Mercy Health — St. Rita's Medical Center
Mercy Health — St. Rita's Medical Center

LIMA — As a mission-based organization, Mercy Health – St Rita’s Medical Center has a continued commitment to the health and wellbeing of the patients and communities it serves. That includes a commitment to developing a sustainable culture through environmental stewardships and working with others to protect the environment and communities’ health now and for future generations.

Through efforts coordinated by a collaborative council of multi-disciplinary stakeholders across our ministry, Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) and Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center have implemented system-wide sustainable initiatives that earned environmental excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth, a leading sustainability member organization for hospital networks.

Mercy Health - St. Rita’s Medical Center was recognized as a Greenhelath Partner for Change. In all, 31 hospitals across the BSMH ministry received either the Partner for Change or Partner Recognition Award from Practice Greenhealth.

“Our teams at St. Rita’s believe that we are here to care for our communities, and that means more than just the health of the people that live here. It also means taking care of our environment,” said Ronda Lehman, president, Mercy Health – Lima. “I’m so proud of the work that has been done and continues to be done to ensure future generations enjoy our community as much as we do now.”

Some of the recent changes made at St. Rita’s leading to this recognition include:

An increase in electric car stations on campus, including free charges for employees with electric cars.

Saving energy through the investment of energy efficient windows and a fully insulated roof when undergoing renovations at the medical center.

Tree planting on the medical center campus as part of the St. Rita’s celebration of Earth Day 2022.

Water runoff in campus pond used to irrigate the property.

Additionally, in 2021, St. Rita’s received the EnergyStar award for the fourth consecutive year noting that the medical center was 79% more energy efficient than similar structures nationwide.

“Our ministry has made substantial improvements and enhancements around the campus that have resulted in greater energy efficiency, benefitting our environment,” added Matthew Etzkorn, vice president, Mission, Mercy Health – Lima. “It is gratifying for our teams to know their decisions and actions now contribute to the health of future generations—this is our common home.”

BSMH won the System for Change Award, which recognizes health systems that are working cohesively to set system-wide sustainability goals, track performance data, benchmark, and support intra-organizational learning and implementation within their institutions.

Major health system successes that led to the award include:

Achieving system-level recycling at Practice Greenhealth’s median percentage; BSMH’s average of 27% exceeds Practice Greenhealth’s target with five BSMH hospitals performing above the 90th percentile.

BSMH eliminated the use of desflurane as an anesthetic gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, translating to the avoidance of approximately 1,671 metric tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.

“I feel very grateful that so many people across the ministry have helped to demonstrate our commitment to strengthening our connection to our mission through sustainability. Receiving such an abundance of accolades speaks volumes to the environmental stewardship within our culture. It is clear that we are a ministry that diligently cares for our common home,” said Noah Dunlap, vice president of insights and innovation, Bon Secours Mercy Health and Advantus Health Partners, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bon Secours Mercy Health.

These successful initiatives illustrate the commitment BSMH has to instilling a sustainable culture in every area of health care.

“In a shifting health care landscape, a focus on sustainability can help build resilience while better protecting the health of patients and the community,” said Practice Greenhouse Found Gary Cohen. “Bon Secours Mercy Health and its hospitals demonstrate the kind of leadership, innovation, and performance that can drive the entire health sector toward more environmentally responsible practices.”

About Practice Greenhealth

Practice Greenhealth is a nonprofit membership organization founded on the principles of positive environmental stewardship and best practices by organizations in the health care community. Practice Greenhealth provides information, tools, data, resources, and expert technical support on sustainability initiatives that help hospitals and health systems meet their health, financial, and community goals.

About Mercy Health - Lima

Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center, is part of Bon Secours Mercy Health one of the 20 largest health systems in the United States and the fifth-largest Catholic health system in the country. The ministry’s quality, compassionate care is provided by more than 60,000 associates serving communities in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia, as well as throughout Ireland. Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center has been providing quality health care to the people of Allen County and west central Ohio since 1918. The mission of Mercy Health is to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of our communities and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underservedTogether with more than 3,000 employees, physicians and volunteers, the ministry provides quality, innovative, compassionate care to the community. For more information, visit mercy.com.

About Bon Secours Mercy Health

Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) is one of the 20 largest health systems in the United States and the fifth-largest Catholic health system in the country. The ministry’s quality, compassionate care is provided by more than 60,000 associates serving communities in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia, as well as throughout Ireland. Bon Secours Mercy Health provides care for patients more than 11 million times annually through its network of more than 1,200 care sites, which includes 50 hospitals. In 2021, BSMH provided more than $600 million dollars in community investments across five states, ensuring that cost is not a barrier to health care for our patients in need. In addition to charity care, BSMH invests in programs that address chronic illness, affordable housing, access to healthy food, education and wellness programs, transportation, workforce development and other social determinants of health that directly affect the communities we serve. The Mission of Bon Secours Mercy Health is to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of its communities and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved. For more information, visit https://bsmhealth.org/.