Press Releases: National
October 1, 2008
Kaiser Permanente Opens Environmentally Friendly Hospital in Modesto, Calif.
One of the country's "greenest" hospitals brings jobs to California's Central Valley
GREEN ENERGY UPDATES
Modesto, Calif. – Kaiser Permanente opened its most environmentally friendly hospital to date to patients and staff today in Modesto, California, bringing more jobs to the San Joaquin Valley, and expanding Kaiser Permanente's convenient health care offerings and sustainable building design.
Kaiser Permanente's Modesto Medical Center has earned national recognition as one of the "greenest" health care facilities in North America. The 670,000-square-foot hospital features energy-reducing materials and advanced green hospital furnishings and fixtures that use fewer toxic chemicals. Other design features, notably liberal use of natural light, promote health. And the hospital will open fully equipped with the electronic health record, KP HealthConnect™, eliminating the need for paper records.
"Modesto Medical Center exemplifies Kaiser Permanente's commitment to environmental stewardship," says Gregory A. Adams, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan/Hospitals, Inc., in Northern California. "Building greener hospitals is the right thing to do for our communities, just as it's the right thing for our patients and our employees."
Modesto Medical Center also is helping to bring jobs and economic growth to California's Central Valley. Kaiser Permanente expects to add more than 1,000 jobs at the hospital by the end of the year.
Modesto Medical Center is one of several new hospitals for Kaiser Permanente. The organization is investing close to $24 billion in construction projects through 2014, with 26 major hospital projects planned to be completed nationwide by that date.
"Kaiser Permanente is committed to building health care facilities that are safe for patients, workers and the environment," says Christine Malcolm, Kaiser Permanente's senior vice president, National Facilities Services. "We also are pleased that the choice of green materials and building techniques has helped us to save money."
Industry-leading green features at Modesto Medical Center include:
- Permeable pavement that covers much of the parking area allows rain to filter into the ground, recharging groundwater levels and filtering chemicals from runoff. This is the largest installation of permeable pavement west of the Mississippi.
- Solar panels on top of the attached medical clinic that shield the rooftop mechanical equipment from view and generate 50 kilowatts of electricity – enough to power up to 20 homes. Parking lot lighting also is solar powered.
- Reflective or "cool" roofing that saves energy and money because the light color deflects heat from the sun.
- Air supply that is kept fresher because it is drawn solely from outside air, and because the facility uses materials that don't give off harmful fumes.
- Rubber flooring that replaces vinyl in much of the building. Rubber is preferable to vinyl because it does not leach toxins, nor does it need to be waxed or stripped with harsh chemicals. Rubber flooring also provides better traction (fewer slips and falls), generates less noise, and offers more cushioning underfoot for patients and staff.
- Carpeting throughout the hospital that is free of potentially harmful PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and is backed with recycled safety film from car windshields. Kaiser Permanente worked with the carpet's manufacturer, C & A Carpet (Tandus), to create the product, the first of its kind in the industry. Tandus now markets the carpet to other hospitals.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.