In November, Environmental Services (EVS) workers at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, NY began a journey to green this busy, regional hospital. It starts with a series of classes on ways to integrate sustainability practices into daily routines. The training is part of a labor and management approach to greening the hospital so that the workplace practices are greener, water and energy use are reduced, and waste streams are minimized.
Not only is ETS training EVS workers as part of the Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP), but starting in January we will be training workers to be trainers for their peers. We are proud to be a part of this groundbreaking effort at Crouse Hospital along with our partners, the 1199 SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund.
Background: The healthcare sector spends more than $8.3 billion on energy each year and hospitals are among the top ten water users in their communities. At the same time, healthcare facilities use a range of toxic chemicals—from cleaning products to chemotherapy drugs—and produce 1,000’s of tons of solid and medical waste each year. Some studies have documented the negative effects of low level exposure to chemicals found in hospitals on infants, children, and workers.
H-CAP is a national partnership of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) locals and healthcare employers. While working with unions and their employer partners to meet personnel needs in demand occupations, H-CAP is building a national collaboration of employers, unions, and educators for innovation and quality in healthcare career education. H-CAP is working to transform healthcare professional education so it better meets the need for quality care and personnel in a rapidly changing industry.