Photo Friday: Sustainable Washington, DC USA

Yesterday, we had the great honor at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) to host Washington, DC’s Mayor (@MayorVinceGray) for a special signing:

On October 23, 2014, Mayor Gray will host a signing ceremony for the Sustainable DC Healthcare Sector Pledge at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health.

The Mayor will be joined by over twenty healthcare sector leaders, hospital and clinic system CEOs, in signing the pledge that will create a resource and idea-sharing working group that meets quarterly to advance sustainability goals. This is the fourth in a series of sector pledges initiated by Sustainable DC, following the Colleges and Universities Sustainability Pledge, the Diplomatic Institution Sustainability Pledge, and the DC Smarter Business Challenge.

Truth be told, we asked to host it, as soon as we learned it was being put together. I read the plan back in 2013 and I agree with the Mayor’s comment that the DC Sustainability plan (@SustainDC) is the most comprehensive in the United States (Now Reading: The Sustainable DC Plan | Ted Eytan, MD). Why? Because it’s not just about the environment, it’s about everything that goes into creating an ‘equiitable,prosperous, society.’

Here are our opening remarks, given in partnership with Keith Montgomery, the Executive Director of the Center for Total Health (@KMontgomeryNDC):

Hi, I’m Ted. (Hi, I’m Keith)
I’m the Physician Director here. (and I’m the Executive Director here)

Welcome to the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health. Our name stands for the idea that health is more than excellent medical care, it’s the well being of people, in a healthy community and a healthy environment. AND, doctors, nurses, and health professionals shouldn’t be part of a sector that participates in health, it should lead society in total health, and sustainability is a health issue.

It’s in our DNA. Henry J. Kaiser, our founder, built the first steel mill west of the Rockies in 1942 and ordered it to be the cleanest in the United States. 60 years later, we’ve established a goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2020.

In this region, Kaiser Permanente has purchased renewable energy certificates for 100% of the annual electricity needs of our facilities in Washington, DC, which reduces 16,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Our environmental stewardship work extends to food, with $3M in food-activities in the District, supporting school yard gardens, school salad bars, and universal school breakfast, to name a few things. And one very local impact, the metropolitan branch trail, to your right, provides safe physical activity and access to seven Metro Stations, and was built out with a significant investment by Kaiser Permanente.

As a DC resident, I see the commitment of our Mayor every day on my walk to work all the way from Dupont Circle. Our city is a model for a place that’s safer, greener, and a more loving place for all human beings. And, I have seen it personally in the many places he goes to be with people and empower them to be their best.

We Look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor and with the District Government on this important initiative.

Please join us in welcoming the Honorable Vincent C. Gray, Mayor of the District of Columbia.

I have so many photographs to show our city’s commitment to the future. These are just a few:

I’ve clipped out a few pages from the plan to get a sense of what it covers. I’m proud to say I am car-less, purchase renewable energy certificates, work for an organization that does the same, and regularly celebrate the diversity of our city. It’s all related, and it’s great to be in a place where people believe it’s all related with me.

Another example of the Family Medicine Revolution (#FMRevolution)

I found out during this process that I was the bookend to the passion around this work, with the other being Denton Shanks, DO, MPH who’s a Family Medicine resident in Washington, DC at Unity Health Care, with a Master In Public Health, Global Health & Environmental Health. He’s pictured in the images below with the Mayor as well as Vincent Keane, President & CEO of Unity Health Care. Of course we’re the bookends of passion for societal health – it’s a day in the life of family medicine specialists 🙂 .


Ted Eytan, MD