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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Initiative looks to reduce carbon emissions by 50%

DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger’s anesthesiology department has launched systemwide initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and create greener practices.

Joining seven other systems with environmental sustainability initiatives, including Kaiser Permanente, the department will reduce waste — and continue to offer world class patient care.

“The healthcare industry, like many industries, has a significant environmental impact, with operating rooms in particular having an outsized carbon footprint,” said Matthew Desciak, M.D., department chair of anesthesiology. “Disposable equipment has become popular over the past decade for many reasons, but this has led to large volumes of waste and a complicated lifecycle from manufacturing to shipping to elimination.”

Environmental plans can have a tremendous impact in systems as large as Geisinger. The reliance on disposable equipment makes sense for some devices, but there are opportunities to reduce the reliance on disposables and use more advanced reusable equipment.

Geisinger will be looking for opportunities to switch from disposable to reusable for products like laryngoscopes, circuits, and medical gowns. This will allow for higher quality products and a reduction in the department’s carbon footprint associated with large-scale manufacturing. The change will also eliminate a substantial amount of waste.

“Our hope is to reduce the use of anesthetic gases by 50 percent, which will have the largest impact on reducing our carbon footprint. Using an anesthetic gas at typical flow rates for an eight-hour day has the equivalent environmental impact of driving a car from Danville to Mexico making this an incredibly important goal for the department,” added Dr. Desciak. 

These initiatives are already in place at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and will continue to roll out systemwide throughout the year. 

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

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Randi Hines
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