At HCA-affiliate Specialty Hospital, our guiding principle is primum non nocere – a Latin phrase that means, “first, do no harm.” This code applies to our patient care, commitment to community, employee wellbeing, and in this case, our environment. And, at Specialty, we believe every day is Earth Day!

We are a two-time (2014-15) winner of the Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading membership organization for healthcare institutions committed to eco-friendly practices, Partner of Change Award due, in large part, to our creation of a single-system recycling program. So, what does that mean, exactly?

It means gone are the days of separating your trash into multiple bins at Specialty. With the help of HCA’s total integrated waste program, which matches each hospital with one vendor to create sustainable waste solutions, we created an effortless program for patients, visitors and caregivers to recycle everything, except food, in one bin. Single-stream. It’s so easy some of our guests aren’t aware they are “going green.” And, we increased our trash and waste recycling rate from 21 percent in 2011 to 86 percent last year!

As a hospital, we are faced with sustainable challenges – sure. But we’ve come a long way, and we continue to look for ways to decrease our impact on the environment without reducing the quality of care.

I’m proud to work for an organization, like HCA, that is committed to environmental health and sustainability.  It doesn’t take a lot to create a “greener” home, workplace, and ultimately, planet. Start small – recycle! We at Specialty Hospital are doing our part, what are you going to do?