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Three hospitals reduce energy use by more than 10 percent

Saint Thomas Health hospitals among 18 nationwide recognized for cutting energy consumption

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- April 29, 2013– Baptist Hospital, Middle Tennessee Medical Center and Saint Thomas Hospital are the only hospitals in Tennessee and among only 18 care facilities in seven states that won recognition from the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association for cutting energy consumption more than 10 percent—an accomplishment that not only helps the environment but also allows hospitals to direct more resources to patient care. 

The hospitals, members of the Saint Thomas Health family of hospitals, reduced emergency consumption by: 

  • 25 percent at Baptist Hospital
  • 10 percent at Middle Tennessee Medical Center
  • 15 percent at Saint Thomas Hospital 

The recognition from ASHE is part of the Society’s Energy Efficiency Commitment (E2C) program, which encourages hospitals across the country to reduce their energy consumption by 10 percent or more in a 12-month period in support of the goals of the Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR® Challenge. 

The 18 hospitals—which were recognized by ASHE ahead of Earth Day on April 22—used various strategies to save energy. Saint Thomas Health strategies have included:

  • Closely monitoring and adjusting energy usage on chillers and boilers – which are the largest energy users in each hospital.
  • Continually evaluating capital investments for opportunities to improve efficiency and operations as part of an ongoing sustainability effort.
  • A focus on central energy plant operations, including electricity, natural gas, heating, cooling and steam generation. Weather forecasts are evaluated well in advance to enable facilities maintenance department employees to decide the most efficient manner of operating equipment and utility systems to minimize the amount of energy used.
  • Conducting a daily review of energy use and adjusting strategies to further reduce energy use.
  • At Baptist Hospital, existing interior/exterior lighting has and is being converted to LED lighting where feasible.
  • At Middle Tennessee Medical Center, staff reduced simultaneous heating and cooling areas of the hospital, as well as closely managed the integrity of the building envelopes or areas where outside air can enter the building.
  • At Saint Thomas Hospital, existing chillers were updated and replaced, rather than investing in all new equipment that would have added energy cost. 

“I’m proud of our team for buying into this and making a difference in our energy consumption,” said Damian Skelton, vice president of Facilities and Real Estate at Saint Thomas Health. “The daily focus is absolutely critical to savings. Heating and cooling often accounts for as much as two-thirds of a hospital’s energy bill so there is real money to be saved.” 

Several facilities have been previously recognized through the program for lowering energy consumption and were recognized again this spring for saving even more energy. It is the fourth straight time that Baptist Hospital has been recognized by ASHE and the first time for Middle Tennessee Medical Center and Saint Thomas Hospital. 

ASHE Executive Director Dale Woodin, CHFM, FASHE, said ASHE is honored to recognize each of the E2C award winners. 

“These hospitals should be celebrated for making energy efficiency commitments that have shown real results,” said Woodin. “Hospitals across the country may face different energy challenges, depending on their location, age, and other factors. But the E2C program shows that health care facilities can significantly cut energy use regardless of their situation, and the first step is making a commitment to do so.” 

Additional information on ASHE’s E2C initiative is available at http://www.ashe.org/e2c/. A list of E2C winners since the program began in 2006 is available at http://www.ashe.org/e2c/rec/awards.html

About Saint Thomas Health

Saint Thomas Health is Middle Tennessee’s faith-based, not-for-profit health care system with more than 6,500 associates. Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the health care experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes – Baptist Hospital, Saint Thomas Hospital and The Hospital for Spinal Surgery in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville – and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit www.sths.com.             

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