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Photo Credits: Kent Waddington

The carpets were unrolled, the banners were hung, the annual Green Health Care Schmooze was a smashing success.  The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) Health Achieve conference in Toronto this week was the meeting point and people travelled from far and wide to connect and catch-up at the largest hospital convention of its kind in North America.  What is extra ordinary about Health Achieve is the long-standing  relationship with the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care – Happy 10th Anniversary!!!  What is utterly remarkable is the evolution of that relationship over the last 10 years and the growing interest in Green Health Care from med students, to HR managers, to VPs to board chairs…and all those in-between.

The Coalition booth on the exhibit floor and the anchor of the Green Lane has always been a gathering place.  Where colleagues from around the province and country meet and exchange stories about trash, and toxics and energy only an environmentalist would love.  I have been attending Health Achieve for 9 years – and never have I seen such a buzz about the Coalition booth in general and the Green Lane in particular.  By the looks of it, people are ready for what we have been talking about these last 10 years.

Those of us that have been banging out the options, implementing innovative solutions and raising the bar get a real boost to see the next generation of experts emerging from their respective disciplines and facilities.  Those of you who are getting your first taste of the possibilities and feel the change in the air must be equally excited to know you are not alone – this can be done – and we are the ones to do it.

In addition to the Green Lane which helps to showcase the businesses that have made a commitment to help protect the environment with their products and services; OHA also hosts the Green Health Care session and the Green Health Care awards.  This trifecta of green is popular with 100s of delegates not just the choir.  In the past, the Green Session keynote has been delivered by David Suzuki and Justin Trudeau.  Dozens of health care facilities have been acknowledged during the award ceremony in 4 different categories (UHN has won in every category over the years).  But I want to congratulate this year’s 4 deserving winners.

Energy Efficiency London Health Sciences Center

Waste Management – Chatham-Kent Health Alliance

Individual Leadership – Leslie Carson, St. Joseph’s Health Center (Guelph)

Overall Leadership – St. Joseph’s Care Group (Thunder Bay)

What a great schmooze it was – hopefully the oomph that was generated in two short days together will sustain us all till next time we meet.