Major Components of Greening Throughout the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Today, it is imperative that regional leaders continue working to improve the health of residents, noted Oxendale. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is the largest employer in western Pennsylvania, and the second largest employer in the state of Pennsylvania. UPMC healthcare providers have a significant role in efforts to provide health information to the community.

UPMC used this role to create a vision of a comprehensive green healthcare system, one that embraces

  • constructing new high-performance buildings,

  • taking a leadership role in western Pennsylvania in educating families and schools about the effects people have on their environment and their own health,

  • applying and sharing the scientific research the hospital pursues to advance the treatment of children,

  • improving the training of medical residents in green health care, and

  • • incorporating green practices and treatment into the health care and the overall improvement of children, both in their homes and in their communities.

Part of the mission of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is to use information to leverage its activities. The hospital’s leadership goes beyond its four walls and extends into the community, said Oxendale. In conjunction with the provision of children’s health care, hospital leaders consider numerous areas of importance, including how the community lives, how the hospital is operated, how research is performed, how patients are cared for, and how the community is affected by the hospital.

Two key partners for constructing the green pediatric hospital were the Heinz Endowments and the state of Pennsylvania. They awarded the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh $5 million toward the construction of a new green hospital. UPMC is working to construct new green buildings, retrofit existing buildings, and transform health care in numerous areas, such as chemical and hazardous waste management, air quality, energy and water conservation, and housekeeping, said Oxendale.

The new hospital campus has a budget of $575 million and will be built on a 10.2-acre campus. The research building is scheduled for completion in 2008, and the hospital building will open in 2009. Approximately 60 percent of the hospital will be new construction, and the remainder will involve renovation and retrofitting of the old medical campus (Figure 6-1). The challenge is to construct a technologically advanced research building by retrofitting a partially demolished building and incorporating it with new construction. According to Oxendale, the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is among the first pediatric hospitals in the country to apply for LEED certification.

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