Author Archives: bpanikkar

Take The Healthy Food in Healthcare 2015 Survey

Our colleagues at Health Care Without Harm want to hear from you about your work in bringing healthy food to healthcare by Friday April 17. Attached below is is a copy of an email sent to encourage health care facilities to complete the 2015 Survey. To find the survey itself, please go to the following link:

Message from Health Care Without Harm:

Every other year we work to benchmark the progress health care facilities are making towards our shared vision of healthy food in health care.

Whether you are a Healthy Food in Health Care pledge signer or are doing great work at your facility, we applaud your health system’s commitment to a sustainable, healthy food system.

Please take a few moments to complete the Healthy Food in Health Care 2015 survey and share your work with us. We’ll compile all the information and share this story nationally and with key partners.

Why take the survey?

• Help us to aggregate the health sector’s story by illuminating trends, identifying best practices, and influencing supply chain partners.
• Highlight your progress in the 2015 Menu of Change Report. We will use the data and stories we collect in this new report benchmarking sustainability in health care foodservice.
• If you are pledge signer, this survey is part of your commitment to sharing your progress with us.
• This year’s survey is short and simple, and if you have already completed Practice Greenhealth’s Environmental Excellence Awards application, you can skip those questions you already answered there.
We look forward to reading your responses. And remember, the survey closes Friday April 17.


Rhode Island’s New Organic Waste Law

Last year, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed legislation banning the disposal of organic waste materials (i.e., food waste) beginning January 1, 2016. After that date, all “covered entities” (which includes hospitals) that produce at least 104 tons of organic waste materials per year – the equivalent of two tons per week – must recycle all such materials at a Department of Environmental Management-authorized composting facility, or anaerobic digestion facility located within 15 miles of the entity that has available capacity to accept such materials. Its intent is to establish a safe and environmentally sound method to dispose of food residuals in order to minimize the production of greenhouse gases, recover the nutrient value of food and extend the capacity of landfills.

The law can be viewed at

H2ERI and HARI are partnering to assist hospitals in understanding and complying with the new law. On February 19, hospital representatives from Providence to Westerly convened at the monthly H2ERI meeting to learn and discuss the new legislation. Chris Shafer and Beverly Migliore from DEM attended the meeting to answer questions from the group.

On March 12, the group met again as Jason King, Director of Food and Nutrition Services from The Miriam Hospital presented his experiences piloting a food dehydrator. Jason described in detail how the EcoVim machine was operationalized for a trial period of 3 weeks.

A second presentation from Bill Kratzer from featured and in-depth review of Bio High Tech equipment which reduces organic waste into a grey water. The EcoSafe machine runs on continuous feeding batches. The process is a non-grinding, pre-processing using a natural bacteria. The machine requires warm water and a drain. Chris Shafer of DEM, expressed concerns that the use of this machine would not be in compliance of the organic waste bill.

The next meeting of H2ERI is on April 16 at 9:00 a.m. at the HARI offices in Cranston, RI. The agenda of the meeting will include a review of the law by an attorney recently hired by HARI.

For more information about upcoming meetings or the Organic Waste Law, please contact either Monica Anderson or Amanda Barney. Contact information is below.

Monica Anderson                                               Amanda Barney                  
(401)-793-2120                                                   (401)-946-7887, ext 111

Amanda Barney Co-Chairs Hospitals For A Healthy Environment, RI

In  August of 2014, Bindu Panikkar founding co-chair of H2ERI announced her departure from Rhode Island for a new job in Canada. As the founding co-chair of H2ERI, Bindu worked tirelessly to network with the community, educate and facilitate conferences, meetings, and so much more. Bindu Panikkar will be sorely missed and we wish her success in her new endeavors in Alberta Canada.

In January, Amanda Barney stepped up to become the new co-chair of Hospitals For A Healthy Environment, RI. Amanda is the Vice President of Communications and Member Services of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island.

Amanda Barney joins Monica Anderson in leading the state wide initiative to bring hospitals together to share best practices in environmental efforts and to collaboratively work toward more sustainable healthcare practices in Rhode Island. Many thanks to Amanda for her vibrant leadership in this role.

The Guests Were Dressed In Blue

April 24, 2014 and The Blue Wrap Ball was a night to remember. Thanks to the kind sponsorship of Pizza Gourmet, the guests enjoyed local, sustainable and delicious fare while showing off their blue wrap fashions.
Dr. Michael Fine presented Environmental Awards to Kent Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital for their hard work in several sustainability projects. Barbara Morse Silva from WJAR channel 10 helped judge the entrants on the blue carpet crowning The Miriam Hospital team with the best group award.
Special thanks to Mary Bucco, Maggie Hatzpanian, Kimberly Clarke, John Stoddard, Karen Dalton, Beverly Migliore from DEM, Bonnie Combs, Sandra Lee and everyone else who contributed to such a fun event.

New Event:

Rain Garden Workshop for healthcare and federal facilities at the Brockton VA in Brockton MA, June 7&8 2012.