Release Date: Jun 22, 2023

SHELTON, WA – In recognition for its achievement and innovation in health care sustainability, Mason Health earned two Environmental Excellence Awards this year from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. For the third year in a row, the District earned the Partner for Change Award, and for the first time this year, Mason Health won the Greening the Operating Room award.

The Greenhealth Partner for Change Award recognizes superior performance in environmental sustainability, covering a range of different sustainability programs and activities. Winners have also made substantive progress on mercury elimination. The Greening the Operating Room Award honors facilities that have made substantial progress in reducing the impact of the surgical environment.

“We want to recognize your organization for the impactful sustainability work you pursued over the last year and are looking forward to shining a light on your achievements.,” said Gary Cohen, Practice Greenhealth founder. “Mason Health demonstrates the kind of leadership, innovation, and performance that can drive the entire health sector toward more environmentally responsible practices. We are grateful for your commitment to sustainability as we work together as a network to transform the health care sector.”

Last year, Mason Health Director of Surgical Services Lori Genson made concerted efforts to eliminate hazardous smoke from Mason General Hospital operating rooms. Thanks to her efforts, Mason Health earned the Go Clear Award™ from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) for its achievement in eliminating hazardous smoke from its surgical procedures.

Surgical smoke is the unwanted by-product of energy-generating devices that are used in 90 percent of all surgeries. Its contents include toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, viruses, bacteria, blood and cancer cells.

At Mason Health, smoke evacuation systems are in place, wherein all smoke is contained in smoke evacuation tubing that goes through filters so that the smoke is not released into the air inside or outside the hospital. The filter is changed on a schedule and removed in a biohazard bag for disposal.

“Surgical smoke was a hidden danger that even some of my staff wasn’t aware of,” Genson said. “Staff safety, in addition to patient safety, is so important to me in health care. Let’s be proactive instead of reactive. This award was not difficult to achieve because we were already way ahead of the game. We had been 98 percent smoke-free for four years, and now we are at 100 percent.”

Genson is a member of Mason Health’s Green Team, which focuses on sustainability efforts throughout the District through Mason Health’s Practice Greenhealth initiative. Learn more at

“I am totally in awe of our Green Team and the amazing goals we are achieving,” said Jennifer Capps, Mason Health’s Chief Development & Communication Officer. “It is their unwavering dedication to Mason Health’s success that has made these two awards possible. I am also grateful to Kate Gottlieb, Practice Greenhealth’s Sustainability Strategy Manager, for her guidance and support. What a way to celebrate our 55th anniversary of serving our patients and community.”

Practice Greenhealth is the leading membership and networking organization for sustainable health care, delivering environmental solutions to more than 1,400 U.S. hospitals and health systems. Learn more at

Mason Health, Public Hospital District No. 1 of Mason County, is celebrating 55 years of serving patients and the community this year. Mason Health is ISO 9001 Quality Management System certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and is a licensed and accredited acute care hospital with a level four emergency trauma designation. Mason General Hospital and Mason Clinic are ENERGY STAR® certified and Mason Health is the recipient of Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change and Greening the OR Environmental Excellence Awards. There are more than 100 physicians on staff in 19 specialties. For more information or to find a health care provider, visit To learn more about DNV, visit


Green Health Group May2023 copy Copy