The Harrison Green Team

Healing the Community and the Earth

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Donors to the Great Nurses for a Great Community Campaign led the way for the debut of the Versant RN Residency Program at Harrison in 2009. A program that helps nurses transition from the classroom to the bedside. Introduced at Harrison in 2009 to improve the recruitment and retention of nurses, Versant program has now proven that its effects are much further reaching than first imagined.

One of the unexpected outgrowths is the Greening Harrison Initiative spearheaded by Versant alumni, Ilana Gubarik, BSN; Elyse Snelson, BSN; Elizabeth Willis, BSN; and Julie York, BSN.

Attempts to institute recycling at Harrison have been made before but have never really taken off. Recently, however, this enthusiastic team of nurses decided to revive the program and join many other hospitals in their efforts to become more environmentally friendly—an accomplishment that ultimately leads to better patient health. Research has shown that 85 percent of hospital waste could be composted, reused, or recycled. The mission of the new Green Team, therefore, is to encourage staff to increase their accountability to the community by pursuing alternative and innovative waste management strategies and purchasing policies that will decrease pollution output at Harrison. Reducing pollution requires action in three different areas: decreasing the amount of overall waste produced; increasing the amount of waste that is disposed of in an environmentally conscious way; and using products that do not release harmful pollutants into the air, water, or soil.

The Green Team is currently implementing or researching ways to accomplish all three of these goals. The Greening Harrison initiative is not only steering Harrison toward a healthier environment for patients and staff, it is also helping the hospital move forward in its Journey to Magnet designation. This important recognition by the American Nursing Credentialing Center is awarded to healthcare organizations that exemplify exceptional care and excellence in nursing. One of the Magnet requirements is that staff actively participate in research projects based on the latest evidenced-based practice data and implement a change that demonstrates an improved outcome. The Greening Harrison project was a result of the collaboration of Versant alumni who saw the potential to bring greater care to both patients and the environment. We are grateful to the donors who supported the Great Nurses for a Great Community Campaign as it has become a gift that keeps on giving through these nurses’ commitment to creating better healthcare.

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The Greening Harrison initiative is not only steering Harrison toward a healthier environment for patients and staff, it is also helping the hospital move forward in its Journey to Magnet designation.