PUBLISHED: 9:13 AM on Tuesday, October 17, 2006
SEARHC, ARMC win two environmental awards
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and SEARHC's Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock won two national environmental awards, while SEARHC Remote Facilities Manager Jim Ginnaty was nominated for two other national honors this summer for their use of the (OS1)? housekeeping system.

SEARHC won the Green Certified Cleaning Program Award and the Alicia Roberts Medical Center won the Environmental Program Award, which were presented in July. Ginnaty was nominated for awards as Best Pioneer and Rookie of the Year.

The awards were for the use of Operating System 1, also known as (OS1)?, which is a standardized housekeeping system used at hundreds of businesses around the country. Some of the other award nominees included Boeing, Sandia National Laboratory, Hill Air Force Base, Yale University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of North Carolina and the University of Texas.

"Don 'Nick' Nickerson, the building attendant supervisor at ARMC, and his staff really won these awards," Ginnaty said.

Ginnaty said he found out about (OS1)? at a trade show and decided to try it out at ARMC as a pilot project. Officials from (OS1)? came to Klawock to do a baseline audit last August, and ARMC was only in compliance on 38 percent of the 225 standards.

By June's second inspection, ARMC was 88 percent in compliance and outranked several places that had used the system for more than 10 years.

Ginnaty said the program is expanding to all of SEARHC's remote facilities.

"It's just been unbelievable," ARMC clinic administrator Cindy Gamble says of the change. "From what I've seen it's a very organized approach to cleaning. I was grossed out, frankly, by conventional cleaning. I love (OS1)? and the way everything's color-coded and they have different cleaning supplies for the bathroom. There's no cross-contamination. It just makes total sense."

Ginnaty said (OS1)? has specific job cards for each employee and a team approach is used to clean so nothing is missed. He said (OS1)? is what it takes to make a building clean and safe for our staff and patients, even though it uses fewer chemicals and less water than conventional systems.

"It's also less expensive and provides several training opportunities for supervisors and employees. It's all based on scientific data," Ginnaty said. "It's so much different that anything else out there."