Vanguard Partners With EPA and AHA to Reduce Medical Waste

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Vanguard Medical Concepts, Inc. announced today that it has become a "champion" of the Hospitals for a Healthy Environment's (H2E) national initiative to reduce medical waste and toxins from the environment. H2E is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, American Hospital Association, American Nurses Association and Health Care Without Harm. Its goal is to reduce medical waste a third by 2005 with a 50 percent reduction by 2010.

Healthcare facilities generate 6,600 tons of waste per day filling thousands of acres of landfills. Incinerated medical waste containing chlorinated materials such as PVC plastic is the third largest producer of dioxins, potent carcinogens that cause hormonal defects in both animals and humans.

The role of H2E champions is to support healthcare facilities to achieve the national waste reduction goals, providing information about the financial, public health and environmental benefits of medical waste reduction and offering products and services to help facilities achieve significant medical waste reduction.

As an H2E champion, Vanguard is developing a tracking program for its hospitals customers on the disposal costs savings they achieve through medical device reprocessing. This information will become part of each customer's hospital savings report starting early in 2003.

"For more than a decade, our mission has been to deliver quality healthcare products and services in an environmentally responsible manner," said president and CEO Charles Masek. "Reducing medical waste and achieving cost savings from recycling and reuse are the cornerstones of medical device reprocessing." Last year, Vanguard eliminated 427 tons of medical waste through the medical devices reprocessing programs we have in place at more than 900 hospitals nationwide.

Vanguard Medical Concepts Inc. is a leading medical device reprocessor, providing a broad range of reprocessing services for more than 900 health care facilities nationwide. Since 1991, it has reprocessed more than 9 million devices, from EP catheters and orthopedic burrs, bits and blades to suture packs and DVT sleeves. Vanguard leads the industry in the science and technology of reprocessing, carrying a certification of ISO 9001 with specific design controls for medical device reprocessing.