Austin Parks and Recreation Department
Texan by Nature is excited to recognize Texas Health Resources as a 2022 TxN 20 honoree for their leadership in conservation and sustainability. Texas Health Resources’ commitment to conservation, their projects, programs, best practices, and lessons learned are an example and inspiration for us all.
Honoree Industry and Size: Healthcare – Enterprise
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest non-profit faith-based health systems in the United States and cares for two million individuals annually.
Company Overview: Texas Health Resources (Texas Health) is one of the largest faith-based nonprofit health systems in the U.S. and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served (2 million annually). Texas Health is headquartered in Arlington, Texas, and has a team of 25,000 employees in 16 counties across 30 hospital locations that serve as acute care, short stay, rehabilitation and transitional care facilities that are owned, operated, or a joint-venture with Texas Health. The system also has 395 community access points through physician offices, behavioral health facilities, and surgery, imaging, urgent care, and fitness centers. The Texas Health mission is to improve the health of people in the communities it serves and aims to operate sustainably through operational effectiveness, innovative care, and a high-performing culture. In 2021, Texas Health invested more than $927 million into charity care and community benefit (financial contributions, grants, in-kind donations and employee community volunteer hours).
In 2022, Texas Health ranked No. 37 on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list and was the highest ranked health system on the list, as well as No. 1 for the eighth consecutive year on Fortune’s 2022 Best Workplaces in Healthcare list. Texas Health is on the 2022 People Companies that Care list and received two prestigious awards from the American Hospital Association for its community health improvement efforts — the 2021 Dick Davidson NOVA Award and the 2022 Foster G. McGaw Prize — and was named a Healthy People 2030 Champion by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. The Texas Medical Association also named Texas Health Physicians Group as a recipient of its 2022 John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award, recognizing its virtual visits initiative, and the American Society for Health Care Risk Management awarded Texas Health its 2022 Risk Management Patient Safety Award.
What is your Texas Health Resources’ mission and why is it important to your culture?
The Mission of Texas Health Resources is to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve and optimizing our environment of care is one way in which we accomplish that mission. Conservation of resources is vital to Texas Health’s long-term sustainability and to the well-being of the people living in the communities we serve. We always strive to be mindful of our footprint, implement constant sustainability efforts, and consistently look for ways to improve.
As a health system, optimizing conservation is much more than simply using less energy and water. It’s about providing the most affordable, accessible, and appropriate resources that improve people’s health. Not only is conservation about making strategic investments to operate more efficiently and consume fewer materials, but it is also about reducing health disparities, addressing social determinants of health, and improving health outcomes for North Texans who have limited resources – or none at all.
Within our walls, we have taken steps to conserve natural resources. From energy-efficient buildings to repurposing and recycling waste materials and low water-use irrigation, Texas Health is committed to conservation. As a High Reliability Organization, Texas Health works to reduce any strain on both the natural and manmade resources we depend on to succeed. Only through prudent management can we lower operating expenses and the cost of care, achieve community health improvement goals, implement innovative business practices and reduce the potential for harm for generations to come.
How is conservation and sustainability a part of Texas Health Resources’ business strategy?
Texas Health conscientiously manages natural resources and materials to reduce consumption, costs, and environmental impacts. We also leverage our buying power to keep a steady supply of lifesaving equipment and supplies while conserving resources and lowering waste. Texas Health continues to optimize its systems, workflows and processes to help us deliver reliable, safe and quality care. Reducing unnecessary variation in care saves lives, reduces medical errors, provides a better care experience and lowers costs.
An example is Texas Health’s strategic supply chain investments are part of our overall plan to source critical supplies locally and in the U.S. in the most efficient, affordable, and reliable ways. Though the pandemic exposed the fragility of the nation’s healthcare supply chain, Texas Health has continued to build upon its already existing systems and assets to maintain all supplies at optimal levels and in many cases help other businesses to do the same.
“We continue to optimize our systems, workflows and processes to help us deliver reliable, safe and quality care. Reducing unnecessary variation in care saves lives, reduces medical errors, provides a better care experience and lowers costs. Additionally, we are building and operating our locations to reduce waste, energy and water consumption. While our overall system footprint is expanding, these efforts are helping us to minimize environmental impacts.”
–Barclay Berdan, Texas Health CEO
New construction projects, including the Jane and John Justin Surgical Tower at Texas Health Fort Worth, incorporate the Framework for Design Excellence and AIA 2030 Commitment goals.
What are your Texas Health Resources’ short and long-term goals as they relate to conservation and sustainability?
We are building and operating our locations to reduce waste, energy, and water consumption. While our overall system footprint is expanding, these efforts are helping us to minimize environmental impacts.
Moving into the future, Texas Health is committed to seeking new opportunities for conserving resources in all areas of their business and community operations.
For example, as a member of a group purchasing organization, Texas Health sources high-quality equipment, medical supplies, and environmentally friendly products at a lower price, saving more than $30 million in procurement costs annually. To stimulate regional economic growth, the system also purchases locally when feasible and from minority and women-owned enterprises.
