2016 Sustainability Awards Recognize UCSF’s Green Champions

By Deborah Fleischer

Sam Hawgood speaks during the Sustainability Awards ceremony
UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood recognized UCSF’s LivingGreen champions during the 2016 Sustainability Awards ceremony. Photo by Marco Sanchez

UC San Francisco faculty, staff and students who are working hard to make UCSF greener and more sustainable were honored during the sixth annual Sustainability Awards ceremony.

Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, personally recognized UCSF’s LivingGreen champions during the event, hosted by Associate Chancellor Terri O’Brien, PhD. The June 21 ceremony was held at Byer’s Auditorium and Genentech Hall Atrium and acknowledged individuals and teams for their sustainability wins. From holding a successful symposium focused on the link between health and the environment to reducing waste in operating rooms to integrating sustainability into curricula, UCSF had many green champions to celebrate.

“Collectively UCSF faculty, staff and students’ sustainability efforts are making a difference, as indicated by UCSF avoiding $3.2 million in energy costs, a 65 percent waste diversion rate and achieving 20 percent reduction in water use,” said Gail Lee, director of the UCSF Office of Sustainability.

Collectively UCSF faculty, staff and students’ sustainability efforts are making a difference, as indicated by UCSF avoiding $3.2 million in energy costs, a 65 percent waste diversion rate and achieving 20 percent reduction in water use.

Gail Lee

Director, Office of Sustainability

“UCSF is a leader in health care education, research and patient care, and UCSF Medical Center is a leader in health care sustainability. But that’s just the beginning,” Hawgood said. The Chancellor highlighted the passion, dedication, and accomplishments of staff across the campus and medical center, including Capital Programs, Facilities Services, Design & Construction, and Supply Chain Management. “All these achievements and many more, could not have been met without the passion and dedication of many staff, many of who are in this room today.”

The accomplishments and people recognized at the ceremony include:

Four Global Food Initiative fellows for their part in identifying and sharing best practices and influencing policy issues related to food access. Mike Reid, MD, examined the role of food insecurity and gut microbial translocation on diabetes in HIV-infected women. Matthew Spinelli, MD, focused his work on the impact of food insecurity on HIV treatment outcomes in HIV-positive women, and Dan Kelly, MD, worked on food insecurity, poor nutrition, and other risk factors of symptomatic and non-symptomatic Ebola-infected persons. Rashon Lane, MA, is exploring how socio-structural factors impact food insecurity among HIV positive African-American and Latina women in the management of chronic diseases.

Two Carbon Neutrality Initiative fellows were acknowledged for their work related to climate change. Alex Schrobenhauser-Clonan, MD, has focused his efforts on outreach and engagement of students and faculty. Nicole Jackman, MD, PhD, has research that focuses on the economic and environmental impact of optimizing fresh gas flow use with inhaled anesthetics gases. The five fellows in the current class also were introduced and recognized for their efforts to reduce carbon emissions across UCSF and beyond. They were Hugo Aguilar and Yaser Khoshal, School of Pharmacy; Daniel Ta and Brittany Zhang, School of Dentistry; and Jason Lang, MD, PhD, a resident in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care.

Sustainability Award Winners

This year UCSF received nominations for the Sustainability Awards from all areas of the UCSF community. The following groups and individuals were winners this year:

 Royce Harner, Annemarie Donjacour, Alanya Den Boer and Alex Schrobenhauser-Clonan stand together at UCSF's Regeneration Medicine Building.
Winners of the 2016 Sustainability Award Team Category (from left) Royce Harner; Annemarie Donjacour, PhD; Alanya Den Boer; and Alex Schrobenhauser-Clonan, MD. Photo by Susan Merrell

Team Category: The EARTHEALTH1 team from the School of Medicine – which included Alex Scrhobenhauser-Clonan; Annemarie Donjacour, PhD; Royce Harner; and Alanya den Boer – was recognized for organizing the highly successful EARTHEALTH1 conference at the end of April 2016. The two-day event, featuring a host of nationally recognized speakers, was UCSF’s first ever student-led climate change and sustainable health care conference. The message of the conference was simple, but important – Earth and its environment are inextricably linked to human health and wellbeing and in order to safeguard human health we need to maintain the health of our planet. The conference was informational, but also stimulated action and sparked the important culture shift needed at UCSF.

