Monday, November 5th, 2012…a meeting of leaders takes place to discuss their vision of the future.  No, thankfully, it was not another U.S. Presidential Candidate debate (not that I have anything against the U.S., Presidents or debates), but rather it was the panel at this year’s Green Health Care session at the Ontario Hospital Association’s HealthAcheive.

Presided over by Dave Crockett, Vice-President of Integrated Facilities Management at London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care in London, Tracy Buckler, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Care Group in Thunder Bay was there stating that the minimum goal for all of their new buildings was LEED certification.  Cameron Love, Senior Vice-President of Operations and Clinical Programs at the Ottawa Hospital spoke about the three principles that were important to his organization…three principles that echoed the “triple bottom line” refrain of “people, planet, profit”.  And Dr. Reuben Devlin, President and CEO of Humber River Regional Hospital in Toronto, spoke about the commitment to “LEAN, Green and Digital” as his hospital undergoes a major redevelopment.

Sure, there was talk about organic gardens, waste reduction initiatives and energy efficiency projects that have saved Ontario Healthcare millions of dollars, but what struck me the most was the common themes that emerged…that in order to “green” your hospital (or any organization for that matter), you needed strong leadership and support from Management, that you needed to engage your staff, that you need to build a business case for what you do and, most importantly, that a healthy environment equals healthy people…which is what health care is really about, isn’t it?

And while all of the speakers spoke about the vision of sustainability that guided them, Dr. Devlin summed it up nicely when he said that it was important understand that hospitals have the ability to lead the way to a more sustainable future.

All in all, a group of leaders I would be happy to vote for…