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Employee Opportunities and Initiatives

Employee Opportunities and Initiatives

Please stay tuned for future opportunities to get involved on sustainability on campus as an employee, including volunteer opportunities!

For ways you can help make your workplace be more sustainable, consider signing your workplace up for the Green Workplace Program.

  • Do you have any idea on how employees can get involved and improve sustainability on campus?
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Health Sustainability Advocates

The Sustainability Advocates is a grassroots group of individuals that work for and within the UC Davis Health Sacramento campus. We have several subgroups that focus on specific sustainability efforts as detailed below on this page. For those interested in getting involved with any of our projects or those interested in starting new projects, please reach out directly using the emails provided for each subgroup, or to or

Subgroup Subgroup chair Members Projects and Accomplishments
Administration and department commitments

William Pevec,
Vascular Surgery

Chris Evans
James Marcin
Nate Kuppermann
- Funds have been allocated for departments to purchase items to make their operations more sustainable (e.g. reusable plates/cutlery, hydration flasks, water filters, laboratory equipment recycling).
Anesthetic gases

Nina Schloemerkemper, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

  - Anesthetic gas use is being monitored, with efforts to reduce inhalational agents (which are greenhouse gases)
- Efforts are being made to eliminate N2O for labor analgesia.

Andrew Hernandez,

William Pevec - Efforts are being made to implement composting of organic food waste in the back of the house with plans to work on this issue in front of the house in the future.
- Investigations are being made to identify a hauler that can accept and process compostable food packages, plates, bowls, cups, and utensils.

Constantine Dimitriades,

Leigh Ann Aki Higa
Jonathan Hu
Lisa Kang
- The mission of this subgroup is to enhance patient/visitor/staff wellness through the addition of public green spaces.
- Projects in the planning phase include gardens in the outdoor dining area and a rooftop garden in the new hospital tower project.
HVAC Setbacks / Energy Efficiency

William Pevec,
Vascular Surgery

Naomi Hauser
Jonathan Hu
- Three testing sessions have been completed to assess the clinical efficacy of reducing the number of air exchanges/hour in the operating rooms. Addtional testing is planned, with the goal of reducing air exhanges and thus decreasing energy consumption.
- Audits of energy utilization throughout the medical center have or will be performed, and modifications made to decrease wasted energy consumption.
Pager Elimination - Joe Shen
Scott Zakaluzny
- Options to eliminate pagers and disposable batteries are being explored.
Pharmacy Waste

Leyla Farshidpour,
Medical Student

- - Efforts are being evaluated to decrease pharmaceutical waste via dose and order placement modifications.

Noah Canvasser,
Urologic Surgery

Marc Dal'Era
Carter White
- UCDH already participates in programs with FDA-approved third-party vendors to collect and reprocess items labelled for single-user only. The aim is to increase participation, including collection and purchasing of reprocessed devices.
Resident Sustainability

Nina Schloemerkemper, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

David Barnes
Chris Evans
Nathan Kuppermann Kathyrn Conlon
- Proposal approved to have a yearly UC Health wide competition to award grants to fund sustainability projects that are resident led.
Reusable Gowns

William Pevec,
Vascular Surgery

JoAnne Natale - A pilot program replacing single-use with reusable isolation gowns has been conpleted.
- Single-use isolation gowns have been replaced with reusable gown throughout the Emergency Department, and success/satisfaction/logistics are being analyzed.
- Approval has been received to replace single-use with reusable isolation gowns through the medical center; implementation will be advocated.
Single-use plastic policy

William Pevec,
Vascular Surgery

Colleen McCormick - Implementation plan to eliminate/reduce single-use plastic in food service, retail, and clinical sites has been written and approved. Implementation will be on-going.
Styrofoam recylcing

Benjamin Pyles,

- - Styrofoam is used in packaging for laboratory materials, exempt from the UC ban. Options for packing are being explored, with the hope of eliminating Styrofoam packaging.
Transportation - David Barnes
Ben Liu
James Marcin
Shreeya Raman
- Initiatives focus on decreasing commuting to UCDH in single-occupant vehicles, including improved bicycle infrastructure, changing parking payment methods, and expanding options for car-pooling and public transit.
Virtual Clinics

Peter Yellowlees,
Psychiatry and Behavorial Sciences

Jennifer Ozeir
Darolyn Striley
- Data are being collected on the energy savings achieved with the expansion of virtual clinics during the pandemic, with planned publication of a manuscript.
- Efforts are also being made to enhance the quality of virtual clinic visits.
Waste - Teresita Calindas
Noah Canvasser
Leyla Farshidpour
Naomi Hauser
Jennifer Ozeir
Amanda Rogers-Beckley
Scott Zakaluzny
Michael Jung
- Blue wrap is being recycled in the Operating Room, with plans for broader implementation.
- Reduction in the use of blue wrap via increased use of rigid instrument trays is being advocated.
- Replacement of disposable items of all sorts is being pursued (gowns, basins, bags, bottles, etc..).
- Reduction in Operating Room waste related to spine surgery.
- Efforts are being made to increase collection and reprocessing of EKG cables and monitoring probes.