social services. As well, the conference draws participants from government, education and research organizations, professional associations, consulting firms and industry.

The conference will include two sessions dealing with sustainability issues: 

1. Finding and Framing the Value of Food in Health Care, offered by NOURISH program participants Shelly Crack from Haida Gwai Hospital and Michelle Nelson from Covenent Health and leaders from the McConnell Foundation Beth Hunter and Hayley Lapalme. See more info at: http://www.nhlc-cnls.ca/sessions/10/ 

2. Come Hell or High Water: Building Resilience, Managing Risk and Gaining Returns from Climate Change, presented by the Coalition's Green Health Leader Neil Ritchie, Deanna Fourt from Island Health and Angie Woo from Lower Mainland Health. See more detail at: http://www.nhlc-cnls.ca/sessions/14/

  Call for Applications to    Al Gore's next Climate Reality training session !
  Date: June 27-29, 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington

Join the Climate Reality Leadership Corps for training and work with former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators to learn about what’s happening to our planet and how you can use social media, powerful storytelling, and personal outreach to inspire audiences to take action. Come for three days and leave with the tools to change the world.

Climate Reality Leadership Corps Trainings are completely self-funded by attendees. There is no fee to attend the training, but you will need to pay for your own travel and lodging. During the training, The Climate Reality Project will provide all training materials.  To become a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, you must be accepted and attend the training.

Applications are now being accepted! Apply  HERE.

Knowledge Sessions
Accelerating Circular Economic Behaviour and Waste Reduction in the
IC&I Sector
Thursday, June 8, 2017 
Beanfield Centre, Toronto

Waste reduction is a key performance indicator for environmental performance and facility management efficiency. Given the direct links between waste elimination, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and growing policy interest in advancing Canada's circular economy, there are exciting opportunities to rethink procurement practices, on-site operations, and customer and vendor relations. 

That's why Recycling Council of Ontario convened an advisory committee made up of leading organisations that own and manage significant real estate portfolios in Canada to acquire further insight on the opportunities and barriers to improve waste reduction and advance circular economy practices in the IC&I sector.

Through discussion and deliberation, the Advisory Committee identified areas of interest that will form the basis of the Knowledge Sessions: Accelerating Circular Economic Behaviour and Waste Reduction in the IC&I Sector.

RCO Member Rate: $300
Non-Member Rate (early bird to May 25): $375
Non-Member Rate (May 26 - June 6): $425

Register Now.

Do you have a photo or story for The Green Digest? Send to samantha@greenhealthcare.ca.