Sustainable Energy Fund committed nearly $4 million to 2014-2015 energy projects in PA

At its recent annual public meeting in Lower Macungie Township, Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF), a nonprofit non-governmental organization dedicated to educating, supporting and financing energy users seeking sustainable energy options, announced it had committed nearly $4 million dollars to regional renewable and sustainable energy projects during its fiscal 2014-2015 calendar year.

Those commitments, totaling $3,952,871, represent low-cost loans to help fund a variety of energy projects across approximately 20 different organizations, including nursing homes, condominium developments, day care centers, museums, municipal governments, non-profits and various commercial enterprises.

A sampling of these projects include:

  • $1 million for Community Energy Renewables in Radnor, Pa., to allow the organization to develop future solar PV projects.
  • Nearly $45,000 for Fairmount Homes in Ephrata, Pa., for a retrofit lighting project incorporating LED lighting at the organization’s Wheat Ridge Drive location.
  • Approximately $34,000 for Youth Advocate Programs in Harrisburg to retrofit the organization’s North 3rd Street location lighting with energy-saving LED lights.

“We continue to see in both the non- and for-profit sectors a recognized need to control costs, plan for the long-term and commit to more sustainable energy alternatives,” said John Costlow, president and CEO of SEF.

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TRSA’s Hygienically Clean healthcare certification earns AORN Seal of Recognition

TRSA, the leading global textile services trade association, today announces its Hygienically Clean Healthcare Certification program standards have received the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Seal of Recognition™ for its certification materials.

The AORN Seal of Recognition confirms the certification program has undergone a thorough quality review by AORN and is consistent with the organization’s Guidelines for Perioperative Practice. According to AORN, this is not a product endorsement but rather a demonstration that the educational and informative material provided about the certification program is sound and reliable. Specifically, the Seal of Recognition recognizes the certification program’s materials on the “Standard for Producing Hygienically Clean Reusable Textiles in the Healthcare Industry.”

“Since the creation of the Hygienically Clean certification in 2012, TRSA has continued its work to raise the bar and standards within the commercial laundry industry through this program,” explained Joseph Ricci, president and CEO of TRSA. “We’re honored to have successfully earned AORN’s Seal of Recognition for our Hygienically Clean program and we’ll continue to work with our membership to ensure the industry is held to the highest possible standards of cleanliness and safety.”

To be considered for Hygienically Clean Certification, facilities handling healthcare linens are inspected for adherence to best practices and quality assurance requirements. This inspection is preceded by two rounds of bacteriological testing of laundered textiles by an independent, TRSA-approved laboratory. Samples must pass a total of three rounds of testing to qualify for certification.

To maintain certification, facilities must regularly repeat the tests: the Replicate Organism Detection and Counting (RODAC) protocol, quarterly, rather than the previous protocol of twice per year; and United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 62, for microorganisms most commonly found in healthcare environments, twice yearly. This frequent quantification of performance fosters continuous improvement through adoption of new laundering techniques to deliver a better level of cleanliness.

“Hygienically Clean standards have a very large and positive impact on public health in general because they lower the overall community infectious disease risk burden,” said David F. Goldsmith, MSPH, Ph.D, an occupational and environmental epidemiologist with George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, D.C., who recently conducted a third-party review of the certification program. “TRSA Certification offers a serious marketing advantage versus competitor laundries who have not adopted the Hygienically Clean process.”

According to TRSA, by Dec. 31, 2015, it expects approximately 50 percent of commercial laundries exclusively handling linens and other textiles from healthcare facilities will have earned its Hygienically Clean certification. Complete information on the program and its newly revised protocols and best practices can be found on the program’s new website at hygienicallyclean.org.