Education and Outreach

Greening UH for a Healthy Community

Education and outreach programs extend the impact of every one of our sustainability initiatives as engaging employees as well as the community into sustainability efforts as positive contributors to public health resonates with individuals. Greening UH regularly creates and extends communications through an employee Web page, social media, and posted online and print materials while soliciting feedback from employees via an online contact form, email address and grassroots green teams. Key interactive events, employee wellness incentives tied to sustainability programs, the recognition of highly engaged employees as “Green Health Heroes,” and the opportunity for managers to gain Sustainable Leadership training through an all-day workshop called the Sustainability Training Certificate Program are all ways that Greening UH empowers employees to embrace and “own” sustainability initiatives themselves.

Greening UH communication tools


Greening UH website
UH Facebook
UH Twitter
UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Facebook
UH Rainbow Babies Twitter

Tip: Search #GreeningUH on Facebook and Twitter!

Collinwood Painted Rain Barrels

While examples of engagement programs are listed throughout this report, below are specific highlights from engaging employees and community members in regional water conservation efforts and promoting tap water as a healthful beverage during 2015, Sustainable Cleveland Initiative’s Year of Clean Water:

  • Collinwood Painted Rain Barrels display and stormwater education in UH Case Medical Center Atrium. Local artist, Linda Zolten-Wood, commissioned other artists to join her in creating art out of rain barrels as a way to bring community awareness to stormwater issues related to Lake Erie.
  • Collinwood Painted Rain Barrels
  • 750 employees signed an individual Pledge to Avoid Disposable Water Bottles and earned wellness incentives, paralleling the organizational pledge made by University Hospitals to decrease plastic water bottle use along with other organizations in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
  • UH Case Medical Center hosted a “Why I Drink Water” Gallery Art Display by Cleveland Municipal School District students from Luis Munoz Marin School on the Westside and Case Elementary School on the Eastside in partnership with Healthy Cleveland and Dwellworks.
  • “Why I Drink Water” Gallery Art Display by Cleveland Municipal School District students
  • “Be Well With Water” This plastic pollution and water wellness event was held in collaboration with UH Nutrition Services and UH Connor Integrative Health Network and with community partners Alliance for the Great Lakes, Sustainable Cleveland, Bay Village Green Team and Highland Hills Green Team. Employees and community members were invited to sample micro-bead-free face scrubs and learn how plastic microbeads and other plastic pollutants are affecting Lake Erie, as well as what actions can be taken to prevent that pollution.
  • “Scrubbing Lake Erie Clean” This innovation workshop led by UH Sustainability at the Sustainable Cleveland Summit focused on plastic pollution in Lake Erie and engaged high school students, civic leaders and engaged citizens in discussion and interactive solution-seeking for plastic pollution prevention. A youth-created plastic pollution awareness video and an active community-based Plastic Pollution Working Group resulted from this session.

Other Employee Engagement Program Highlights from 2015

  • Earth Day Celebrations: organized by employees at nine medical centers and the Management Services Center
  • National Bike Challenge Program: employees rode bikes for recreation or transportation, earning wellness points and prizes
  • Food Day, October 24: antibiotic-free meat served at 11 UH cafeterias
  • Employee Eat Real Food photo contest (Fall): over 100 photos depicting images of fresh and healthy food were submitted by employees
  • Energy Challenge (Fall/Winter 2015/Spring 2016): 537 employees participated in this individual challenge to reduce energy consumption at home and at work through the winter months, in alignment with UH’s own energy-reduction goals
  • Sustainability Is… video: produced in 2015 captured UH employees’ definitions of sustainability and earned the top number of hits of any featured UH video

Facility Highlight: UH Samaritan Medical Center

The sustainability committee at UH Samaritan Medical Center created a highly interactive and engaging presentation that educates staff on current sustainability efforts at the hospital and is now a featured component of new employee orientation.

2015 Progress Report on Sustainability

2015 Progress Report on Sustainability

View the online report or download the summary. You can also view our archived progress reports here.

13 Environmental Excellence awards

UH earned 13 Environmental Excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth, including the prestigious System for Change award. The awards recognize our health system’s achievements in environmental-sustainability programs and improvements during 2015.

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