Texas Health also will continue to incorporate efficiency into new building designs and retrofits and upgrade older equipment, lighting, and other operational systems to reduce expenses and carbon emissions. To monitor consumption and identify reduction opportunities, we conduct regular energy audits in our facilities.
To help sustain the water needs of a growing North Texas population, Texas Health conserves water usage through low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, water-efficient irrigation, operational systems, and laundry services.
Texas Health strives to think ahead when it comes to conservation. New construction projects, including Texas Health Frisco in 2019, Texas Health Mansfield Hospital in 2021, and the nine-story Jane and John Justin Surgical Tower (the largest expansion in Texas Health history) at Texas Health Fort Worth in 2022, meet green building guidelines. We use the Framework for Design Excellence and the AIA 2030 Commitment goals to incorporate the greatest level of energy and water efficiency, healthy building materials, and occupant well-being aspects.
Who at Texas Health Resources’ is leading your conservation and sustainability efforts and what are some examples of employee engagement in conservation and sustainability at your company?
Conservation and Sustainability leadership
At Texas Health, more than 400 employees work across our system in conservation-related roles. Oversight of our high-reliability initiative, clinical care, quality and safety, financial well-being, environmental conservation efforts, and caring for our communities spans multiple areas of the organization. We’re focused on ensuring that we meet the health and well-being needs of the people living within our communities and our employees in the most holistic, safe, and efficient ways possible.
Senior leaders from System Administration, Finance, Supply Chain Management, Real Estate and Engineering, Facilities Design and Construction, Patient Quality and Safety, and Community Engagement and Advocacy make up the leadership team overseeing most conservation and sustainability initiatives/efforts.
They are: Barclay Berdan, Chief Executive Officer; Winjie Miao, Chief Operating Officer; Rick McWhorter, Chief Financial Officer; Kirk King, Executive Vice President, Hospital Channel Chief Operating Officer;
; Shaun Clinton, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain Management; Sunita Koshy-Nesbitt, Hospital Channel Chief Quality Officer; and David Tesmer, Chief Community and Public Policy Officer.
School gardens come with a host of well-being benefits, including encouraging students to eat more fruits and vegetables and providing opportunities to stay active.
Community Time Off program
Texas Health offers a robust Community Time Off (CTO) program where employees can volunteer either virtually or in-person, up to one work shift a year on paid time, to a charity of their choice within Texas Health’s service area.
Annually, Texas Health employees have contributed more than 11,000 hours volunteering for more than 300 local non-profits earning one day of paid time off to volunteer and giving even more on their own time. A number of those projects are focused on conservation and sustainability, including food banks, meal delivery, farmers’ markets, community gardens, urban farming, tree plantings, and park revitalization efforts.
Because of pandemic restrictions, in-person volunteerism was paused for 2020-2021; however, we are overjoyed to report that as of Spring 2022, Texas Health employees have resumed in-person volunteer efforts, and our internal employee volunteerism portal has been flooded with new projects and opportunities!
“One of the things I love most about working with Texas Health Resources is that their people live the mission and values in ways that make the difference the community needs. They take corporate social responsibility seriously and pour themselves into volunteerism and philanthropy throughout the year. We have been blessed to have them roll up their sleeves to beautify nonprofit campuses, pack food boxes for hungry families, pack toiletries for youth experiencing homelessness, write encouraging notes to seniors and women who are domestic violence survivors and more. It’s a privilege to have them as a member of the CFT Business Impact Network. They are a great example for other companies of how giving back looks when it’s done well.”
– Kymberlaine Banks, Senior Business Engagement Officer, Communities Foundation of Texas
In 2020, Blue Zones Project Fort Worth embarked on the Culled Produce Recovery Project with G.E. Foodland grocery stores and Carpool Compost to supply organic materials to urban farmers.
What conservation and sustainability programs and projects does Texas Health Resources lead and participate in?
Recycling and Tree Planting
Texas Health recycles various devices, such as pulse oximeters, harmonic scalpels, EGG leads, cables, and more to avoid landfill waste. Through a program with the National Forest Foundation, we exchange recycled single-use devices for points toward tree planting. In 2021, we diverted approximately 9,000 pounds of these devices from landfills, resulting in the planting of 1,989 trees. Additionally, we:
Blue Zones Project Fort Worth
Texas Health’s Blue Zones Project® Fort Worth (BZP), a community health initiative, works with the city of Fort Worth, area school districts, city and county governments, and community partners to increase health and well-being through a multitude of efforts. It is estimated that more than 200,000 people benefit from lifestyle improvements through Texas Health’s Blue Zones-approved organizations every day. Texas Health’s BZP initiative highlights include:
BZP was the primary driver in creating Fort Worth’s Urban Agriculture Ordinance, allowing vacant lots to be converted to urban farms without rezoning and policy amendments allowing more farmers markets, which are necessary to distribute the produce grown in the urban farms.
