KALAMAZOO, MI – For the sixth-consecutive year, Borgess Medical Center has received the Environmental Leadership Award from Practice Greenhealth, a national organization for health care facilities. Borgess is in the prestigious Sustained Members category of Practice Greenhealth, a distinction reserved for the top 2 percent of hospitals nationally.
“Once again, everyone within Borgess Health helped us achieve this honor,” said Eric Buzzell, Vice President, General Services & Property Management and TSI. “This teamwork resulted in 1,000,000 less kilowatt hours of energy use per year, recycling at even better pace than ever before and, when appropriate, choosing to use reusable instead of disposable items.
“Our collective efforts save the environment and save money,” Buzzell said. “Avoiding waste is part of our heritage that extends back to 1889 when the Sisters of St. Joseph ‘re-used’ a mansion on Portage Street to create Kalamazoo’s first hospital.”
A Healing Garden is a relatively new element of our environmentally friendly work, according to Buzzell.
“The Borgess Medical Center courtyard (surrounded by Borgess Mission Integration, 1West and the Lawrence Education Center) has been transformed into an organic vegetable garden,” Buzzell said.
“It’s a half-acre plot of land that produced 3,820 Juliet tomatoes last year,” said Buzzell. “Due to the good work of Sharon Ritchie, Borgess Mission Integration, Richard Harrison, Borgess Master Gardener from the Maintenance Grounds Department, and many other volunteers (and the donation of plants from Wenke Greenhouses), we’ve enlarged the garden and added green peppers, squash, cucumbers, beans and a variety of flowers to beautify our BMC campus.”
The resulting produce from the Healing Garden will be distributed to: Ministry with Community, Hospitality House, Kairos, Congregation of St. Joseph and the Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry.