Blake Medical Center blazed environmental trail with expansion

Manatee’s hospitals have a long tradition of going green.

Blake Medical Center was the first hospital in Florida to be named a Green Building Site when it embarked on the $45 million expansion of its surgery center and campus expansion project in 2004. Working in collaboration with Manatee County government and the Environmental Protection Agency, the project implemented strategies for conserving water, optimizing energy and recycling building materials.

Now complete, Blake’s surgical wing is a model for other hospitals to follow.

In addition, Blake has instituted the following programs:

n Share-A-Ride program: Employees have the opportunity to explore carpooling opportunities with other employees through an internal computer system.

n Plastic bottle and aluminum can recycling: Employees, physicians and visitors are encouraged to drop off their bottles and cans at any of the recycling containers around the hospital.

n Cardboard box recycling: 900-pound bales are made in Blake’s own baler and recycled.

n Shredded paper: All shredded paper is recycled.

n Batteries, fluorescent light bulbs And refrigerants: Freon released into the atmosphere can deplete the ozone layer so the hospital reclaims Freon rather than releasing it.

n Reusable cutlery: Food Services now provides cutlery in an effort to reduce the use of plastic silverware.

n Non-toxic cleaners And disinfectants: Only non-toxic formulas are used for cleaning purposes.

n High efficiency lighting: As a result of an energy conservation project, the hospital has been outfitted with more efficient lighting.

n High efficiency equipment that use less energy: High efficiency air conditioning equipment has recently been installed.

n Virtual information dissemination: Employees can access all necessary policies, forms and information by logging on to the hospital’s intranet and the hospital uses audio visual equipment to share materials at meetings therefore reducing the need to distribute printed copies.

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Manatee Memorial Hospital is also going green with the biggest project being the construction of its new patient tower that provides patients with state-of-the-art, energy-efficient private rooms.

Manatee Memorial’s other energy conserving programs include:

n Recycling of all containers and boxes, cans and bottles.

n Pharmaceutical waste disposal program in accordance with EPA standards to reduce hazardous waste going into landfills/water supplies.

n Soap dispensers are all now manual instead of battery operated.

n Use of environmentally friendly floor care products.

n Reprocessing of patient items that are allowed under FDA policy.

n Printer maintenance company has a pick up/recycle of toners

n Hospital maintenance program that both recycles and/or disposes of property, batteries, fluorescent lights, ballasts and televisions.