EarthCare Sudbury Partner Profile
Health Sciences North (HSN)
Health Sciences North (HSN) offers health care services to residents of Greater Sudbury and northeastern Ontario. It is a full-service hospital providing hospital-based acute care, transitional, rehabilitation and continuing care services, as well as tertiary programs such as a regional trauma center, a regional nephrology program, a children's treatment center, a full tertiary care cardiology and cardiac surgery unit, a regional rehabilitation service, a regional oncology, and a genetics program. Health Sciences North is also integrated with the Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre (NEORCC) and is a teaching facility for the Northern Ontario Medical School affiliated with Laurentian University and Lakehead University. The hospital has an annual budget of $230 million, 3,000 employees, 700 volunteers, and a medical, dental and midwifery staff of 260.
Health Sciences North (HSN) is the result of the amalgamation of three local acute care and one psychiatric care hospital into one new organization. The new HSN campus is being constructed at the site of what was formerly Laurentian Hospital. Once renovations of the old hospital are complete and the new facility has been constructed, St. Joseph's Health Centre and Memorial Hospital will both move their operations to the Laurentian site. HSN is taking advantage of the opportunity of this fresh start to get off on the right foot when it comes to establishing the environmental footprint of Sudbury's new healthcare campus.
Over the past two years HSN has been implementing an ambitious program to maximize the energy efficiency of the hospital. As part of renovations at the former Laurentian Hospital, several hospital boilers were replaced with energy efficient models. The new boilers and economizers that were installed will heat the new 1.5 million sq.ft hospital facility using significantly less fuel than the old system would have required. The new infrastructure has a 90% efficiency rate, where the old boiler system was only at 70%. Magna-Pole magnets, which have been attached to the boilers, will assist in further maximizing the fuel economy of the new system. They have the effect of increasing the amount of energy that can be extracted from the fuel used to power the boilers.
The hospital's cooling tower has been updated with a new Envirotower system. This system cuts down on the amount of water used and allows for water recycling. It reduces the possibility of Legionella growing in the cooling tower, thereby eliminating the risk of hospital-acquired legionella infections. Chemical usage is also significantly reduced as the Envirotower is designed to act as a complete alternative to the traditional chemical treatment system.
A comprehensive lighting and showerhead retrofit has also been carried out in the old section of the hospital. In the new areas, installation of efficient lighting and low-flow shower and faucet attachments is ongoing as construction progresses.
HSN has expanded the recycling programs at all three of the hospital's sites. Items ranging from cardboard, to those that are not so typical such as plastic syringes and even scrap metal are now recycled by the hospital. Instead of being thrown out, used and obsolete equipment is now donated to Laurentian University, or to one of the colleges nearby. This includes items like building supplies and excess lumber acquired by the hospital during construction. In addition, for almost two years HSN has partnered with Cercle Missionaire de la Vallée, Canadian Food for the Hungry - International Medical Equipment Program, MEDWIN Society, and Madagascar Donations Association to send old equipment to less developed countries, where items are reused and again become valuable.
The hospital has also adopted a micro-fibre cleaning system. This reduces chemical use by 75% and is best-practiced by the Infection Control Association and the Centre for Disease Control. Furthermore, all the cleaning products used at the hospital are 100% environmentally friendly.
A new machine for terrazzo refinishing that eliminates use of chemicals and the need for waxing and buffing the floors is being debuted at the St. Joseph's site. Waxing and buffing is an energy and chemical intensive process, so HSN is hopeful that the machine does well at St. Joseph's so that it's use may also be adopted at the main hospital.
To lay the foundation for future measures to reduce operational energy demands, the hospital contracted an engineering company to conduct an energy audit of the hospital in 2005. This data is used as a baseline when measuring the effectiveness of planned changes in equipment and practices to achieve energy savings.
As a healthcare facility, HSN has an obligation to promote health and well-being. Starting with HSN staff, the hospital contracted VIP Energy, an energy management consulting firm to begin an environmental education and awareness program. The program motivated staff to remember to turn off the lights and computers at night and become more engaged in the hospital's environmental efforts. A sustainability suggestion website was created for staff to suggest measures that they think would help reduce consumption of all types at HSN. The website has been a useful tool in identifying areas where there is unnecessary lighting for instance, because staff have an intimate knowledge of the needs of their workspaces. Staff awareness has also been key in enforcing HSN's no-idling policy.
Achievements and Outcomes
- Envirotower is among the most technically advanced systems for cooling tower water treatment, and HSN is one of the very first hospitals to start using the system.
- The cleaning method HSN has adopted in the new hospital facility reduces chemical use by 75% and is best-practiced by the Infection Control Association and the Centre for Disease Control.
- Various energy reduction measures at HSN has led to a 5% decrease in energy consumption when compared to baseline data, factoring in degree days and activity levels.
HSN received Hospital Infrastructure Renewal Funding from the Ontario Government as well as assistance from Union Gas Ltd. to cover costs of infrastructure improvements at the new HSN facility.
Implementation of the EarthCare Sudbury Local Action Plan (LAP)
Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Sector
Design plans for the HSN facility include state-of-the-art infrastructure that will minimize the amount of energy used on the hospital campus.
HSN routinely purchases cleaning supplies and cleaning systems that are less harmful to the environment than conventional cleaning products.
HSN has partnered with institutions in Sudbury and outside Canada to cut down on the amount of usable, yet outdated equipment that is discarded. Additionally, with its expanded recycling program, the range of materials that HSN accepts for recycling is among the most comprehensive in Greater Sudbury.