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Improving environmental health on the Alaska Native Health Campus

April 29, 2016
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At ANTHC, we recognize the critical link between the health of our environment and the health of our people. Our Environmental Health and Engineering programs have helped improve environmental health in communities across the state, and now we are bringing that spirit to improve the environment at the Alaska Native Health Campus.

To celebrate National Earth Day and promote smoke-free air and cigarette butt litter prevention, the ANTHC Tobacco Prevention Team helped clean our campus of cigarette butt litter. Current reports indicate that cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded waste product in the world, and it is estimated that 1.69 billion pounds of butts end up as toxic trash each year, creating environmental, health and economic concerns. The Alaska Native Health Campus is a smoke-free area. Free tobacco quit services, including consultation and pharmacotherapy (gum, patches and other prescriptions), are available by calling (907) 729-4343 or 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

In the coming weeks, we will also be offering more recycling availability on campus. This is part of a broader campus recycling and sustainability plan to be better stewards of our resources from procurement to disposal in ways that benefit our people and our organization. Recycling is available at most ANTHC buildings for staff and visitors, but we will be expanding the recycling program to public and patient areas of ANMC hospital.

Finally, we are committed to using sustainable design and development techniques in our facilities to promote healthier, safer and more eco-friendly environments. When the Healthy Communities Building was constructed, it incorporated designs that conserve energy and water as well as lowered operating costs which earned it a Silver LEED certification by the United States Green Building Council, which administers the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, or LEED, program.

The remodel of the Healthy Communities Building’s third and fourth floors are embracing this environmentally-friendly approach by reusing materials that might have otherwise been demolished or discarded. Existing office fixtures we relocated or repurposed such as the Human Resources reception desk moving from the front entry to inside the Human Resources department and shelving moved from to staff areas in the Diplomacy building.

These efforts are not only important for the health of our campus and our people, but are also important for the health of our organization. When we save resources at ANTHC, those savings are directed back into the operations of the Consortium.

For more information about the ANTHC recycling and sustainability plan, contact Heather Whisamore, ANTHC Campus Environmental Quality Assurance Manager, at hrwhisamore@anthc.org.


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