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DANVILLE, PA -- Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Geisinger Medical Center's (GMC) Janet Weis Children's Hospital (JWCH) solar panel project will receive a 2016 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) chose 17 organizations representing 14 projects across the state to receive the awards, which it says "represent the best in using innovation, collaboration and public service to improve and protect Pennsylvania's environment."

"Pennsylvania is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty," said Gov. Wolf. "The award winners prove that Pennsylvania is also blessed with excellent environmental stewards. I applaud every winning and nominated organization for their commitment to the commonwealth and our environment."

GMC used a $100,000 grant from West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund to fund the installation of 144 solar panels on the roof of Janet Weis Children's Hospital in the fall of 2014. The solar panel project will be formally dedicated during an Earth Day ceremony on Friday, April 22 at JWCH.

"Beyond the efficiency aspect of solar energy, this system is completely non-polluting energy, furthering our mission to reduce our facilities' carbon footprint," said Al Neuner, vice president, facility operations, Geisinger Health System. "But the main point of this project is the connection between clean power and doing the right thing for our kids' future, which is why we installed these panels on the children's hospital roof."

Over the past six years, Geisinger energy conservation initiatives such as the JWCH solar panel project have saved the system an estimated $9.2 million while simultaneously reducing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions.

"So by reducing gas emissions, people are healthier. And the beauty of that is that's part of our mission to improve health" Neuner said.

Pennsylvania businesses, schools, government agencies, trade or non-profit organizations, or agribusinesses that have completed projects to promote environmental stewardship and economic development were eligible to apply for the award.

"DEP received dozens of entries from projects using innovative approaches to solve Pennsylvania's environmental concerns," said DEP Secretary John Quigley. "The 14 exemplary projects awarded today support DEP's mission of protecting Pennsylvania's land, air, water, and public health."

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council and DEP will host a dinner to honor the award winners on April 19 at the Harrisburg Hilton.

More information about the Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence is available through the DEP release or website.

 

About Geisinger
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Geisinger is known for its focus on caring and innovative programs including the ProvenCare® best-practice approach to maximize quality, safety and value; ProvenHealth Navigator® advanced medical home; Springboard Health® population health program to improve the health of an entire community; ProvenExperience™ to provide refunds to patients unhappy with their care experience; and Geisinger’s MyCode® Community Health Initiative, the largest healthcare system-based precision health project in the world. With more than 215,000 volunteer participants enrolled, MyCode is conducting extensive research and returning medically actionable results to participants. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.