Lisa Vanlint presents Getting to Green by Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care
Lisa Vanlint presents Getting to Green by Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care

Not long ago, I was looking forward to a lovely trip to Nova Scotia to chat with some local health care leaders on how to get their organizations to green. “Chat” is a bit of an understatement as it was an all-day workshop. I don’t think I’ve ever talked as much in my life (friends may disagree with that statement). Happily, 27 healthcare leaders from all across Nova Scotia came to Antigonish on March 21 to learn and swap stories. They had all sorts of backgrounds…surgical, nursing, housekeeping, facilities and even information technology.

The day started with a good base introduction to sustainability and went onto building an action team, change management and communication techniques. It being super-friendly Nova Scotia, people were keen to open up (a great load off my shoulders as I worried no one would talk). We also dealt with healthy foods, leaner energy, reducing waste and ended the day with smarter purchasing. Who doesn’t like shopping…especially when you shop green?

Dr Brennan
Dr. Brennan presents on OR Waste

My favourite part of the day was the O.R.  Recycling presentation by guest speakers Dr. Michael Brennan and Cathy Ferguson, Operating Room Manager for St. Martha’s Hospital. They put on quite a show of the tremendous amount of single-use-stuff that goes into even the most minor surgeries.  By the end of the presentation, imaginations were filled with possibilities for the swaths of discarded blue wrap. I was happy to watch and learn (and enjoy some delicious homebaking in the process).

Blue Wrap Contest Ideas

None of this could have happened without the support of Liz Millet, CEO of GASHA, and the work of local event coordinator Lisa Mullin (whose day job is Director of Information & Communication Systems for GASHA). Lisa was really pleased with the day, noting “From the comments I heard… the training day was very well received – there was great comradery and enthusiasm. The participants arrived for the day with a commitment to greening their organisations, and ended the day with new energy and ideas and a renewed sense that what they were doing was making a difference.”

To learn more about attending or hosting a Getting to Green Workshop by the Canadian Coalition for Green Healthcare, visit: