Press Release

Release Date: May 14, 2024
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Chickasaw Nation Medical Center (CNMC) recently received the Environmental Excellence Award from Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions. This designation is reserved for select hospitals that demonstrate outstanding leadership in health care sustainability and overall hospital quality through single-use device (SUD) reprocessing.

“Stryker is pleased to honor Chickasaw Nation Medical Center’s continued dedication to achieving both environmental and financial sustainability,” said Natalie Ward, vice president/general manager of Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions. “With a heightened focus on improving value in today’s health care environment, CNMC leads by example with their commitment to sustainability initiatives that reduce costs and optimize resources in order to support quality care.”

In 2023, CNMC’s reprocessing program successfully diverted 6,438 pounds of medical waste from landfills and reduced supply costs by $317,312. The financial savings were an increase of 11.1% over 2022, allowing additional funds to be redirected into key patient care initiatives.

Single-use medical device reprocessing is similar to recycling, CNMC Surgery Center Manager Jayme Zoch said. Single-use devices, such as pulse oximeter sensors and electrocardiogram leads, are collected and placed in a bin to be picked up by Stryker personnel. The devices are sterilized and refurbished, which keeps them out of the landfill.

“Reprocessing with Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions significantly reduces operational costs for the Chickasaw Nation,” she said. “Rather than disposing of single-use items and never using them again, reprocessing allows hospitals to sterilize and reuse certain devices multiple times, often at a significant discount instead of buying brand-new devices.”

There is also an environmental benefit to reprocessing with Stryker, Zoch said.

“Through our partnership, Chickasaw Nation is able to reduce its environmental footprint by decreasing the total amount of medical waste generated, as well as responsibly disposing of waste once it has reached the end of its useful life.”

Reprocessing also aligns with the Chickasaw Nation core value, good stewardship.

The Environmental Excellence Award is based on three metrics: collection growth, waste diversion and buyback percentage.

Leading hospitals across the nation are continuing to pursue initiatives to reduce the environmental footprint of health care delivery. Among these initiatives, SUD reprocessing stands out as an environmental practice that not only dramatically reduces the amount of medical waste, but at the same time frees significant resources for the hospital – all without capital investment, according to Stryker’s news release.

The CNMC is in the distinguished company of other leading hospitals that are implementing reprocessing programs. In fact, reprocessing programs are currently employed by nearly all the U.S. News & World Report “Honor Roll” hospitals.

The CNMC has partnered with Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions, the nation’s leading reprocessor of medical devices, with its reprocessing programs for about a decade. Stryker is a global leader in medical technologies, and Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions is committed to sustainable health care. More than 3,000 hospitals in the U.S. and abroad trust Stryker to reprocess their devices, according to the release.

The Chickasaw Nation serves more than one million patient interactions annually in the 370,000-square-foot medical center in Ada. There are also health clinics located in Ardmore, Tishomingo and Purcell. Additionally, Chickasaw Nation also has four nutrition centers and a diabetes care center.