Parkridge Health System Pilots “Greener” Pharmaceutical Waste Management Program

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September 27, 2010

September 27, 2010 - As part of a commitment to community health and environmental stewardship, Parkridge Health System has become the first hospital system in Chattanooga to implement a new Pharmaceutical Waste Compliance program aimed at minimizing the environmental impact of hospital waste on groundwater supplies.

“The program that the Parkridge hospitals are using will help to ensure proper capture and disposal of both hazardous and non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste,” notes Parkridge pharmacy manager Tina Corbitt. “By collecting all prescription waste, the program cuts back on the amount of pharmaceutical materials going into the trash.”

More than 1,500 drugs were approved by the Food and Drug Administration from 1993 to 2009, and recent studies have shown that over 41 million Americans are exposed to detectable levels of pharmaceuticals in their drinking water supplies. In response to these troubling statistics, many government agencies are enacting stiff new policies to reduce the amount of prescription waste that leaches into groundwater.

“In beginning this program, the three Parkridge hospitals are putting themselves ahead of the compliance curve for pharmaceutical waste disposal,” said Frank Bradford, Parkridge Director of Pharmacy. “The goal is 100% capture of all pharmaceuticals at Parkridge Medical Center, Parkridge East Hospital and Parkridge Valley Hospital. We want to be more than compliant, as it will help prevent pollution of local water sources and make our staff, patients and community safer.”

The process of pharmaceutical waste compliance is not easy, nor is it inexpensive – the prescription waste must be properly characterized, sorted and transported to an appropriate facility for documented disposal. The investment is more than worth it, according to Parkridge Health System. “It is the right thing to do for our community and our environment,” says Bradford. “The long-term benefits of a program like this far outweigh the costs.”




About Parkridge Health System

Parkridge Health System is a multi-campus facility which includes Parkridge Medical Center, Parkridge East Hospital and Parkridge Valley. Parkridge Medical Center, our main campus on McCallie Avenue, offers comprehensive acute care services including cardiology, oncology at our Commission on Cancer approved Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, complete surgical services including the first robotics surgery program in the region, award-winning orthopaedics, and Emergency Services Department designated as an Accredited Chest Pain Center. Parkridge East Hospital is a full service hospital located in East Ridge and provides the best in obstetrics including Neonatal Intensive Care, surgical services including robotics, orthopaedics, and gynecological procedures, as well as an Emergency Services Department also designated as an Accredited Chest Pain Center. Parkridge Valley, our behavioral health facility, offers mental health services for children, adolescences and adults as well as treatments for addictive disorders. We are a family of hospitals for your family. To learn more, visit www.ParkridgeMedicalCenter.com or contact MedLine at (800) 242-5662.

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