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Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center

 

Green Environmental Management Systems

Mann-Grandstaff Green Environmental Management System (GEMS) 
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to delivering quality health care to our nation's Veterans. Recognizing that accomplishing this mission includes a great deal of fiscal accountability, the VA is committed to reducing environmental risk factors and associated expenses by focusing on new ways to prevent pollution, reducing waste, and conserving natural and cultural resources. Following the VA's lead, the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington is employing processes to affirm that environmental accountability is integrated into day-to-day decision-making and long-term planning goals.
Image of the Earth on a Leaf 
The Mann-Grandstaff VAMC Green Environmental Management System (GEMS) was established June of 2005 as the facility's governing environmental policy. This policy guides and encourages Mann-Grandstaff VAMC employees, at all levels of the organization, to be good stewards of the environment by complying with all applicable environmental requirements; preventing pollution; reducing waste; conserving energy, water, and other natural and cultural resources.

Cartoon of a Doctor Examining a Green Building

 
Part of the GEMS process includes instituting new and improving current processes to eliminate, minimize, or mitigate adverse environmental impacts in order to minimize expenses associated with hazardous material management and expenses associated with trash management. The new program is facilitated by a GEMS committee that is comprised of members from all levels of the organization. The Committee meets regularly to evaluate current environmental conditions and also to evaluate new or needed environmental proposals. The process has led the Mann-Grandstaff VAMC to establish numerous recycling processes for materials that were historically considered hazardous waste or general waste. In addition to the typical recycling streams for office paper and aluminum cans, the facility has also found ways to recycle numerous new materials including fluorescent light bulbs, used oil, batteries, cardboard, wood and organic materials.
Future GEMS changes will include additional natural and cultural resource conservation and affirmative procurement/green purchasing (requiring purchase of material with recycled material content). The GEMS process is seen as a major step in continuing the VA tradition of ensuring environmental compliance is an important component in long range planning, purchasing, and operating decisions, wherever practicable. For additional Information concerning the Mann-Grandstaff VAMC GEMS program please contact Laura Sliger, Mann-Grandstaff VAMC GEMS Manager at 509-434-7403 or via email at Laura.Sliger@va.gov.