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Maryland Health Care Sustainability Leadership Council Elects Top Officers
The Maryland Health Care Sustainability Leadership Council (HCSLC) elected officials from Johns Hopkins Hospital and LifeBridge Health to lead a new, broad-based effort to make health care more environmentally friendly.
Colleen Cusick, director of materials management, Johns Hopkins Hospital, was elected chair and Lionel Weeks, vice president of facilities, LifeBridge Health, was elected vice chair of HCSLC, which was established this year to provide guidance and advice to hospital leaders who want to reduce waste while increasing fresh local foods. It is the first association of its kind in the nation.
HCSLC is composed of health care providers who want to lead the development of environmental and sustainability health efforts in Maryland through forward thinking, piloting of new ideas, modeling behaviors, and setting examples for others to follow. The pioneering work of HCSLC will include providing guidance and advice to sustainability professionals working in Maryland, charting the course for collaborative statewide sustainability efforts, and offering insights to creating a more vigorous marketplace.
Seventy-five percent of Maryland’s hospitals have “green teams,” staff committees who are dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of their workplace. A desire among many of these health care employees to work collaboratively facilitated the creation of HCSLC. Fourteen hospitals sent representatives to HCSLC’s inaugural meeting; 40 were participating by the third.
Her involvement with the green movement at Johns Hopkins Hospital (as co-founder and chair of their green team) and with Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, an initiative housed at University of Maryland School of Nursing, has readied Cusick to lead HCSLC in developing and implementing more sustainable practices at Maryland’s hospitals. “The HCSLC is an incredible opportunity to forge a realistic path for hospitals,” Cusick says. “I am fully committed to the HCSLC and what it can achieve with the assistance of all the members.”
Weeks has been involved with the greening and sustainability efforts of LifeBridge Health for the past four years. “As part of the HCSLC leadership team, I will be well-situated to help guide Maryland health care facilities,” he says. “I believe we need to start by finding the pulse of each individual facility to see what their strengths are and what areas of growth currently exist.”
The election results were announced at the fourth annual MD H2E conference, held at the University of Maryland School of Nursing on Nov. 10. The conference brings together executives, nurses, facilities and food managers, all with the collective purpose of making health care an environmentally friendly sector.