Hackensack, NJ, May 8, 2006
– The regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center™ at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation in Hackensack, N.J., for its recent contributions to environmental health with a Region 2 Quality Award.
The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center™ at Hackensack University Medical Center represents one of the first hospital-based programs whose specific mission is to identify, control and ultimately prevent toxic exposures in the environment that threaten our children's health.
The EPA award highlighted recent “Green Building” efforts. Leading by example, the Environmental Health Center’s Greening the Cleaning® program eliminates, to the greatest extent possible, cleaning agents containing hazardous ingredients and replacing them with environmentally responsible products, where available. Additionally, HUMC’s Sarkis & Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which opened in December 2005, exceeds the U.S. Green Building Council’s guidelines for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
The Environmental Health Center advised HUMC on environmental materials and processes that are contributing to superior indoor air quality at the pavilion, which is one of the first environmentally-responsible “green” hospitals in the country. The new pavilion recently received a “Top 10 Green Hospital” ranking from the Green Guide Institute.
Recent efforts by Deirdre Imus and the Environmental Health Center have helped usher in “Green Cleaning” Executive Orders from the governors of New York (Jan. 2005) and New Jersey (Jan. 2006) as well as related legislation in NY State (NYS A8742) and New York City (Intro 552). Ms. Imus has been urging the governors of other states to follow suit, and Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell recently signed a similar Executive Order.
These government initiatives direct state agencies and authorities, as well as schools, to begin using less toxic cleaning products to help reduce exposure to toxic ingredients and improve indoor air quality.
The Environmental Health Center at HUMC was one of six award winners in New Jersey. “These remarkable winners are catalysts for environmental change in local communities. Their exceptional efforts demonstrate that by reducing waste and preserving our precious natural resources, each of us can make great strides in improving the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg.
“We are very proud of the work that Deirdre Imus and her organization are doing to bring Green Building concepts into wider practice, to improve indoor air quality, and to eliminate environmental toxins. She is making a difference not only here in the NY Metro area, but around the country,” said HUMC president and chief executive officer John P. Ferguson.
Greening the Cleaning®
The Environmental Health Center operates the award-winning Greening the Cleaning® program, one of the center’s most successful educational and outreach programs to date. More than 120 healthcare facilities, government authorities, businesses and schools have implemented the program since 2001, all with direct savings in cleaning costs.
Last year, the Environmental Health Center also helped introduce a household line of Greening the Cleaning® products, now available at supermarkets and mass merchandisers nationwide and through Imus Ranch Foods (www.imusranchfoods.com). One hundred percent of after-tax profits go to the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer.
In addition to her role as President and founder of the Environmental Health Center, Ms. Imus is co-founder and co-director of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer, a 4,000 acre working cattle ranch in northern New Mexico, which provides the experience of the American cowboy to children suffering from cancer and various blood diseases, and to the siblings of children who have been victims of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Hackensack University Medical Center is a nationally recognized healthcare organization offering patients the most comprehensive services, state-of-the art technologies, and facilities. A leader in providing the highest quality patient-centered care, Hackensack University Medical Center has been recognized for performance excellence encompassing the entire spectrum of hospital quality and service issues.