Sustainability goals and accomplishments

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center focused on five sustainability goals: Facilities, Information Systems, Nutrition Services, Environmental Services, and Human Resources. While these goals and their corresponding strategies specifically targeted the unique opportunities to further sustainable practices throughout the medical center, they are also aligned with The Ohio State University’s overall vision for sustainability. Our accomplishments are grouped according to the medical center’s Strategic Plan goals: Healthy Communities, Research, Resource Stewardship, Talent and Culture, Education, and Healthcare Delivery.

Healthy Communities - Improving the health of community residents

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center works with dozens of organizations each year to improve the health of individuals throughout the community, across the state and around the world. The medical center’s community efforts center on six areas where care is needed most: chronic diseases, infectious diseases, infant mortality, mental health and addiction, access to care and obesity.

Healthy Communities - Garden of Hope provides cancer-fighting produce to cancer survivors

Founded in 2012, the Garden of Hope continues to provide cancer survivors and their caregivers hands-on opportunities to tie wholesome nutrition directly to their health. Located on Waterman Farm, this two-acre garden enhances cancer survivors’ access to freshly grown fruits and vegetables that are rich in cancer-fighting properties.

Healthy Communities - Mobile education kitchen launched

In May 2018, The OSUCCC – James launched its Mobile Education Kitchen food truck to educate the public about healthy, cancer-preventing foods and to demonstrate simple preparation methods.

Funded with a $500,000 gift from Celebration for Life, an annual event chaired by Judy and Steve Tuckerman and benefiting The James Fund for Life, the Mobile Education Kitchen is staffed by chefs and dietitians and travels to community festivals, fairs, athletic events and other consumer events to deliver hands-on nutrition education.

Research - Impacts of a plant-based diet on oral cancer prevention

A multidisciplinary team has developed a novel black raspberry nectar to assess its effect on oral health of current smokers and those who have never smoked. Biologicals such as plaque scrapes, urine, blood and oral brush biopsies are obtained from those exposed to either a black raspberry nectar or a placebo nectar. A total of 148 subjects have enrolled in the 12-week study: 56 male and 64 female nonsmokers, 19 male and nine female smokers. This study shows the significant impact of black raspberries on oral cancer prevention and the benefits of a plant-based diet. In addition to the health benefits, black raspberries can be locally sourced, which not only saves time and money but also reduces the amount of pollution from vehicles bringing in produce from out of state.

Talent and Culture - Our green team

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Green Team is a group of 148 staff volunteers who support sustainability initiatives throughout the organization. From organizing events and educational opportunities to launching and managing projects to improve sustainability, the Green Team helps bring together research, education and patient-care groups to raise awareness of the medical center’s five sustainability goals. Volunteer members of the Green Team champion the organization’s sustainability initiatives by informing their colleagues on the status of various activities and by advising them on what actions they can take to contribute meaningfully to these goals.

Resource Stewardship - 50 tons of coffee grounds composted annually!

On August 1, 2018, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center began composting coffee grounds at all of its BistrOH! locations. More than 50 tons of coffee grounds will be composted annually.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Resource Stewardship - Our facilities are gaining ground on setting energy star benchmarks

The Ohio Hospital Association’s (OHA) Energy and Sustainability Program benchmarks hospitals throughout the state, issuing awards to high-performing hospitals. Each year, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center participates in OHA’s Energy Cup, which allows Ohio hospitals to compare their ENERGY STAR scores anonymously with other Ohio hospitals. Of the 16 hospitals statewide with 600 beds or more, the medical center ranked seventh. Contributing to Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s ENERGY STAR ranking, a total of 16 percent of the medical center’s overall electricity supply now comes from renewable resources (such as renewable, wind, solar and hydroelectric).

Talent and Culture - Cleaning up the Olentangy River Watershed

In April 2018, The Ohio State University and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center joined forces to offer staff and faculty a week of activities dedicated to environmental efforts. This “Week of Action,” led by Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW), drew staff members, who removed debris from the Olentangy River Watershed. Additional work that day in the Olentangy Watershed included removing invasive species from a natural pond next to the medical center’s West Campus parking area.

Education - Internal Medicine Grand Rounds on climate change

At this event, Aaron Wilson, PhD, senior research associate at The Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center (BPCRC), shared the most recent findings related to climate change and the associated health impacts to the Internal Medicine Department grand rounds.

Melvin Creeley Award

On June 5, 2018, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center was awarded a 2018 Melvin Creeley Environmental Leadership Award as part of the Ohio Hospital Association’s (OHA) Energy & Sustainability Program. The medical center was one of 17 honorees for this award, as well as one of 10 finalists considered for OHA’s 2018 John Chapman Award, which recognizes a hospital or health system for demonstrating excellence in initiating or supporting pollution-prevention programs.

FY 18 28% Diversion Rate

FY 18 $2,327,961 Cost Avoidance

FY 17 $215,908,004 Community Benefits*

*Activities that represent and impact services across patient care, research and education