Greening The Cleaning
Deirdre Imus (right), President and founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology® atimus-davis115srgbthumb Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J, is welcomed at a press conference in Bridgeport by Susan L. Davis, RN, EdD, President/CEO of St. Vincent's Medical Center.
Hackensack, NJ, May 23, 2006 – Less than a month after Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell signed an Executive Order directing state agencies and authorities to begin using less toxic cleaning products to help reduce exposure to toxic ingredients and improve indoor air quality, St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport becomes the first hospital in the state to adopt the award-winning Greening the Cleaning® program.
The program is one of the most successful educational and outreach programs to date from The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology®, part of Hackensack University Medical Center, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation in Hackensack, N.J.
Greening the Cleaning® means eliminating to the greatest extent possible all cleaning agents containing hazardous ingredients and replacing them with environmentally responsible products, where available. More than 140 healthcare facilities, government authorities, businesses and schools have implemented the program since 2001, all with direct savings in cleaning costs.
True Leadership
The announcement came at a press conference at St. Vincent’s May 18.
Keynote speaker Deirdre Imus, founder and President of the Environmental Center, told the gathering, “St. Vincent’s is demonstrating true leadership in this area, and we believe it will have a profound impact across the state. Our broader mission together is more than just about cleaning, it’s about a new way of looking at the decisions we make and evaluating their impact on environmental health. Your decision here says to all who enter that St. Vincent’s is truly dedicated to creating a healing environment.”
The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology® at Hackensack University Medical Center represents one of the first hospital-based programs whose specific mission is to identify, control, and ultimately prevent exposures to environmental factors that may cause adult, and especially pediatric cancer, as well as other health problems with our children.
St. Vincent’s President/CEO Susan L. Davis, RN, EdD, said that adopting Greening the Cleaning® will be part of an overall and ongoing effort to improve patient safety and create a healthier environment for the community. Under the agreement, St. Vincent’s Medical Center will purchase cleaning products and benefit from overall guidance on “greening” the hospital.
“Deirdre Imus has earned national acclaim for her leadership in linking environmental and health issues, especially in children. She is a true expert and change agent who has not only identified a problem but also offered a solution. She has challenged institutions and government to better protect children and all lives entrusted to the hospital’s care.
We’re very excited about taking this next step in conjunction with the Imus Environmental Center,” said Dr. Davis.
St. Vincent’s has already installed energy-efficient lighting, environmentally safe wallpapers and paints, and created a green checklist to evaluate key environmental issues throughout the hospital. Recently, the Medical Center installed a digital radiology system, which will eliminate the need for x-ray film and associated chemicals. A team from St. Vincent’s is also leading a “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” campaign to continually look for ways to introduce the “green” practice into maintenance and construction projects.
Learning a Lesson
"Schools here in Connecticut should be learning a lesson from St. Vincent's Medical Center," state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said.
Dubbing Deirdre Imus "Mrs. Green,” Bridgeport Mayor John M. Fabrizi, said a pilot program is in place to build five new schools "all green."
"If a hospital, which has to worry about infection, can do it than anyone can do it," state Sen. William Finch, D-Bridgeport commented at the event.
In addition to her role as President and founder of the Environmental 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).
Last year, the Environmental 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 ( One hundred percent of after-tax profits go to the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer.
St. Vincent’s Medical Center is a 397-bed community teaching and referral hospital with regional centers of excellence in cardiology, surgery, cancer care, orthopaedics and diagnostics. It was recently named to the top 5% of all U.S. hospitals for its interventional cardiology program in 2006 by HealthGrades, an independent ranking source. St. Vincent’s has set new standards in care with the recent opening of its state-of-the-art Intensive Care and Critical Care Units and Operating Suite. In addition to incorporating the latest technology and design standards, the advances in care are backed by a patient and family-centered approach to care. The Medical Center is a subsidiary of St. Vincent’s Health Services and member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic healthcare system.
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. 
close (X)