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Cooperstown, NY – Bassett Healthcare Network announced today it has begun working with Healthcare Climate ActionWorks to develop plans to reduce the organization’s carbon emissions and become as carbon-neutral as possible. 

Dr. Tommy Ibrahim

“Part of our dedication to health and medicine means thinking beyond the traditional ways our services benefit patients and our communities,” says Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, President and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network. “As a provider of care and healing, Bassett Healthcare Network has a responsibility to practice and operate in a manner that is healthy for both our patients and the environment in which our communities reside. This need becomes more evident each day as we continue to witness the effects of climate change.”

Carbon neutrality, at its core, means establishing practices that strike a balance between the amount of carbon being emitted into the environment versus sequestered – the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide – achieving a net neutral impact on the environment. Greenhouse gases, including substances like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, trap heat in the atmosphere, causing warming. Unsustainable fossil fuels – like oil, for example, which is used to produce plastic – increase these global emissions, which are toxic to our environment.  

The healthcare industry contributes to approximately 10% of carbon emissions across the United States alone – using daily energy for processes like building heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, anesthesia gases, and vehicles and machinery. Healthcare facilities also create a certain amount of waste (medical, food, supplies and materials, and more). “At Bassett, we are taking a hard look at the ways we can make our practices more environmentally healthy and sustainable for the benefit of our patients, communities, and planet,” says Dr. Ibrahim. “This important effort will take both short and long-term planning and analysis to begin working towards our goals.”

“We are very excited to partner with Bassett Healthcare Network and support their journey to delivering care centered around environmental sustainability,” says Neal C. Hogan, PhD, Chairman and CEO of Healthcare Climate ActionWorks. “Emissions reduction improves the health of communities – and it is incumbent upon healthcare providers to take these steps towards a healthier future.” 

Bassett Healthcare Network is developing its sustainability plans in phased approaches with discovery, research, and planning. Project stages focus on executive leader and caregiver education, comprehensive emissions and waste assessments across Bassett’s facilities, renewable energy need appraisals, and strategy and implementation. Plans are being designed for long-term improvement and sustainability. 

“Healthcare – especially rural healthcare – extends beyond the walls of any hospital or clinic,” says Dr. Ibrahim. “Keeping our earthly home clean and sustainable is imperative for the future of society – and a crucial part of Bassett’s commitment to fostering healthy rural communities.”

About Bassett Healthcare Network

Bassett Healthcare Network is an integrated health system that provides care and services to people living in a 5,600 square mile region in upstate New York. The organization includes five corporately affiliated hospitals, over two dozen community-based health centers, more than 20 school-based health centers, two skilled nursing facilities, and other health partners in related fields. To learn more about services available throughout the Bassett Healthcare Network, visit www.bassett.org. Follow Bassett on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Bassett Healthcare Network is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

About Healthcare Climate ActionWorks

Healthcare Climate ActionWorks’ mission is to educate and support healthcare organizations as they embark on the next frontier of community health: delivering care at net zero. Our partners benefit from our unmatched ability to apply a proven framework for building climate strategies and identifying, analyzing, and supporting the implementation of the most impactful and successful emission reduction tactics for healthcare organizations for a brighter, net zero future.