Good Samaritan Medical Center’s Nutrition Services Team Honored by the Environmental Protection Agency
Efforts to Reduce Food Waste Help Combat Climate Change
On January 27, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized notable, innovative achievements of only 18 businesses across the nation that participated in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge in 2020 and 2021. Good Samaritan Medical Center’s Nutrition Services team was honored as a national award winner for its efforts to prevent food waste.
Leanpath was the waste recovery program launched at Good Samaritan in 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the leadership of Natosha Jergensen, director & general manager of Nutrition Services, the entire Nutrition Services team was engaged in the process to identify opportunities and develop strategies to reduce the amount of food waste.
It was a challenging time yet they overcame hurdles. A critical challenge was continued turnover in the executive chef position, which the team relied on to drive this program. With each change, the team continued to embrace the food waste prevention program because they truly believed in the importance of the initiative. Each of the chefs contributed, and by the end of 2020, the team knew that, regardless of what was going on at the director level, they were making a valuable impact and stayed committed to the progress of Leanpath.
The data clearly demonstrated the team had achieved their goals. In 2020, they reduced food waste by 25 percent, which equates to 6,290 pounds of food. The team also saved more than 5,240 meals through composting equivalent to preventing 20 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. They finished 2020 by embracing Good Samaritan Medical Center’s “Good Sam Goes Green” initiative, implementing composting, and transitioning from disposable kitchenware to compostable or recyclable serviceware, from straws to containers. In 2021, another 50 metric tons of CO2 was prevented, demonstrating the program was not only successful, but sustainable. The good work continues into 2022.
“Our success with waste reduction throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is truly a testament to our team and their resiliency, consistency, and hard work,” said Natosha Jergensen who spearheaded the initiative. “We believe sustainability isn't just a trend, and we are committed to improving our efforts daily. We see it as our mission now and in the future.”
About Good Samaritan Medical Center
Good Samaritan Medical Center is an award-winning, 234-bed acute-care hospital in Lafayette, CO. Opened in 2004, Good Samaritan brings comprehensive, quality care to everyone in Boulder County and northwest Denver. Good Samaritan is a Level II Trauma Center, a Joint Commission Primary Stroke and Chest Pain Center, a Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery, and a designated Baby-Friendly Hospital. Based on a culture of caregivers who put patients and families at the center of everything they do, Good Samaritan has become one of the highest-rated and most trusted hospitals in the communities we serve.