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On Being Green

On being green - Orange City Area Health Care System, Orange City, Iowa
On being green - Orange City Area Health Care System, Orange City, Iowa

A trail leads from Prairie Winds Event Center to the Puddlejumper Trail through the health system’s main campus lawn.

“Green” biodegradable trashcan liners are used throughout the health system by our Environmental Services team.

OCAHS – On Being Green

In late 2006, a group of OCAHS employees came together to discuss ways in which the organization could improve its current “green” efforts and to explore new ways to become more conscious and caring of the environment. The team began discussing OCAHS Core Values and building on several key points.

In the summer of 2007, OCAHS participated in the Pollution Prevention Internship program through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Through this internship, opportunities were found to implement paper and cardboard recycling, remove mercury and reduce the use of Styrofoam used throughout the facilities. On August 10, 2007, OCAHS participated in a mercury audit which identified where mercury was being used throughout the hospital. On October 25, 2007, the Green Team held its first formal meeting and continues to meet quarterly.


The Orange City Area Health System’s Green Team exists to encourage and support environmentally conscious and operationally efficient programs, resource utilization and practices.


  • Encourage a “green” (environmentally friendly) organization by supporting the OCAHS behavioral expectations of:
    1. Be good stewards of the resources entrusted to you
    2. Take pride in the organization, act as if you own it
  • Practice stewardship of resources including recycling, environmentally safe and friendly cleaning, maintenance, and overall green practices and procedures.
  • Develop cost savings through green resource usage.
  • Support green practices in our employees’ daily routines.

Items we recycle:

  • batteries
  • light bulbs
  • paper
  • cardboard
  • packing materials
  • old linens
  • computers and printers
  • cell phones
  • phone books

Items we reuse:

  • packing materials
  • interoffice envelopes
  • network printers

Ways we reduce waste:

  • using coreless toilet paper
  • emailing newsletters
  • shutting off office lights
  • using mercury-free thermometers and blood pressure gauges
  • using real silverware and dishes in the cafeteria
  • using energy efficient light bulbs
  • donating medical equipment & mattresses to non-profit agencies

Recent initiatives:

• Removed all Styrofoam containers from Dietary on all campuses
• Planted orchards and a butterfly habitat at Prairie Ridge Care Center
• Eliminated plastic straws from cafeteria
• Switched to biodegradable trashcan liners


Orange City Area Health System is a comprehensive health system encompassing four family medicine clinics, sports medicine clinic, behavioral health clinic, award-winning hospital, birth center, surgical center, radiology and laboratory services, occupational health services, specialty outreach services, physical and aquatic therapy, home health and hospice, a retirement community, and a senior care center. The health system campus – designed with privacy and total healing as its foundation – is situated on 37 acres, including a pond with fountain, a healing garden, and a field of prairie grasses and wild flowers adjacent to the PuddleJumper Trail.

A team of family medicine providers, along with dedicated nurses, medical specialists, and 500 support staff, are committed to serving the region with the Core Values of Integrity, Commitment to Excellence, Dedicated Colleagues, and Extraordinary Customer Experience. Orange City Area Health System has been named one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the nation, one of “50 Critical Access Hospitals to Know” in the U.S., and a Women’s Choice Award recipient for Outstanding Patient Experience for three consecutive years.



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