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News | May 8, 2024

WAMC Receives Award for Environmental Excellence

Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC) received the prestigious Stryker Sustainability Solutions Environmental Excellence Platinum Award for its outstanding efforts in reprocessing single-use medical devices in fiscal year 2023.
This achievement has resulted in significant cost savings and waste reduction, aligning with the hospital's commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. WAMC saved a total of $983,118 and diverted 12,994 pounds of waste from our local landfills.

Like many hospitals across the nation, WAMC is focused on growing sustainability programs to reduce the environmental footprint without compromising patient safety or quality of care.
“One of the most impactful initiatives is the reprocessing of single-use medical devices,” said Brandy Mitchell. “This allows us to purchase and reuse single-use medical devices that would otherwise end up in landfills.” Mitchell is the Directorate of Logistics Clinical Analyst and Single-Use Device Reprocessing Manager at WAMC.

Reprocessing includes all operations performed to render a contaminated reusable or single-use device patient-ready. The steps include disassembling, cleaning, labeling, repackaging, disinfecting and sterilization.

WAMC initiated the single-use device reprocessing program in 2008 as a cost-saving measure and to reduce the amount of waste being generated. The success of the program is attributed to the commitment of the hospital commander, staff, and numerous departments.

In 2012, the Directorate of Logistics became the first Department of Defense (DoD) facility to embed a full time Clinical Analyst into their section for procurement and sustainability operations. To date the program has saved WAMC $8 million and diverted over 130,000 pounds of waste.

“Twice a week a Stryker Sustainability Solution technician collects, packs and ships out the collections, said Mitchell. “Numerous medical product lines are collected but WAMC currently purchases the sequential compression device sleeves, pulse oximeter sensors, electrode leads and cables, trocars, harmonics, ligasures, tourniquet cuffs and ultrasonic scalpels.”

The initiative has shown a long-standing commitment to sustainability excellence with six consecutive years of being number one for single-use medical device reprocessing across the DoD and nine consecutive years as an awardee of the Stryker Sustainability Solutions Environmental Excellence Healthy Hospital Award. Additionally, this year the program is being showcased as a WAMC and DHA Sustainability Best Practice at the Practice GreenhealthCleanMed 2024 premier health care sustainability conference.

Stryker Sustainability’s partnership with the National Forest Foundation for Products for the Planet has allowed numerous trees to be planted on behalf of WAMC’s sustainability efforts to support reforestation in areas with the most significant environmental concerns.
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