Newswise — – Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center was recognized as one of Practice Greenhealth’s Top 25 Hospitals for Environmental Excellence for the seventh consecutive year. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only three hospitals in the nation — and the only hospital in the tri-state area — to receive this prestigious recognition for the seventh year in a row. 

Launched in 2002, the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards program recognizes health care organizations for their commitment to environmental stewardship and their sustainability achievements. In addition to the Top 25 list, the program includes Circles of Excellence Awards, which honor the top 10 hospitals nationwide in each sustainability impact area, as well as several other recognitions. 

“At Hackensack Meridian Health, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of medicine to reach new heights of research and innovation. Promoting a clean environment and food sustainability is an important part of advancing health care,” said Robert C. Garrett, chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “I want to congratulate Hackensack University Medical Center on being recognized among the top 25 hospitals in the nation for elevating the standard for sustainability in health care — and for being one of only three hospitals in the nation that has maintained this status for seven consecutive years.” 

“Our team members are dedicated to environmental stewardship and preserving the planet for future generations,” said Mark D. Sparta, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center. “We are proud to be the only hospital in the tri-state area, and one of only three in the U.S., to earn Practice Greenhealth’s Top 25 recognition for seven years in a row.” 

Through its efforts in sustainable food purchasing, Hackensack University Medical Center has helped to protect patients and team members from antibiotic resistance by purchasing meat and poultry raised without routine antibiotics since 2013. In addition, their use of safer chemicals has not only protected the environment, but it has helped shield patients and team members from unnecessary exposure to toxins. Practice Greenhealth also recognized the medical center with two Circles of Excellence awards — one for leadership, and the other for healthier, more sustainable food — as well as the Greening the OR Recognition Award. 

“At Hackensack Meridian Health, we believe that caring for the environment is one more way we can contribute to community health,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., FACS, regional president, Northern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Hackensack University Medical Center’s latest Practice Greenhealth recognition is a testament to our network’s commitment to improving population health through various environmental stewardship initiatives.” 

“This recognition was earned and is well deserved,” said Deirdre Imus, President and Founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® at Hackensack University Medical Center. “The medical center has been relentless in its pursuit of protecting our environment – and continues to set an example for other healthcare facilities across the country in everything from food purchases and cleaning practices to green roofs and honeybees.” 

For additional information, please email Mary McGeever, manager, Public Relations – [email protected].



Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care, which is comprised of 35,000 team members and more than 7,000 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center is ranked #2 in New Jersey and #59 in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 Best Hospital rankings and is ranked high-performing in the U.S. in colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, COPD, heart failure, heart bypass surgery, aortic valve surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, knee replacement and hip replacement. Out of 4,500 hospitals evaluated, Hackensack is one of only 57 that received a top rating in all nine procedures and conditions. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2018. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 26 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its sixth consecutive designation in 2019. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: John Theurer Cancer Center, a consortium member of the NCI-designated Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to THE NORTHERN TRUST PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit



Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. 

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick. 

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 35,000 team members, and 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves. 

The network’s notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list. 

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University opened in 2018, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its second class of 96 students in 2019 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it. 

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.