Corinna Zygourakis, MD.
Corinna Zygourakis, MD. Photo by Susan Merrell

Student Category: Corinna Zygourakis, MD, a resident physician in the Neurological Surgery Department at UCSF, was recognized for her leadership on the Caring Wisely program. During her residency training, she developed an interest in health care costs, surgical waste and sustainability. She developed and led a robust program that provided feedback to UCSF leadership and her surgical colleagues about surgical supply costs and related waste. Remarkably, she introduced this program during a clinical year of her residency, balancing the intense demands of being a clinical neurosurgery resident and running a multidisciplinary project team. Through education, research, and outreach Zygourakis has ignited a cultural change among surgeons. Her programs – OR SCORE and OR WASTE – have made a real impact, conservatively saving UCSF at least $1.3 million to date and significantly reduced waste.

Hyunil Jo, PhD.
Hyunil Jo, PhD. Photo by Daniel Gaines

Staff Category: Hyunil Jo, PhD, Specialist, UCSF School of Pharmacy, was recognized for his leadership and support of the successful “shut the sash” energy competition. The project depended on effective outreach to the researchers in his lab. Jo successfully engaged the researchers in his lab and promoted real behavior change. The goal of the competition was to instill behavioral change among variable fume hood users with a simple call to action to simply “shut the sash” to hoods when they are not in use. When a sash is lowered to the proper position when not in use, it achieves a 10 percent reduction in cubic feet per minute usage, reducing energy consumption. This simple change can save labs $800 per hood each year. The fume hood competition resulted in actual savings of about 46,000 kWh, nearly 4,000 therms and over $11,000 in cost savings.

Portrait of Sarah Berger
Sarah Berger, RN. Photo by Susan Merrell

Staff Category Medical Center: Sarah Berger, RN, medical surgery ICU, was recognized for her leadership in introducing several green initiatives on her unit as well as increasing awareness of UCSF’s existing sustainability initiatives. She successfully launched recycling in each patient room and started the composting of paper towels. In addition, thanks to Berger’s efforts, the medical surgery ICU now includes its green initiatives as part of the unit orientation for all new employees. Her passion and enthusiasm engages nurses to be part of UCSF’s sustainability initiatives.


Portrait of Arianne Teherani
Arianne Teherani, PhD. Photo by Susan Merrell

Medical Center Staff Category: Arianne Teherani, PhD, a professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and a research faculty member in the Office of Research and Development in Medical Education at UCSF, is the Faculty Climate Action Champion of UCSF. Teherani focuses on one of the most important strategies to engage people with climate change, sustainability and its links to health: education. She was recognized for her important research and faculty project to integrate climate change and sustainability into the health professions’ curricula, something very few universities have tackled yet.  Teherani not only focuses on medicine related curricula, but also focuses on the other health professions, including dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy and nursing.

LivingGreen Certifications

The LivingGreen certification recognize offices, laboratories, and clinics and/or units that are actively seeking to reduce energy, waste, water, toxics, encourage green procurement, and engage faculty, staff and students. This year, 20 certifications were given out for a total of 110 in five years. The following offices, labs, clinics and units received a certification:

LivingGreen Offices

First ever awarded in the Platinum category: Department of Clinical Pharmacy, MC, 420.

Gold category: RMS Team J, EVCP, Mt. Zion.

Silver category: Controller's Office, 300; Controller's Office, 318; Controller's Office, 425; Controller's Office, 546, FAS, MCB; and Clinical Pharmacy, SOP, UC Hall, 503.

Bronze category: Mission Hall 6th floor; CLS Admin Office, 654 Minnesota 214, CLS; Chair's Office, DOM, M-984; and Surgery and Division of Transplant Services, SOM, M-884.

LivingGreen Clinics and Units

Gold category: Electrophysiology Lab, MC, L502-508; and Medical/Surgical ICU 9th floor, MC; and Medical/Surgical ICU 13th Floor, MC.

Silver category: Rehabilitative Services, MU-09, MC

LivingGreen Labs

Bronze Category: Frank Lab, SOM, NS 540L; DeGrado Lab, SOP, CVRB, 412; DeRisi Lab, SOM, Byers Hall, 404; Weisman Lab, SOM, Byers Hall, 404; and Clinical Pharmacology Lab, SOP, SFGH, Building 100.

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