Fort Belvoir Army Community Hospital recently won a “Partner for Change” national award for achievement and innovation in healthcare sustainability. FBCH is the first Defense Health Agency Military Treatment Facility to win this award, according to Practice Greenhealth.

Fort Belvoir Hospital’s Environmental Health Division, led by Maj. Anthony Robinson and Bruce Carlberg, assembled a “Green Team” of subject matter experts to complete the application with a very short window.

“We had a short flash-to-bang. We only had eight weeks to complete the application,” Robinson said. “We wondered if we could even do it.”

Ricardo Perez, FBCH environmental protection specialist, realized many tenants on the installation needed to collaborate in this short period to produce data. Robinson’s team managed to complete the application on time, and FBCH was the first DHA hospital to earn the award on its first try.

Maria Gamble, FBCH Environmental Protection Specialist, said sustainability is a moving target, and the team is aiming higher next cycle.

“We’re going to … increase some of our recycling of single-use medical devices in the operating room, and then we’re also going to try to win the Practice Greenhealth O.R. Award, and then win the circle of excellence award for chemicals,” Gamble predicted.

“If you can save money in recycling, you can maybe get a much-need piece of equipment or do some renovations. Everyone that we worked with is pretty excited now,” Gamble said.

Gary Cohen, Practice Greenhealth founder, said he is delighted about the ongoing benefits of this effort.

“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 Cohen.

“Fort Belvoir Community Hospital demonstrates the kind of leadership, innovation, and performance that can drive the entire health sector toward more environmentally responsible practices.”