Leonard Taylor, vice president, facilities management; Virginia Thompson, EPA, Denise Choiniere, sustainability manager and creator of the University Farmers' Market.
Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency and other environmentally conscious organizations, such as Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, partner to present Trailblazer Awards to hospitals in the region that have served as models and shown leadership in advancing sustainability practices in their daily operations.
In 2009, the University of Maryland Medical Center was named a winner of the Trailblazer Award for its establishment of a University Farmers' Market. By hosting a farmers' market, UMMC and its partners helped to improve the availability of fresh, locally grown food to employees, patients, visitors and area residents and businesses.
Purchasing food from local farmers not only supports the local agricultural community and the local economy, but it also decreases "food miles," which helps to cut down on fuel consumption, greenhouse gases, air pollution and the likelihood of related diseases, including asthma, lung disease, lung cancer and heart disease.
The hospital was recognized as a winner at the Environmental Excellence in Health Care conference on Friday, November 6, 2009, at the University of Maryland School of Nursing located at 655 W. Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD.
To learn more about the First Trailblazer Education Session hosted by the UMMC Green Team, click here