School gardens have been an important part of BZP’s commitment to healthy lifestyles and with pandemic numbers improving, the gardens are thriving again. School gardens come with a host of well-being benefits, including encouraging students to eat more fruits and vegetables and providing opportunities to stay active. Gardens have also been shown to improve interpersonal skills, lower rates of obesity, and promote healthier habits that last into adulthood.
Culled Produce Recovery Project
Every day, fruits and vegetables are pulled from the shelves of grocery stores and thrown into the trash. Some, although perfectly safe and edible, are rotated out for fresher stock, while other items might be overripe or damaged. As a result, thousands of pounds of food waste fill local landfills. Now, some of that unsold produce is getting a second life. In 2020, BZP embarked on the Culled Produce Recovery Project with G.E. Foodland grocery stores to supply organic materials to urban farmers. The program has already diverted almost 37,000 pounds of produce through May 2022 and has plans for expansion in the coming months.
How do you see the future of conservation and sustainability evolving, and what role will Texas Health Resources play in that progress?
For Texas Health, conservation and sustainability remain a focus in all areas of our work — from how we care for our patients with environmentally friendly spaces and products to how we serve our communities in efforts to improve their health and wellbeing. We continue to look for innovative ways to serve our communities through volunteerism and by working upstream to identify social determinants of health (food, shelter, transportation, access to medical and behavioral healthcare) and establish programs and services to meet those needs.
Our work to establish and support urban farms, school gardens, farmers’ markets, and culled produce recovery efforts serves thousands of North Texans by making healthy food choices available in areas where food access, especially fresh produce, is low. In addition, Texas Health’s BZP launched its Double Up Food Bucks initiative in May 2020, giving individuals on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) an incentive to purchase double the fruits and vegetables. Since its inception, Double Up Food Bucks has provided families with more than $215,000 in savings, and local SNAP users made 32,000 Double Up Food Bucks transactions.
Since 2018, Texas Health has also contributed more than $10 million and employee oversight and support to its communities through Texas Health Community Impact, where we join numerous community partners across North Texas to identify health disparities within our communities and offer programs and services for physical and behavioral healthcare, senior citizen isolation, food banks, and youth sports to name a few. The American Hospital Association honored Texas Health with the prestigious 2022 Foster G. McGaw Prize honoring community health efforts.
How does Texas Health Resources quantify investment and return on conservation and sustainability?
Texas Health proactively seeks ways to reduce waste and optimize efficiency within their hospitals that are operating 24/7 and many of their other buildings that are open several days a week. Not only does this save money, but it also reduces impacts to human health and the environment.
We incorporate efficiency into new building design, retrofits, and upgrades older equipment, lighting, and other operational systems to reduce expenses and carbon emissions. To monitor consumption and identify reduction opportunities, they conduct regular energy audits in their facilities. For example, retrofitting 1,740 retail locations with interior LED lighting, has reduced consumption by 75,000 MWh for estimated savings of $7.5 million in annual energy costs over the past four years.
Conservation and sustainability highlights:
What is the one lesson that Texas Health Resources has learned from your conservation and sustainability efforts that others can take back and think about applying within their own space?
Supply chain within the U.S. healthcare industry has learned that it must value domestic production of key supplies more than in the past. The classic supply chain value equation is that quality, service and cost add up to value, and product availability has always been assumed. What we’ve learned over the past two years is that we can no longer assume products will be available when we need them, so we must add availability to the equation which also means expanding and diversifying our resources.
Why is Texas an important home or base of operations for Texas Health Resources?
Texas Health is based in Texas. It’s where we serve a service region of 8 million residents and care for more than 2 million annually. It’s also where our 25,000 employees live, work, pray, and play. We are deeply invested in our state and its healthcare industry, through financial and charitable giving as well as through our employees, community partners, and state organizations.
Serving our neighbors and improving community health is rooted in our mission. As a faith-based nonprofit, Texas Health is committed to providing health services and support that lead to measurable, sustainable improvements in our communities. Protecting North Texans’ financial, emotional, mental, and physical well-being is the calling of Texas Health, which takes great pride in the Lone Star State and in its role as a healthcare leader.
In 2021, Texas Health invested more than $927 million back into the North Texas community through community benefits.
Learn more about Texas Health’s conservation and sustainability efforts here.
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Employees in Engineering, Plant Operations, Facilities Management, and Supply Chain Management – work in roles that are tied to the conservation of natural resources. Approximately 20% of those employees have roles involving significant investment in and oversight of building automation systems and other efficiency-related technologies, processes, sourcing, products, and usages.
Texas Health’s Blue Zones Project® Fort Worth (BZP) works with the city of Fort Worth, area school districts, and numerous other city and county governments and community partners to increase health and well-being in through a multitude of efforts. From instituting policies that promote well-being to encouraging local schools, businesses, restaurants, and community leaders to adopt healthy behaviors.
Texas Health Resources recycled 2 million pounds of materials, such as cardboard, paper and plastics and saved 4.1 million kilowatts of energy.
DFW Airport, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas