The CAHME/Canon Solutions America Award is inspired by Canon Solutions America’s contributions to a sustainable society. It serves to incorporate the ideals of sustainability in future healthcare leaders. The award recognizes the significant influence of education on creating sustainable, inclusive and socially responsible healthcare organizations. For this fourth year of the award, the Blue Ribbon Panel designated two organizations to receive the award — the University of Missouri Department of Health Management and Informatics and the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The Master of Health Administration (MHA) program in the Department of Health Management and Informatics (HMI) at the University of Missouri School of Medicine integrates quality graduate healthcare management education with innovations in sustainability and social responsibility. The university has signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, with a goal of becoming a carbon neutral campus. It has engaged in sustainable construction with 5 LEED Platinum and 6 LEED Gold buildings. Since 2008, it has grown its campus renewable energy use from 1% to 42%.
Sustainability is supported by curriculum development and alumni participation. The University’s Sustainability Office works to ingrain sustainability principles of social equality, environmental stewardship and economic prosperity while integrating campus operations, academics and research. Collaboration among students, faculty and staff provides support, resources, leadership and education to address sustainability issues both on and off campus. The practices of this office have earned the University a Gold Rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).
Missouri plans to use its grant to support additional curriculum development, collaborative projects, and guest speakers for the purpose of enhancing student experiences and competencies related to sustainability.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Health Policy and Management houses the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Gillings’ commitment to sustainability ideals and social responsibility is reflected in its orientation, competency model, curriculum, alumni engagement and experiential learning opportunities. In fact, a comment from a student orientation feedback survey fueled a turning point for the program:
“My biggest suggestion is to cut down on waste a bit – although there was recycling, MOST people had water bottles and could have gone without the many, many plastic bottles. …the plates were Styrofoam and many of the flatware items were plastic-wrapped. This is not a criticism, but rather an opportunity for the health policy department to recognize the role that being eco-friendly can have in promoting community health and well-being.”
The program then created and implemented sustainability goals for future orientations. Goals included the reduction of plastic bottles at all HPM events, the consideration of the environmental impact in all event planning activities, and the promotion of a culture of environmentally sustainable practices. The end result was a significantly reduced amount of waste at HPM events.
Gillings plans to use its grant to further support integrating sustainability into its program through guest speakers, sustainability events, and curriculum development around sustainability.
Award Winners will be honored at the Annual Awards Luncheon held at ACHE Congress on March 22, 2020 at 12 p.m. in Chicago, IL. Register for the luncheon here. Modern Healthcare’s January 27, 2020 edition also featured the award winners. Congratulations to these award winning programs that are advancing the quality of healthcare management education!