Sustainable transportation honors
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has been recognized for efforts to reduce traffic congestion in the Longwood Medical and Academic area (LMA).
Nominated by the Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization (MASCO) for a Longwood Medical Area-wide goal to reduce the number of commuters who drive alone to work, BIDMC was one of four regional institutions and the only hospital honored at the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) New England Sustainable Transportation Summit and Awards luncheon.
"Here in the LMA, BIDMC is one of the most proactive institutions in promoting walking, biking, ridesharing and MBTA use to their employees," MASCO's Matt Grymek said. "BIDMC employees are very active in the commuting alternative programs that I offer through CommuteWorks such as CommuteFit and Emergency Ride Home as well.
"There is also a lot of attention in Boston lately given to bicycle commuting and BIDMC is a leader, both in the LMA and the region, for their work to increase bicycle parking spaces for employees, being an early adaptor and sponsors of the city's public bike share program, employee participation in the Bike Week MassCommuter Challenge, and being recognized as Boston's most bike friendly business in 2010."
ACT is an international trade association committed to the goal of "betterment of our environment, economy and overall health and well-being." ACT works with institutions to develop and promote programs and services that will "help reduce congestion, conserve energy, improve air quality, enhance mobility and bolster the quality of life for millions of people."
ACT's mission is in line with the goal of BIDMC's annual environmental event Health Work Healthy Home.
"BIDMC held its annual Healthy Work Healthy Home event with the theme of green transportation this April. The event included speakers, a health fair, and a video to promote BIDMC's programs for employee transportation including subsidized T passes, hundreds of bike parking spaces, carpool support and a Commuter Service Department," said Bill Burley, Manager of Real Estate and Transportation Programs at BIDMC. "In addition, the medical center was one of the first organizations to support the Boston's Hubway BikeShare program. BIDMC is sponsoring three Hubway Station locations on or adjoining its campus."
Amy Lipman, BIDMC's Sustainability Coordinator, said what makes this award special is that the nomination did not come from a member of BIDMC's staff, but from an outside institution that was inspired by the work being done at the medical center to reduce staff's carbon footprint.
"I am most pleased and touched that this is not an award we applied for ourselves," Lipman said. "This is an acknowledgement from MASCO of our partnership with them and the work that we do here at BIDMC."
The work to change the mindset of commuters will continue when in mid-July, BIDMC and MASCO will announce the launch of NuRide, a web-based carpooling program that will allow staff in the LMA to coordinate rides to work based on their shifts.