Sustainability in Hospitals: A Framework for Memorial Hospital of South Bend

Adam Uppendahl

Uppendahl Hospital

My capstone project sought to identify unique benefits to implementing a sustainability program in a hospital setting and applied these findings to produce the Sustainability Committee at Memorial Hospital of South Bend. Sustainability is a broad term that seeks to benefit the common good by benefiting the environment, the economy, and the people. This approach has been applied to nearly every field of work, including healthcare. In the healthcare setting, sustainability programs have been found to benefit the local environment substantially, which in turn leads to financial benefits and improved patient outcomes within the hospital.

The Sustainability Committee at Memorial Hospital provides the hospital with a centralized structure to develop and maintain a practical and effective sustainability program. While the primary focus of this committee is to minimize the hospital’s environmental footprint, it also results in financial and patient benefits within the hospital. My capstone project outlined the basis for the development of the committee at Memorial Hospital, and how the program could continue to develop and grow over time. It also specified policies for the Sustainability Committee to follow and highlighted case studies for Memorial Hospital to emulate. Overall, my capstone project provided Memorial Hospital with the tools it needed to develop and maintain a strong sustainability program, which now strives to serve as an example for other hospitals throughout the United States.